Relf Optical professionals work with all major contact lens manufacturers as well as specialty providers to meet our patients’ unique contact lens needs. We are proud of our contact lens fitting and education programs. We stay abreast of all new contact lens materials and products, in order to assure safe and successful contact lens wear by all our contact lens patients.
The contact lens is a medical device that is inserted into the eye to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Safe and effective contact lens wear requires careful fitting of the contact lens, subsequent evaluation of the fit, education in lens insertion and removal, and ongoing care. Not everyone is a good contact lens candidate.
Click here for more information on Contact Lens Evaluation & Fitting Fees.
Contact lens evaluation:
Your doctor will examine your eyes prior to your contact lens fitting to determine your suitability for contact lens wear. Problems which might interfere with contact lens wear will be identified and addressed as appropriate.
Contact lens fitting:
During contact lens fitting, the curvature of your cornea will be measured. The fitting process involves trying on and evaluating different lens styles and materials, to find the one best for you. Our skilled contact lens fitters bring years of experience to play in this process; it is a bit of an art.
Following fitting, you will be instructed in contact lens insertion and removal as well as safe contact lens wear practices. This might take more than one training session. We work to meet each individual’s needs, accommodating a variety of learning styles. We are available as an ongoing source of information regarding safe contact lens wear.
Ongoing contact lens care:
The fit of your contact lens needs to be reevaluated every one to two years, as the shape of your eye changes over time. One contact lens rarely works for a patient’s entire lifetime. Even with excellent fit, the health of the eye needs to be monitored by your eye doctor on a regular basis.
Order Contact Lenses:
Order contact lenses and get them fast! We offer convenient online ordering of top contact lens brands including:
- Air Optix
Contact Lenses FAQ’s
Who is a good contact lens candidate?
We recommend that patients be at least 12 years old, responsible, and able to care for their contact lenses. Clean and safe handling is essential. Equally important is the maturity required to make wise decisions regarding contact lens wear; those lacking good judgment can experience vision loss from contact lens wear which may be permanent.
Are there medical reasons that I might not be able to wear contact lenses?
Yes. Some patients have corneal conditions which preclude the use of contact lenses. Still, others must address eyelid problems such as blepharitis before safely wearing contact lenses.
I have dry eyes – can I wear contact lenses?
Yes! There are many brands of contact lenses that are especially suited for patients with dry eyes. Newer contact materials have allowed many dry eye patients to resume contact lens wear, having given up years ago. One-day disposable contact lenses often work well for our dry eye patients, as well.
What if I cannot put contacts lenses in my eyes?
With proper training, most patients can learn to place contact lenses in their eyes. Our contact lens staff is among the best in the region, possessing great patience and educational skills. We are happy to work with you as long as it might take for you to develop insertion and removal skills; we take pride in our success rate with even the most challenging patients.
I have astigmatism – are there special contact lenses to correct this?
Yes. Some patients with a small to moderate amount of astigmatism do well with rigid contact lenses. Others require special “toric” contact lenses which incorporate specific astigmatism correction into the lens. Our contact lens staff will advise you regarding your options.
What is monovision?
Monovision is when a patient chooses to correct one eye for distance, and the other eye for near sighted vision. This is often viewed as an alternative to bifocals for those over the age of 40. The near distance can be varied; we work with you to choose the best option for your work and daily activities. 80% of patients find that monovision works well for them.
What are bifocal contact lenses?
Like monovision described above, bifocal contact lenses are appreciated by those over the age of 40. These specialized contact lenses include correction for both distance and near in each lens, both left and right. This allows both eyes to be used together for distance and near tasks, often providing better depth perception and more comfortable computer viewing than monovision. Bifocal contact lenses are available in soft or rigid styles.
How about extended wear contacts?
Newer contact lens materials are safer for extended wear than many used in the past; we prescribe these as appropriate. Even with these newer materials, however, extended (overnight) wear leads to a higher risk of infection. It is important that the risks and benefits of these lenses be clearly understood by anyone considering their use.
Can I buy contact lenses at your office?
Yes! We are happy to sell you your contacts and appreciate your business. We offer competitive pricing and online ordering services. We see that you receive your exact Rx – No substitutes!
You will also receive a copy of your contact lens Rx at the end of your fitting which you can use as you like. We strongly encourage you to have your contact lens fit evaluated every two years at a minimum, to avoid serious fit-related problems as your eyes change down the road.
You can order contacts through our online store as well.
What are scleral contact lenses?
Scleral lenses are larger diameter rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses that offer great comfort and vision.
Before scleral lenses were readily available, we fit primarily two different types of contact lenses: Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) or Soft.
RGP lenses have many benefits, including: crisp optics, durability, and more oxygen supply to the cornea. RGP lenses create a new, crisp viewing surface over the original corneal surface, resulting in clearer vision. Unfortunately, because the RGP lens is not soft, and rests on the cornea (which has a very large nerve supply), it is pretty uncomfortable to wear at first. Normally it takes several days to adjust to the feeling of the RGP lens. RGP lenses need to be cleaned each day and cannot be worn over night.
Soft lenses rest on the white part of the eye, the sclera. Because they do not rest on the cornea, they are very comfortable to wear immediately. Soft lenses require less cleaning and care than RGP’s and can even be thrown away each day. Some types of soft contact lenses can be worn overnight. The soft lens drapes over the cornea, therefore it doesn’t create that crisp viewing surface. It doesn’t improve the optics of the cornea, so the vision is not quite as crisp as with an RGP lens and, in some instances, even glasses. Soft lenses require water to stay soft. Soft lenses become more difficult to wear if you suffer with dry eye.
Scleral lenses rest on the sclera, not the cornea, so are very comfortable. Also, because they are made with an RGP material, the optics are crisp.
Initially, scleral lenses were used in more specialty contact lens indications including: dry eye, keratoconus, corneal scars, post-surgical corneas, or any medical cause making conventional contact lenses ineffective.
Now, we’re finding that they work well for most people who have been unsuccessful with contact lens wear, regardless of the reason. The larger size provides the excellent comfort of a soft lens, and the rigid material improves visual clarity.
The insertion and removal of these lenses is different from either a soft or rigid lens, so one must learn how to put them in and remove.
Scleral lenses require cleaning each day, and sterile preservative free saline solution must be used to fill the lens with each insertion.
The lens requires more follow up visits, as it is more difficult to fit than either RGP lenses or soft. The lens must fit and center well, but not be too tight.
Because of the increased difficulty of the fitting and special materials needed to make the lens, the fitting and the lenses are more expensive than RGP or soft contact lenses.
Looking for glasses lenses instead of contacts? Check out our Lens Technology page.