Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult proposition. However, it does not rule out wearing contact lenses altogether. It just means patients need to discuss options with their eye care provider and obtain specialized hard to fit contacts for their specific vision problems.
Reasons for Hard to Fit Contacts
Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:
- High astigmatism
- Dry eyes
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
Astigmatism: Astigmatism is a common disorder caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens. If left uncorrected, it results in blurred vision at all distances. Astigmatism is corrected with glasses or with contact lenses that are weighted to provide proper alignment of the prescription.
Dry Eyes: The tears your eyes produce are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Dry eyes indicates that your eyes do not produce enough tears or that you produce tears that do not have the proper chemical composition. Dry eye is more common as we age. It can also be caused by eyelid problems, medications, a dry climate, wind, dust and general health problems like arthritis or Sjogren's Syndrome. When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these symptoms.
GPC: This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse. The symptoms can include itching, mucous discharge, contact lens intolerance, and/or excessive contact lens movement. Often patients with this condition benefit from changing to daily replacement contact lenses.
Keratoconus: Keratoconus occurs when the cornea becomes structurally weakened and loses it's shape. Instead of a dome, it becomes cone-shaped, prohibiting clear vision. In mild cases, glasses or soft contact lenses can be utilized to correct vision. In more severe cases, a rigid gas permeable lens is required to deliver crisp vision.
Presbyopia: Presbyopia is an aging condition where the lens of the eye loses its ability to focus. It is a normal process that everyone eventually experiences. It typically occurs to people who are 40 or older.
Solutions for Hard to Fit Contacts
Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. You do need to meet with an eye care professional, however, and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition.
Gas permeable (GP) lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from Keratoconus. It is effective in containing corneal bulging and relieving pressure on the tissue for a Keratoconus sufferer.
Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the curve it is correcting, toric lenses are weighted so that they do not rotate. Small to moderate amounts of astigmatism can be easily corrected by toric lenses. Higher amounts of astigmatism need lenses that are custom made and for that reason, often take longer to make and costs more than a traditional contact lens.
Multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia by correcting for both distance and reading vision. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. In monovision lenses one eye is set to correct distance, while the other lens is set to correct reading vision.