Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person suffering 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:
- Dry eyes
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
Astigmatism: Astigmatism develops when the front surface of the eye or the lens, inside the eye, is curved differently in one direction than the other. This causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular (spherical) contacts cannot account for the astigmatism.
Dry Eyes: When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye. Daily disposable contacts are a great option for patient's experiencing dry eyes.
GPC: This is a form of conjunctivitis caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse. Daily disposable contacts are helpful to patients experiencing this condition.
Keratoconus: This is a condition that causes blurred vision when wearing glasses or soft contact lenses. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease where the cornea becomes thinner and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. RGP (rigid gas permeable) or other specialty contacts are available in order for these patients to maintain good vision.
Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It is a natural part of the aging process.
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 lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from significant astigmatism or Keratoconus. A RGP lens is effective in masking the underlying irregular cornea and functions as the new refractive surface of the eye. RGP contact lenses are custom fitted to an individual's eyes with assistance from a "color map" that depicts the topography of the cornea.
Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the astigmatism it is correcting, toric lenses must not rotate. These contacts are typically custom made to correct a specific amount and type of astigmatism. For that reason, these type of contacts takes longer to make and cost more than traditional spherical contact lenses.
Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.
Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable, although a punctual occlusion also can be done to plug the ducts in some extreme cases. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops or punctal occlusion.