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 of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.
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.
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.
Keratoconus: This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.
Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 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.
Hybrid contact lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from Keratoconus. A hybrid contact lens has a gas permeable center and a soft skirt. The gas permeable center vaults the cone-shaped cornea to provide better optics while the soft skirt allows for good centration of the lens as well as better comfort than a lens that is soley a gas permeable lens.
Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align properly, toric lenses must not rotate in order to fit provide good optics. This type of lens takes costs slightly more than a traditional contact lens. Hybrid lenses are also a good option for large amounts of astigmatism or for those unable to achieve good vision with a soft toric lens.
Multifocal contact lenses are available for presbyopic patients to allow for near and distance correction in both eyes. 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.
Artificial tears 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 must be done in some extreme cases. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. They flush out protein deposits and reduce inflammation. Additionally, new materials, such as the water-gradient material found allows patients with dry eyes to wear contact lenses comfortably