Dr. Michael Behforouz
As featured in
"Best of 2011"
Standard contact lenses are fit according to the curvature of the front surface of the eye, which is called the cornea. In most patients, the corneal curvature is normal, or essentially spherical, and easily corrected with standard eyeglasses or contact lenses.
However, there is a population of patients who have irregular corneas that are not able to obtain clear vision through these routine methods. These patients need to be fit into specialty contact lenses that are designed to compensate for their unique corneal curvature. Patients that can benefit from these contact lenses include those with keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, and any patient who has had corneal surgery (refractive surgery, corneal transplants, etc.).
With keratoconus and pellucid marginal degeneration patients, the goal of specialty contact lenses is not only to provide optimum vision, but also to slow the progression of the disease over time. Specialty contact lenses that are fit at Center for Sight include rigid gas permeable lenses of all diameters and curvatures as well as ClearKone hybrid lenses, which have a gas permeable center with a soft skirt.
RGP – or, rigid gas permeable contact lenses offer several significant benefits. RGP contact lenses are constructed with firm plastic material and retain their shape when the wearer blinks. This more rigid construct tends to provide sharper vision than more pliable soft lenses and helps to mask irregularity on the surface of the eye. The initials “GP” in the nomenclature stands for “gas permeable”. Although these are made from rigid and durable plastics, these lenses are designed to transmit maximal oxygen to the eye. Unlike standard soft lenses, RGP lenses take some getting used to and require regular periods of wear for users to get fully acclimated and comfortable. Patients are normally able to fully adapt to the gas permeable lenses in one to two weeks.
RGP contact lenses can be the solution for other, more routine situations as well. Specifically, for patients who don’t feel they are obtaining acceptable vision with soft contact lenses. These types of patients include:
Rigid gas permeable lenses require slightly different care than standard soft lenses. They are cleaned nightly and soaked in conditioning solution. With proper care, one set of RGP lenses can last a patient several years.
At Center for Sight, we have ample experience with both specialty and routine contact lens fitting. Whether the patient has normal or irregular corneas, we are able to work with the patient to find a solution to fit their unique visual needs. In addition to fitting for ideal distance vision, we also routinely fit patients into bifocal contact lenses or monovision lenses (one eye for distance, one for near).
3985 W. 106th St., Ste. 120, Carmel, IN 46032