Contact Lens Fitting
Just like eyeglasses, the primary purpose of contact lenses is to correct common vision problems. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (blurred vision caused by changes in the shape of the eye) and presbyopia (visual problems resulting from aging rigid lenses) are some of the conditions that require the use of visual aid devices. For many, contacts are a preferable alternative to glasses, allowing more freedom than glasses can provide. However, people with Keratoconus (degeneration of the structure of the cornea) are unable to wear typical contact lenses due to an irregular shape of the eye. This asymmetry is caused by a thinning of the cornea that forces the eye to bulge forward and blur vision. For most patients living with Keratoconus, fitted rigid gas-permeable contact lenses are the best solution.
The process of fitting rigid gas-permeable contact lenses is a fairly simple two part process. First the patient will schedule a consultation to make sure fitted contacts are the best way to proceed. If the doctor and the patient agree, then the patient will be scheduled for the actual fitting. During the fitting, the doctor first measures the eye’s surface. The measurement taken reflects the ocular surface quality, tear film, the corneal curvature, eye structure and the refractive data necessary to fit the lenses correctly. When everything is complete, the doctor will prescribe the appropriate lens prescriptions and schedule any necessary follow-up visits.
With hard lenses, like the rigid gas-permeable lens, there is a longer adjustment period than with soft contact lenses. Patients should allow 2 to 4 weeks for the eye to adjust and become completely comfortable. However, once the eye becomes accustomed to the new lens there shouldn’t be any problems. Some RGP lenses can even be worn overnight and as long as a week without changing them.