Contact lenses are a common correction for simple vision problems. Soft disposables are the main stay for these problems. Sometimes, however, these common lenses do not solve the problem and people cannot tolerate the lenses or cannot see correctly while wearing these lenses. These patients will need “specialty contacts”.
There is no one in the Delaware Valley with more experience and lens options for specialty contacts than Great Valley Eye Associates. The doctors fit the most complex of problems and teach optometry students and ophthalmology residents at Wills Eye Hospital and for rotating students from Salus University and Western University of the Health Sciences. Dr. Scott Edmonds, senior partner at Edmonds Eye Associates is a member of the Advisory Board for the GP lens Institute, the International organization of specialty contact lenses fitters.
The following are the broad categories of problems that require specialty contact lenses:
- Refractive Problems: Patients with out of round eyes called, “astigmatism”, or older eyes known as ”presbyopia”, often have problems with simple contact lenses. Although the solution for these problems may be a disposable contact lens, the proper combination of optical properties may require a fitter with advanced experience.
- Minor Ocular Pathology: There are many pathological eye problems that can do not rule out the use of contact lenses but can make the successful wear more of a challenge. These problems include, dry eye, corneal dystrophy, blepharitis, and cataracts. Patients that use glaucoma drops may also have to have a specialized contact lens program.
- Orthokeratology: The use of contact lenses to re-shape the cornea during sleep is great new application of rigid lenses. These lenses require a specialized fit and follow up to reach success.
- Contact Lenses for Myopia Control: Orthokeratology: as noted above, is one of the leading strategies to control the increase in myopia for young patients between the ages of 7 and 17. Adjusting the refractive correction with contact lenses can affect the growth and anatomical development of the growing eye. Your doctor can also use special soft contact lenses that are worn in the day time as well as number of other options to affect the ultimate refractive error of the eye.
- Corneal Pathology: Keratoconus, Irregular Astigmatism, corneal scarring, failed refractive surgery procedures and eyes after corneal transplantation are the most common reasons for the use of specialty contact lenses. The lenses used for these applications include, the X-Cone, Surgi-Lens, NovaKone, Synergeyes, Versa, Zen, and Jupiter. The doctors at Edmonds Eye Associates have participated in the development of several of these and use them along with number of other options to provide the best combination of vision and comfort for the long term.
- Pediatric Eye Problems: Children and even babies can have problems such as Aphakia, Anisometropia, of high refractive error and require a contact lens for the eye and visual system to grow and develop normally. The Edmonds practice at Will Eye Hospital started this phase of the contact lens service in the early 1980’s and were the co-authors of the land mark paper that demonstrated the early intervention with aggressive contact lens management allowed for better visual outcomes. Since then, the doctors have fit thousands of young patients with these problems and developed this unique expertise.