Contact Lenses

The staff of Bell Family Eye Care welcomes you to our practice. We look forward to working with you to meet your goals and make your experience a positive one. Contact lenses are an excellent alternative to glasses and refractive surgery. Today's advanced technology allows millions of patients to wear contact lenses comfortably and affordably, achieving sharp vision without compromising eye health. We offer a wide variety of contact lenses, such as soft contact lenses, frequent replacement soft contact lenses, lenses for astigmatism, and rigid gas-permeable contact lenses. Special therapeutic, bifocal, and cosmetic contact lenses are also available. Our staff is experienced in fitting and managing patients with specialized contact lens needs, such as patients with keratoconus or corneal transplants.

CONTACT LENS BASIC FACTS

A. What are contact lenses?
A contact lens is a medical device. Because the lens makes contact with the eye, a precise fit is necessary. A thorough evaluation and fitting is needed to insure a healthy contact lens fit.

B. What are the advantages and disadvantages of contact lenses?
In general, contact lenses provide the following advantages Good peripheral (side) vision. Excellent for active lifestyles. Do not steam or fog up. Changes one's appearance. Some disadvantages may include More daily care than eyeglasses. Some types require a short adaptation period. Potential for eye infections if not worn or cleaned properly.

C. How am I fitted for contact lenses?
You will start with a comprehensive eye examination. The doctor will examine your eyes to determine if you are a candidate for contact lenses and then discuss your options. The fitting then commences with additional tests to design an initial trial pair of contact lenses. Successful contact lens wear depends on healthy eyes, a proper fit, and a patient's compliance with the prescribed wearing schedule and care system.

D. How much do contact lenses cost?
The cost of contact lenses depends on the type of contact lens and how frequently you replace them. There are two fees associated with contact lenses: A fitting fee and a material fee. The fitting fee is for services provided and includes training and all follow-up visits up to 3 months after the prescription is finalized. The material fee is for the supply of contact lenses. A written contact lens prescription can be given only after the fitting process is complete. We purchase contact lenses directly from the manufacturers and pass the savings along to you. For your convenience, contact lenses can be delivered directly to your home or office.

E. What if I find that contact lenses are not right for me?
Our caring staff will do all it can to help you wear contact lenses successfully. We will teach you how to care for your lenses and how to insert and remove them properly. Fitting fees are non-refundable.

F. How often do I need to see the doctor?
Once you have been fitted with your new contact lenses, you will need to return for follow-up care on a regular basis as prescribed by the doctor. In general, annual follow-ups are required to renew contact lens prescriptions.

G. Can there be complications from contact lens wear?
Contact lenses are quite safe, when fit properly and taken care of properly. However, complications can occur. To minimize that risk, an annual examination is necessary to catch and prevent potential complications resulting from lens wear.

H. Common misconceptions about contact lenses
All soft contact lenses are alike. There are a multitude of different soft contact lenses available. The lenses differ in material, diameter, curvature, and other parameters. Contact lenses are medical devices prescribed for your individual eye. Disposable contact lenses can be worn until they feel uncomfortable. Disposable contact lenses should be replaced as prescribed. By replacing lenses, contact lens deposits are reduced. This in turn, decreases the incidence of serious eye infections and inflammatory reactions.

WHAT TO EXPECT

A fitting for contact lenses is a process. You will be seen for several visits to complete the process. These include:
The initial fitting
Lens dispensing with insertion and removal training

CONTACT LENS BASIC FACTS

A. Soft Lenses vs. Rigid Gas Permeable
Soft contact lenses are also known as hydrogel or hydrophillic lenses. These lenses are very flexible and are often the most comfortable lens to be worn initially. While very safe to use, these lenses are often disposable to decrease risks of complications, such as infection. Rigid gas permeable contacts are stiffer lenses and require an adaptation period for best comfort. For some prescriptions, these lenses offer crisper vision and excellent oxygen permeability.

B. Daily Wear vs. Extended Wear
Daily wear contact lenses are worn during the day and are removed at night for cleaning and disinfection. This is typically the healthiest mode of contact lens wear. Extended wear contact lenses can be worn for prolonged periods of time or while sleeping. Typically, prolonged wear of contacts or sleeping in contacts reduces the amount of oxygen and tears that reach the cornea. This can result in eye infections, swelling, and abnormal vessel growth.

C. Contact Lens Wearing Styles
Conventional contact lenses are lenses that only need to be replaced every 8-12 months. These lenses are frequently selected for difficult prescriptions. They need to be meticulously cleaned and disinfected daily. Planned replacement contact lenses are replaced on a planned schedule that can be anywhere from once a week to every 6 months. These lenses need to be removed and disinfected each day prior to sleeping. Disposable contact lenses are thrown away after each use. Although lenses that are thrown away after 2 weeks or 1 month are often referred to as 'disposable' lenses, a true disposable lens is only kept for one day. These lenses significantly decrease the chances of contamination by bacteria or other dangerous microbes. Additionally, these lenses are exceptionally convenient for occasional use or for people with active lives.

D. Specialty Contact Lenses
Research in contact lens use for specific eye conditions has been extensive over the years. New technology has resulted in the development of advanced types of lenses, addressing many visual problems. Our doctors are able to assess and prescribe contact lenses from all the specialty areas listed below. a) Contact Lenses for Astigmatism b) Bifocal Contact Lenses c) Color Enhancing Contact Lenses d) Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes e) Post-Surgical and Post-Trauma Contact Lenses f) Specialty Lenses for Keratoconus and Corneal Irregularities

BEFORE YOU ARRIVE

A. Current or Previous Contact Lens Users
Bring to the Exam:
Your contact lenses.
Your glasses.
Your most recent eyeglass prescription.
Your most recent contact lens prescription (including brand name, base curve, diameter, power) or any vials/boxes that came with your lenses.
A copy of your most recent eye examination (if available); a general eye examination needs to have been performed within the past 2 years.
Please wear your contact lenses to the exam.

B. If You Have Never Worn Contact Lenses
Bring to the Exam:
Your glasses.
Your most recent eyeglass prescription.
A copy of your most recent eye examination (if available). A general eye examination needs to have been performed within the past 2 years.