Specialty Contact Lenses

Specialty Contact Lenses

One of the significant steps towards vision correction happened in the late 1800s when the contact lens was invented. Since then, the design of the contact lens has undergone significant changes. The contact lenses we have today are designed to cater to various eye conditions, including those not responding to standard treatments. These highly advanced lenses are known as specialty contact lenses.

Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses are the most popular type of specialty contact lens designed for vision correction. They belong to the rigid gas-permeable lens family, but their design differs. Unlike regular contacts on the corneal surface, they sit on the white of the eye, around the cornea. They can correct common refractive errors but are more helpful in specialized conditions.


Keratoconus is a condition where the cornea's surface is irregularly shaped, making it difficult to fit regular contacts. To get good-fitting contact lenses, the eye doctor must measure the curvature of your cornea and then create a lens to match it.

Scleral lenses, unlike regular lenses, do not require the curvature of the cornea to fit; they lie on the sclera. Their vaulting over the cornea provides a smooth surface for light refraction that helps with vision correction.

Dry Eye Patients

Patients with dry eye syndrome usually have an issue with using contacts because their eyes dry out and become uncomfortable. Using contacts with dry eye can lead to corneal abrasions or severe discomfort.

Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and collect a dam of tears between the lens and the cornea. This dam helps keep your eye surface lubricated and your vision clear throughout the day.

SynergEyes Hybrid Lenses

SynergEyes® hybrid lenses are an advancement to the structure of the contact lens. They combine the comfort of soft contact lenses with the crisp vision of RGP lenses. The lenses treat patients with keratoconus, astigmatism, presbyopia, and laser surgery postsurgical care.

However, the lenses had a notable drawback: It provides little oxygen to the cornea due to the thicker soft lens skirt. To address this, the UltraHealth® hybrid version of the SynergEyes hybrid lenses uses a silicon skirt with high oxygen permeability.

Color Contacts

Colored contacts are often considered fun and decorative, which they are, but this makes them seem like “toys.” However, the lenses are considered medical devices by the FDA because they require professional fitting. Using cosmetic or decorative lenses without proper fitting can lead to eye damage that may impact your vision.

Multifocal Lenses

Multifocal lenses are a marvel of ophthalmology as the designers managed to fit multiple strengths within a single lens. Before multifocal lenses, you would have to settle for lenses with three individual strengths—near, intermediate, and far.

While not as complex as multifocal lenses, bifocals combine two strengths within the same lens. The lenses are ideal for patients with presbyopia since the patients struggle with close-up vision.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam, contact Vision Care Optometry in Elk Grove, California at (916) 512-1600.

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