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SPECIALTY CONTACTS

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SPECIALTY AND CUSTOMIZABLE CONTACT LENSES IN EDMONTON

Specialty contact lenses are custom-fit contact lenses that are typically used for "hard-to-fit" eyes. They require a high level of expertise and training from the eye doctor to fit and design, as well as specialized equipment to ensure a proper fit. Specialty contact lenses are especially beneficial for individuals with complex vision needs, such as those with irregular corneas or high levels of astigmatism. These lenses can provide improved comfort and vision quality compared to traditional spectacle lenses or regular soft contact lenses. It's important to consult with an eye care professional to determine if specialty contact lenses are the right option for your specific eye care needs.

WHO ARE SPECIALTY CONTACT LENSES FOR?

Specialty contact lenses can be a suitable option for those seeking an alternative to glasses.  When properly fitted, these lenses offer several advantages over traditional soft contact lenses. For certain conditions however, specialty contact lenses may be the ONLY viable option. These conditions include Keratoconus, Corneal Transplants, complications following refractive surgery (such as ectasia or irregular astigmatism), Corneal Scarring, Ocular Trauma, Moderate/Severe Dry Eye Disease, Naturally Irregular Corneas, Pediatric Conditions, and Contact Lens Intolerance/Discomfort.

It is important to work with a qualified eye care professional to determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs.

SCLERAL LENSES

Scleral lenses are rigid contact lenses with a large diameter that cover the entire cornea and rest on the white part of the eye (sclera). This design provides exceptional vision and comfort for patients. Dr. Natalie Chai specifically recommends scleral lenses for individuals with keratoconus and other corneal irregularities, as they can effectively correct vision problems and reduce discomfort. Due to their unique design, scleral lenses can also help protect the cornea and promote healing in some cases. It's important to consult with an experienced eye care professional to determine if scleral lenses are the right option for your specific needs.

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HYBRID LENSES

Hybrid contact lenses were developed as an alternative to traditional rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, which can be uncomfortable. These lenses feature a GP center for clear vision, along with a soft lens "skirt" for added comfort. This combination of materials offers the best of both worlds and has made hybrid lenses a popular choice for patients who may be hesitant to try traditional RGP lenses due to discomfort. Hybrid lenses are a great option for vision correction for both normal and irregular corneas. They provide excellent visual acuity and can improve overall comfort compared to other rigid contact lens options. It's important to work with an experienced eye care professional to determine if hybrid lenses are the right fit for your specific needs.

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ORTHOKERATOLOGY (ORTHOK)

Orthokeratology lenses are primarily used for myopia management, as they are designed to gently reshape the cornea while the wearer sleeps. These specially designed hard lenses incorporate a reverse geometry design and can help slow down the progression of myopia. The added bonus is that children can be free from glasses and contact lenses during the day. Orthokeratology is also an excellent option for individuals who are apprehensive about undergoing permanent refractive surgery or who face financial barriers to surgery. Orthok provides similar results to refractive surgery but is a safe, reversible treatment at a fraction of the cost. However, it's essential to note that orthok is not used for myopia management in adults.

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RIGID GAS PERMEABLE (RGP) LENSES

Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses are made of silicone-containing compounds and are typically harder than soft contact lenses. Though not as common as soft lenses, there are some patients, known as “legacy” patients, who have only worn RGP lenses and require ongoing care to maintain them. RGP lenses offer several advantages over soft lenses. They allow for a high percentage of oxygen permeability, promoting excellent eye health. This material also helps to maintain the shape of the lens, resulting in sharper visual acuity. Furthermore, RGP lenses are more durable and resistant to tears than soft lenses, and they are generally easier to keep clean and maintain. While RGP lenses may not be as popular as soft lenses, they can be a great option for certain individuals. It's important to consult with an experienced eye care professional to determine if RGP lenses are the right choice for your specific needs.

Contact Lenses
Optical Glasses

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Myopia (Nearsightedness)
    This refractive error makes it difficult seeing distant objects, but can see objects that are nearby. The reason is generally because the length of the eye is too long and the focal point of light rays lands in front of the retina making objects appear blurry. This can be corrected optically using prescription spectacles and contact lenses. Myopia is becoming a genuine public health concern globally as by 2050, it is estimated that 50% of the world's population will have some form of myopia. As an individual's myopia increases, it places them at a higher risk to develop potentially blinding conditions in their adulthood such as retinal detachment, maculopathy, and early cataract formation. We are now living in an era where there are many different options to address this pandemic that manages the progression of myopia in our children. Trifecta Optometry is proud to be a clinic that recognizes this disease and places high value in managing it for our patients. Click here to learn more about Myopia Management
  • Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
    Simply, it is theoretically the opposite to myopia. One has the ability to see objects in the distance, however can struggle to read at near. Depending on how high the prescription is, one may be functional unaided, while others may require prescription spectacles part time typically with near work, and others may need them full time for all distances. In this case, the length of the eye is generally too short and the focal point of light rays lands behind the retina making objects appear blurry.
  • Astigmatism
    This is a common vision condition that can contribute to blurry vision. However rather than experiencing blurriness at one distance, it is usually at every distance. Most astigmatism originates from an irregular corneal shape causing light to be dispersed in multiple directions causing the visual obscuration. In other scenarios, the astigmatism can come from the lens of the eye as well. It can be corrected by prescription spectacles and contact lenses.
  • Presbyopia
    This is a natural effect of aging, usually occurring after the age of 40. This is a phenomenon in which the ability to focus on close objects decreases over time and can occur simultaneously and in addition to one's existing refractive error. Left uncorrected, it can cause difficulty with intermediate and near work requiring more light and at times can cause headaches. The need for reading glasses or bifocals and progressive lenses will be necessary to correct.
  • Cataracts
    As we age, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. The process is typically gradual and one may be asymptomatic initially, however as they continue to progress, there are many symptoms that can affect the quality of vision. This can include: Blurry or foggy vision Difficulty with night time driving Difficulty with near vision Increased halos, glare, starburst around lights Fading colours Early signs generally start at the age of 60 and once it becomes visually significant, surgical removal will be necessary with the replacement of an implantable intraocular lens.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
    In individuals with uncontrolled blood sugar levels, it can cause changes to the tissues of the eye. Many changes can occur including the development of new blood vessels, white blood cells, swelling and leakage of fluid in the retina only to name a few. These episodes can cause immediate to long term changes to vision including: Spots or floaters in vision Distortion around objects Decreased vision Darkened areas of vision
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
    This is the leading cause of vision loss among the older population. The macula, the portion of the eye responsible for clear central vision, undergoes a slow deterioration of the tissue as the disease progresses. This causes the central part of the vision to blur and/or distort while sparing your peripheral vision. Some of the early symptoms may include: Blurry and decreased central vision Straights lines may seem bent and distorted Difficulty seeing fine details
  • Glaucoma
    Glaucoma is also known as the "silent killer of sight". It is a disease that starts with almost no symptoms for the individual; once it becomes noticeable, a considerable amount of damage has already been done. Glaucoma is a disease that causes the gradual thinning of the thickness of the tissues of the optic nerve head. At times, high intraocular eye pressure may be associated with the disease however a majority of the time, it is not the case. There are also numerous subtypes of glaucoma as well. Eventually in the disease's end stage, it causes significant peripheral vision loss eventually into tunnel vision. Some symptoms may include: Perception of becoming more clumsy Difficulty shoulder checking when driving Eye pain Redness Headache
  • Dry Eye Disease
    Living in one of the dryest major cities in Canada, Edmonton's environment certainly contributes to the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. It is simply more than the eye not producing enough tears - in fact, that is typically not the reason for the majority of individuals suffering from Dry Eye. Dry Eye Disease is a multifactorial disease that starts gradually and can compound to the point of causing a negative impact to someone's day-to-day activities. Some of the symptoms can include: Foreign body sensation in the eye Constant red eyes Burning or stinging eyes Itchy eyes Sensitivity to light Fluctuation in vision
  • Keratoconus
    In keratoconus, the cornea begins to thin and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape. This can cause blurry and distorted vision. It generally begins at puberty and progresses into the mid-30s. It typically affects both eyes, with one eye being more severely affected than the other. In the early to mild stages, it can be corrected optically with prescription spectacles and contact lenses, however in the moderate to severe stages, more aggressive treatments may require surgical intervention. As with many eye conditions, early detection is key.
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