Specialty vs. Regular Contact Lenses

For many individuals with vision problems, contact lenses are a preferred solution over glasses. They offer freedom from the limitations of frames, and they don't fog up or get wet in the rain. They can also provide a more natural field of vision than glasses. However, choosing the right contact lenses can be a bit of a challenge, especially with the array of choices available in the market today. Two popular types of contact lenses are regular and specialty contact lenses.



Understanding Regular Contact Lenses


Regular contact lenses, also known as standard contact lenses, are the most common type of contact lenses worn by individuals worldwide. They are designed to correct common vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Regular contact lenses are soft lenses made from hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material, which allows oxygen to pass through to the cornea, ensuring comfort and eye health.


These lenses come in different replacement schedules, including daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. Daily disposable lenses are a popular choice for their convenience and hygiene benefits as they are thrown away at the end of the day, reducing the risk of infection. On the other hand, weekly and monthly disposables require proper cleaning and storage to maintain their condition and prevent build-up of harmful bacteria.


Regular contact lenses are usually spherical in design, meaning they have the same lens power throughout the entire optical part of the lens. This design works well for most people, but for individuals with certain eye conditions, a more customized lens shape may be required, which is where specialty contact lenses come into the picture.



What are Specialty Contact Lenses?


Specialty contact lenses are customized lenses designed to accommodate unique eye conditions and vision needs that regular contact lenses cannot address. These include conditions such as severe astigmatism, keratoconus, post-LASIK or other surgical complications, and severe dry eyes.


The types of specialty contact lenses include toric lenses for astigmatism, bifocal and multifocal lenses for presbyopia, and scleral lenses for keratoconus or other corneal irregularities. These lenses are often made from a rigid, gas permeable material, which may require a longer adaptation period but offers excellent vision correction.


Specialty lenses require a more thorough fitting process than regular lenses. They are typically designed and manufactured based on the specific measurements of your eyes, ensuring a perfect fit and comfortable wear. While they may be more expensive than regular lenses, they can dramatically improve vision and quality of life for those with complex vision needs.



Specialty Contact Lenses vs. Regular Contact Lenses


When comparing specialty contact lenses vs. regular contact lenses, there are several key differences to consider beyond their intended use. One of the primary differences lies in their design and material. Regular lenses are typically soft and flexible, offering a comfortable fit right from the start, while specialty lenses are often rigid and require some time to adapt.


Another difference is in the fitting process. Regular lenses come in standard sizes and powers and can be fitted quickly in an eye doctor's office. In contrast, specialty lenses often require a more thorough fitting process that may involve multiple visits to ensure a perfect fit.


Additionally, specialty lenses can provide a viable solution for individuals who have not experienced successful vision corrections with regular lenses. They can also be a game-changer for those who have been told they can't wear contact lenses due to their unique eye conditions.


Lastly, the cost can also be a significant differentiating factor. Regular contact lenses are generally more affordable than specialty lenses. However, the latter can be a worthwhile investment for individuals who require a high degree of customization to correct their vision problems.



Making the Right Choice for Your Eyes


The best way to determine the right contact lenses for you is to consult with an eye doctor. You optometrist can evaluate your vision, assess your eye health, and guide you in making the most suitable choice.


For more information on specialty vs. regular contact lenses, visit Optique Vision at our Albany, New York office. We believe in the importance of delivering the highest quality optometry services in a family environment. Call (518) 302-2106 to schedule an appointment today.

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