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Nearsightedness (Myopia Control) & Specialty Contact Lenses

Specialty Contact Lenses

What is a “specialty contact lens”?
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Specialty designs encompass one or more of the following features or combinations that set them apart from more ordinary “off the shelf lenses”:

  • highest prescription availability with or without astigmatism – for both normal and irregular corneas and in both soft and rigid designs,

  • customized optical platforms for multifocals and bifocals,

  • novel materials for optimum comfort,

  • state of the art optics and materials providing corneal and visual rehabilitation such as Scleral Contact Lenses, Myopia Control Lenses, and Orthokeratology (Corneal Reshaping) Lenses.


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What is a multifocal (progressive) or bifocal contact lens?

Multifocal or bifocal contact lenses are indicated for patients who have different prescription requirements for distance, intermediate and near viewing. This may be due to the eyes’ natural aging process (loss of accommodation) or due to other conditions which affect the eyes’ focusing mechanism. Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses are also used for myopia control. Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses are available in both rigid and soft lens designs.

Do multifocal/bifocal contact lenses work the same as multifocal/progressive eyeglasses?

While “no-line” progressive glasses have a distribution of power from the top to the bottom, most contact lenses have a power distribution that is concentric. Contact lenses move with the eye, rather than the eyes moving to seek the clear zone. Clarity of vision with contact lenses is achieved through a neuro-adaptive process where the brain selects the image being focused. This occurs after a short period of adaptation to the contact lenses.

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What is Orthokeratology (Corneal Reshaping)?

Orthokeratology is a process of fitting custom designed rigid lenses for overnight wear. These lenses gently reshape the corneal while you are asleep. The lenses are then removed upon awakening. Clear vision is then enjoyed through the day without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Who is a candidate for Orthokeratology?

The best candidates are those between the ages of 6 and 35 with nearsighted prescriptions up to -4.00D and less than 2D of astigmatism. Both children and adults can benefit from this non-surgical, reversible alternative to laser surgery.

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What is myopia control?

Myopia control is the process of fitting custom designed soft lenses for daytime wear or rigid lenses for overnight wear for correcting nearsightedness (myopia) and attempting to prevent its progression.

Can myopia be cured?

There is currently no known cure or guaranteed preventative treatment for nearsightedness (myopia). There are, however, numerous retrospective and prospective studies in addition to long standing clinical anecdotal evidence that supports the role of several targeted therapies in helping to prevent myopia progression. These include rigid and soft lens designs as well as pharmaceutical eyedrop therapy.

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The 3 ways to treat myopia are:

  • Atropine eye drops

  • Ortho-K

  • Soft multifocal lenses

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Who can benefit from Myopia Control Contact Lenses?

These lenses are best suited for children newly diagnosed or previously diagnosed and who are showing prescription increases on an annual or more frequent basis.

There are both soft lens and rigid lens designs for Myopia Control: Which is better?

The choice between the two modalities is made after a thorough examination of your child’s vision and lifestyle needs. It is also possible to combine the two approaches. After the initial consultation, a thorough review and discussion will occur with you, the parent, and your child to determine which is best for your child.

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What is a Scleral Contact Lens?

A Scleral Contact Lens is a lens made of highly breathable rigid plastic that rests over the cornea and tear film and is supported by the white portion (sclera) of the eye.

Who should be fit into a Scleral Contact Lens?

Scleral lenses are the newest technology for patients suffering from corneal irregularities. These irregularities may arise from a condition known as Keratoconus, or may be the result of trauma or prior surgery. Scleral lenses are also used therapeutically for patients suffering from advanced ocular surface disease such as extreme dry eye or Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Scleral lenses, due to their versatility, may also be used for patients without medical indications for the correction of high astigmatism or presbyopia.

What are the benefits of Scleral Contact Lenses?

Scleral lenses are extremely comfortable. They provide exceptional and consistent vision since they do not move on the eye. They also prevent foreign matter from becoming trapped underneath, unlike smaller rigid lenses. Scleral lenses may help to control for dry eye symptoms as they do not lose moisture to the environment.

What is involved in the fitting procedure for Scleral Lenses and how long does each pair last?

The fitting procedure involves analyzing the surface of the eye with a corneal topographer and conduction a diagnostic evaluation with trial lenses on the eye. The consultation and fitting visit combined typically lasts around 2 hours. Customized lenses are then ordered. After dispensing, design changes may take place through the follow-up period of about three months. The fees for Scleral Lens fitting cover the consultation, diagnostic evaluation, lens exchanges for the fitting period (up to 3 months) and follow-up care lasting 6 months. We continue to monitor your progress every 4 to six months thereafter. Lens replacements are indicated if a lens is lost or damaged or otherwise, approximately every 2 years.

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Myopia evaluations are recommended for all children. To determine if Myopia control is an option, please schedule a consultation with one of our doctors.

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Seeing is Vital to the Quality of your Life

Eyes are important indicators of overall health, and comprehensive eye care goes beyond a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. At Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, we take the time to get to know you, your eye care history, and your vision needs. Our optometrist(s) provide the expert care, advice, options, and follow up you need whether you are a new patient or an existing one.