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Why Choose an Optometrist who Specializes in Contacts vs Ophthalmologists

Gril with dark-colored eyes, brown hairYou need new contact lenses or maybe you’re just trying them out for the first time. How do you know who to turn to for the best advice and the right fit?

At The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, we specialize in contact lenses, especially for patients who may have difficulty wearing them due to eye disease, high refractive errors, misshapen corneas, and more.

Differences In Eyecare Professionals

Before knowing where to turn, it’s important to understand the difference in eye care professionals.

What Is An Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who is licensed to practice medicine and perform vision-related surgical procedures. They receive years of advanced medical training to diagnose eye diseases and provide treatments, conduct scientific research on vision disorders, and prescribe medications for their patients.

Ophthalmologists could fit patients with eyeglasses and contacts, but often they refer to an optometrist on their team to correct patients’ refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, or presbyopia (farsightedness due to aging). Often, optometrists are the ones who screen patients for LASIK candidacy and will work alongside LASIK surgeons to coordinate the surgery.

What Is An Optometrist?

An optometrist is a healthcare professional who is licensed to provide vision care. This typically involves eye exams, vision tests, and diagnoses of eye diseases and conditions. Optometrists specialize in fitting patients with glasses or contacts for common refractive errors, while ophthalmologists focus on their areas of expertise

Why Choose An Optometrist?

Happy girl with fingers near eyesWhile an ophthalmologist is ideal for the treatment of severe eye diseases, vision disorders, and eye surgery, an optometrist is ideal for contact lenses. That’s because general vision care is the primary service that they offer their patients.

Think of your optometrist like a primary care physician for your eyes. When you need an eye checkup, if you notice your vision changing, or if your child isn’t seeing the board clearly in school, that’s when you visit the optometrist.

Getting The Right Fit

Contact lens fittings are one of the most common eye care-related services. In fact, the CDC (The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, which means there are a lot of people getting fitted for contacts.

Whether you’re a first-time lens wearer or you’ve recently had a prescription change, it’s essential to ensure proper fit. Improper fitted lenses are not only uncomfortable, they can lead to vision problems, infections, or scarring. That’s where we come in.

First, Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick will perform a detailed eye exam to check your level of refractive error, and if you’re an existing patient, to see if your prescription has changed. The doctor will also check for any conditions that could interfere with contact lenses. The shape of your eye and personal lifestyle are also important factors. So if you spend more time outdoors or in more active environments, that may require a different lens type. The doctor will ensure the best fit for your eye and overall visual health.

Your optometrist will teach you how to put the lenses in and take them out, how to properly clean and store them, and other general care tips. Additional follow-up may be needed as we monitor the condition of your lenses and your prescription needs.

Little girl with blue eyes

Can My Child Wear Contacts?

Children can wear contact lenses, depending on their age and level of responsibility. Contacts may be a good solution for kids with vision problems, especially among the teen and tween set who tend to be more concerned over their appearance. Contacts are generally recommended for kids between the ages of 11-14, but it’s always recommended to speak with your eye doctor for any specific questions.

Let us know how we can help with your contact lens wear. Contact The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates for a consultation today.

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Scleral Lenses Help Even Dry Eyes!

woman applying eyedroppers, close upWhen it comes to having dry eyes, you’ve probably tried everything you can think of to get some relief. From artificial tears to medicated drops, and maybe even homeopathic remedies, nothing seems to give you long-term relief.

Until now.

Scleral lenses may just be the solution you’ve been looking for. At The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, we can help alleviate your dry eye pain with custom-made scleral lenses.

What Are Scleral Lenses?

Like standard soft contact lenses, scleral lenses sit on your eyeball and correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. But that’s where the similarities end.

Scleral lenses are made with rigid materials, giving them a smooth, round shape that stays in place. They feature a large diameter, covering the entire area of the sclera (the white part of the eye), but without touching the surface of the cornea. This unique design allows for an ultra-comfortable fit.

But what really sets them apart from other contact lenses is the built-in reservoir of artificial tears, which provides a constant source of lubrication to the eyes.

Common Symptoms of Dry Eyes

woman wiping her eyes with a tissueDry eyes cause a number of painful symptoms. The most common signs of dry eye include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Burning sensation
  • Gritty feeling
  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Soreness
  • Watery eyes

Scleral lenses are an excellent treatment option due their large shape, unique features, and customized fitting for each patient. Talk to Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick to see if scleral lenses can help with your dry eye.

Scleral Lenses Can Treat Dry Eye

A tiny pool of solution inside the scleral lens is located in the space between the back surface of the lens and the front area of the cornea. As the cornea is coated with these artificial tears, it remains moisturized for longer stretches of time than basic contact lenses. In fact, most of our patients can wear scleral lenses comfortably for up to 14 hours. This results in continuous relief for dry, irritated, and scratchy eyes.

Are Scleral Lenses Right for You?

So how do you know if scleral lenses are the right choice? First, think about what you’ve been using until now. Maybe you apply a cool compress to ease the soreness or burning sensation. It feels better for a little while, but then the symptoms return. Maybe you keep a small bottle of artificial tears in your purse or pocket and use them whenever your eyes feel gritty or dry, but you find that happening more and more often. Have you been told that you’re a ‘hard to fit’ patient? Then perhaps it’s time for something different and tailor-made for you.

Why Are Scleral Lenses Custom-Made?

Woman Putting in ContactNo two patients are alike, and neither are their corneas. Like a fingerprint, each person’s cornea has unique curves and contours, which are even more pronounced when someone has a misshapen cornea. That’s why Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick performs a specialized, custom-fitting, to ensure you receive the best fit for optimal visual clarity. Talk about a personalized experience!

Our scleral lens patients enjoy improved visual clarity, sharper focus, and relief for burning, red, and itchy eyes. If you’ve tried standard soft contact lenses or eye drops without any easing of your Dry Eye symptoms, it’s time to try something new. Say goodbye to Dry Eye pain and hello to long-lasting relief with scleral lenses.

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