Issaquah VisionIssaquah Vision
Contact Lenses

Our goal in contact lens fitting is to provide you with lenses that give you clear and comfortable vision, are safe, are easy to use and acquire. With the vast array of contact lenses on the market, who you select to obtain them does make a difference between reaching this goal and not.

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Contact Lens Types

Soft Lenses: Soft or hydrogel lenses are soft lenses that are made of water containing plastics. Hydrogel lens materials have varying degrees of oxygen permeability. Newer silicone hydrogel materials allow even more oxygen to pass through these lenses, reducing the risk for chronic oxygen deprivation of the cornea.

Soft contact lenses are larger than the diameter of the cornea, draping over the entire cornea that make these lenses more comfortable. They can be used to correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness or presbyopia (loss of ability to focus at near over 40 years of age). But, because these lenses conform to the surface of the cornea, they do not correct for corneal optical considerations such as astigmatism. In such cases, special soft lenses called toric lenses are used. The comfort and versatility of soft lenses enables us to fit them not only for conventional daily wear but also for extended wear, multifocal use, cosmetic color, and special purposes post-surgical, and more.

Silicon Hydrogel Soft Lenses: Silicon hydrogel soft lenses are arguably one of the best developments ever in the history of contact lenses. Silicon is a material that has been used in RPG contact lenses for over the past 50 years to increase oxygen permeability. Since Silicon has great oxygen permeable properties, it has been incorporated into soft hydrogel contact lenses and now increase oxygen permeability to an over four fold increase over the standard hydrogel lenses.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses: Rigid gas permeable lenses are made of plastics without the water content that is present in soft contact lenses. These lenses are often used to correct irregularities in the corneal surface such as high astigmatism. They can also be used to mask the effects of corneal scarring, corneal distortion such as keratoconus or following surgery of the cornea such as corneal transplants. RGP lenses can also be used for multifocal corrections. They provide excellent optical correction and are do not dry out in the same way that soft contact lenses do.

Wearing Schedules and Disposal Intervals: Contact lenses are most commonly worn for day time use or daily wear. Some people wear their lenses overnight or extended wear. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain lenses for this type of wearing schedule. Not every eye is suited for extended wear and the risks for extended wear should be discussed with your practitioner.

Daily lenses are typically replaced on a regular interval for best eye health. The replacement schedule can vary from daily (single use lenses, good for patients with allergies and solution sensitivities) to the more common intervals: semimonthly (every 2 weeks) and monthly. Certain lenses are replaced quarterly to annually—although this replacement schedule is more typical for semi-custom or custom specialty lenses. Disposable lenses replaced on a regular basis do not develop the same types of contact lens deposits that could cause discomfort or irritation to the eye.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I start?
As part of our goal of providing our patients with clear, comfortable and healthy vision, we feel that it is important to have your eyes thoroughly examined within 6 months of your contact lens fitting. A contact lens fitting can be scheduled at the same time as your eye examination, or as a separate appointment with one of our optometric physicians or our contact lens fitting specialist.

Will they hurt?
We have all experienced an eyelash, or dust that irritates our eyes. Soft contact lenses are designed to be worn comfortably for long periods, and as such, are very comfortable to wear.

RGP contact lenses are less comfortable initially, but become more comfortable with adaptation over approximately two-four weeks. An appealing RGP contact lens alternative that corrects your vision during sleep and is removed during the day is the CRT contact lens. The discomfort associated with daytime RGP contact lens wear is eliminated with CRT contacts.
Click here to read more about CRT contacts.

What is involved in being fit for contacts?
During your contact lens evaluation, one of our professional staff will discuss your lifestyle, occupational and visual needs. This will help to determine the contact lens option that best suits these needs. Measurements will be made to appropriately match the fit of the lens to your eye. A pair of trial lenses will enable you to test the contact lenses in your normal work and home environments. A staff member will train you on the proper insertion, removal and care of your new lenses. You will then be scheduled for a follow-up appointment to determine if the contact lenses are meeting your needs and our goals for clear, comfortable and safe wear.

What cost considerations should I be aware of for my contact lens fitting and follow up?
We offer an affordable one-time evaluation fee and also per visit evaluations, these fees vary by the complexity of the fit. This fee covers the fitting and all contact lens-related evaluations necessary within a set global period until our goals of successful contact lens wear is met. You will then be given a contact lens prescription valid for two years in the state of Washington.

Are contact lens prescriptions the same as a prescription for glasses?
A prescription for spectacle lenses or glasses describes the power of the lens needed to see clearly and comfortably, while a contact lens prescription contains additional specifications. Contact lens prescriptions often differ from spectacle lens prescriptions because the power is adjusted for the difference in the lens position in front of the eye. Contact lens prescriptions are valid for two years in the state of Washington.

Are all contact lenses essentially the same?
Contact lenses can be made of different materials and may also be treated with special coatings to make them more comfortable. Some of these lenses have special filters to provide ultraviolet protection. Some lenses are more breathable or wettable than others. There are specifications of the contact lenses that are necessarily to provide the most appropriate fit of the lens to your eye. Once the parameters of your contact lenses have been finalized, similar soft contact lenses may be ordered through any qualified contact lens distributor. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses may have unique characteristics depending on the lab that manufactured that particular lens design.

How do I order contact lenses?
You may easily order contact lenses online with your valid contact lens prescription.

Click here to take the Contact Lens Quiz.

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