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Eye Health Center

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Find the Right Contact Lenses for You

Bifocal Contacts continued...

Another option for correcting near and far vision, called monovision, involves wearing a contact in one eye for distance and a contact in the other eye for close vision. This can take a while to get used to. Each eye must work more independently, making good binocular vision difficult, which can cause problems with depth perception. That can make driving difficult. You may have to adjust your gaze more often to allow one eye or the other to see properly.

Another monovision option is wearing a bifocal lens in one eye, which makes driving easier, and wearing a single-vision lens in the other eye.

Some people choose contacts for seeing in the distance and wear reading glasses over their contacts, when necessary.

Toric Lenses for Astigmatism

If you have astigmatism and want to wear contacts, you’ll need a toric lens. Made from the same material as other contacts, toric lenses come in soft or rigid gas-permeable forms, extended wear, and even in colored lenses. Like bifocal lenses, toric lenses have two powers in one lens, one for astigmatism, and another for nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Lenses That Reshape the Cornea

If you are nearsighted, your eye care professionals may recommend orthokeratology, or ortho-k for short. This is a type of treatment using a special contact lens to reshape your cornea and ultimately improve vision. The treatment results in a temporary improvement in vision that only lasts as long as the contact lenses are worn regularly. Ortho-k may be most effective if you are only mildly nearsighted.

Some eye care professionals have used these lenses for years. When the FDA approved them for sleeping, they became more popular.

Still, ortho-k is not extremely common because laser vision correction has the same result in less time and is not temporary. Laser surgery is also now an option if your job - such as a military or airline pilot -- was one of those that didn’t allow correction with lasers in the past.

If you can’t have laser surgery, ask your eye care professional if ortho-k could work for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on October 03, 2015
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