Contact Lenses St. Louis
Vision Care Consultants is the preeminent contact lens practice in the St. Louis area. We now have more options in contact lenses than ever to meet your individual needs. Contact lenses are worn full or part time by over twenty million people in the United States. New technological developments allow us to provide superior vision with greater comfort to more patients.
Leonardo da Vinci first conceived contact lenses over 450 years ago. It took until 1947 for the first major breakthrough in hard plastic contacts. Soft contact lens materials were developed in the 1960s and continue to evolve.
With so many lens manufacturers each producing many varieties of lenses, how do you know which lens is for you? At Vision Care Consultants, our doctors keep well-informed of emerging technologies by participating in research studies and FDA clinical trials. We will recommend the lenses that will work best for your eyes and your lifestyle.
Our doctors fit contact lenses made by all the major manufacturers as wells as lenses from smaller custom labs for patients whom other doctors may consider difficult or impossible to fit. Due to their vast experience in contact lenses, they often find that patients who have not had past success with contact lenses are now able to enjoy contact lens wear.
As experts in the field of contact lenses, our doctors stay involved in research and development of the newest products associated with contact lenses, lecture at professional meetings, and have published numerous articles in professional contact lens literature and textbooks. Eye care practitioners from all over the country refer patients to our practice for expert contact lens care. You can be assured that our doctors will provide the highest quality of contact lens care for you whether your needs are as straightforward as soft disposable lenses, or as complex as keratoconus or corneal trauma.
Who Can Wear Contact Lenses?
Most people can wear contact lenses, including people with active lifestyles and people who have astigmatism or presbyopia. Contact lenses are fast becoming the method of choice for most people for vision correction. Over the past several of decades, developments in contact lens technologies have enabled patients to wear lenses more comfortably, for longer periods of wearing time, with greater eye health, and with excellence in vision incomparable to any other form of vision correction
We hope that this information helps you better understand some of the newest options available in contact lens care.
Clinical Trials in Contact Lenses, Solutions, and Ocular Pharmaceuticals
Our St. Louis eye doctors are continually involved in clinical trials and studies for numerous contact lens and pharmaceutical laboratories. Our patients are often asked to serve as subjects for these studies, thus giving them the chance to access the newest developments in eye care. Some of the most current studies we have been involved in include:
- 30-day Continuous wear contact lenses.
- Disposable astigmatic contact lenses.
- Multifocal/Bifocal soft and rigid contact lenses.
- New super high oxygen permeable soft and rigid extended wear/overnight contact lenses.
- Multipurpose contact lens care systems.
- Safe and convenient ocular medication for seasonal and chronic ocular allergy.
Vision Care Consultants is involved in clinical trials on an ongoing basis. If you wish to be involved as a subject in upcoming studies please call our office.
Disposable Lens Designs
Since 1989 disposable soft contact lenses have grown to take the #1 spot in contact lens wear in the United States. The advantages of disposable lenses include; ease of care, little to no cost for replacement of lost or damaged lenses, continual comfort through the wearing cycle, and increased ocular health.
Disposable lenses are one of the healthiest and most cost efficient methods for soft contact lens wear. Complications associated with disposable lenses can in virtually all cases be traced to improper care and lens hygiene (i.e. lack of proper cleaning and disinfection between wearing times or use of improper solutions).
Not all disposable lenses are the same. Lenses differ in material, design, and replacement frequency. Some lenses offer higher oxygen transmission; others are more deposit resistant, while still others are better in dry eye conditions.
Disposable lenses are designed to be replaced at varying frequencies depending on the lens material used and the specifics of the individual patient (i.e. tear chemistry, environment, and wearing time). The frequency of lens replacement typically varies from daily disposing to 1, 2, & 4 week disposing and up to 3 or 6 month schedules of replacement. Conventional soft lenses in comparison should generally be replaced at one year intervals.
Single use daily disposable lenses are the best alternative for some patients. These lenses are worn during waking hours, removed at the end of the day and disposed. They provide the ultimate in convenience and are an excellent choice for part time/occasional contact lens wearers.
Today expanded designs of disposable lenses enable us to offer many options to those who need correction for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism or need bifocal lens correction. As a result, disposables are available to most all of us who want the freedom of contact lenses.
Continuous Wear Contact Lens Developments
Some of the newest contact lens materials dramatically increase the level of oxygen transmission in order to allow for safe overnight wearing of contacts for up to one month. These lenses recently received FDA approval for 30 days of continuous wear. These lenses are available as disposable lenses so that once they are removed they are discarded on a monthly basis. Our doctors participated in the FDA trials for two of these new lens designs. These lenses have already revolutionized contact lens wear and provide the ultimate in vision correction for many of our patients.
Contact Lens Correction of Astigmatism
For years people were told they could not wear soft contact lenses because they had astigmatism. Now more than ever, that is not the case. For years now, we at Vision Care Consultants have provided excellent results for our patients with low to even high degrees of astigmatism. Our contact lens specialists successfully fit not only astigmatic soft lenses, but also astigmatic soft lenses for patients who are presbyopic (require additional correction for near vision) with bifocal or multifocal astigmatic lenses. Correction of astigmatism is possible with both soft and rigid gas permeable lens designs depending on the individual patient. The use of contemporary toric or astigmatic lens designs provides superb vision, great comfort, and uncompromised eye health. Disposable astigmatic lenses offer added comfort and convenience to the mix.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses – St. Louis
As one of the healthiest contact lenses, Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses (RGP’s) have enjoyed gaining popularity over the past 20 years. New developments in designs and materials have made these lenses more comfortable and healthier to wear than ever before. The advantages of RGP’s over soft lenses include: higher levels of oxygen transmission to the cornea, greater durability and deposit resistance and therefore greater life expectancy, unmatched optical/vision performance, and the potential to control or reduce the progression of nearsightedness in many individuals. We especially have found RGP’s to be the design of choice for bifocal/multifocal lenses due to their sharp optics, as well as for young individuals who are progressing in myopia (nearsightedness). Our contact lens specialists will recommend RGP’s for you if they are in your best interest.
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Synergeyes Hybrid Contact Lens – Provides the best of both worlds!
Vision Care Consultants is one of the first practices in the United States to prescribe a revolutionary new contact lens design – Synergeyes Hybrid Contact Lens. The lens is a combination of a soft and rigid contact lens providing the best attributes of each. The lens is comprised of a highly oxygen permeable central rigid section and a soft, hydrophilic peripheral section. The result is a lens that provides superb vision due to the rigid portion and excellent comfort and fit stability due to the soft portion. Other hybrid lens designs have been developed previously, however they suffered from low oxygen permeability and were fragile, with tearing between the rigid and soft portions a common occurrence. Synergeyes has developed the “Hyperbond” technology that creates an exceedingly strong bond between the soft and rigid portions of the lens. The high oxygen permeability of Synergeyes provides an extremely healthy contact lens environment which results in excellent all day comfort.
Patients that would be excellent candidates for Synergeyes are quite varied and include those who are nearsighted, farsighted, and people with the most common forms of astigmatism. Even people who have problems with reading at near (presbyopes) may benefit with the use of a very new Synergeyes design called the Synergeyes bifocal contact lens. Finally, Synergeyes has developed designs to use for patients who suffer from corneal diseases like keratoconus, or who have had distortion to their vision induced by trauma, or following eye surgery. Vision Care Consultants is one of the leading practices in the United States that has fit a large number of patients with Synergeyes lenses for the treatment of various eye diseases and abnormalities.
Call our contact lens specialists in St. Louis to find out if you are a good candidate for the Synergeyes Hybrid Contact Lens.
Multifocal/Bifocal Contact Lens Options
Patients requiring both a reading correction and a distance correction in contact lenses are now able to achieve excellent vision. Bifocal or more specifically, multifocal contact lenses are available in many types of contact lenses. Improvements in lens technology have created lenses that provide far improved visual results compared to older technology. The wide array of multifocal lens designs on the market gives us options in soft and rigid gas permeable materials as well as daily disposable. Candidates include those just starting to need reading prescriptions up to those who have stronger correction requirements. We have devised a system to help determine what lens option is best for you. Our success rates with multifocal contact lenses are growing by leaps and bounds.
The “Frequency® 55 Multifocal” lens design is one of the more successful disposable multifocal contact lens designs that our practice has worked with. This lens uses unique “inverse geometry” optics to provide clear and comfortable distance, intermediate, and near vision while at the same time emphasizing improved binocular (eye teaming) vision in comparison with traditional “monovision” contact lens fitting. All of this is available in a healthy and convenient 1-month disposable contact lens format. Many of our patients have immediately reported more natural vision with the ability to see well for a wide variety of vision demands including: driving, sports activities, reading, writing, and computer use.
Vision Care Consultants participated in clinical trials of Cooper Frequency multi-focal soft contact lenses, so our doctors were among the first in the U.S. to fit these lenses. Our doctors are among the most experienced, and have fit more patients with these lenses than any other office in the Midwest.
Cosmetic Contact Lenses
Colored contact lenses can enhance or change the appearance of your natural eye color. Color options include tints that enhance light eyes and special colors for dark eyes. The latest in color technology for dark eyes uses a multilayer color core along with a special translucent layer for intense, realistic color. Some of the shades available are Deep Green, Soft Green, Deep Blue, Soft Blue, Soft Amber, Violet, and Grey. Many patients select to have some of their contacts cosmetically colored so that they might choose to wear their colored contacts on special occasions. Outrageous lens colors and designs such as “Wild Eyes” lenses are colored in a variety of crazy patterns such as crescent moons, swirls, and stars to name just a few. These are novelty items and are used on occasions just for the fun of it. We should mention that some colored lenses, especially Wild Eyes designs have been reported to limit peripheral vision to some degree and should be worn with caution especially in dark environments while driving.
Therapeutic Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are often needed to help in the treatment of diseased eyes, such as those following corneal trauma, surgery, or certain corneal diseases (keratoconus, basement membrane diseases, etc.). We are proud of the fact that patients are continually referred to Vision Care Consultants for therapeutic contact lens care. A wide variety of lens designs are used for this purpose including: rigid gas permeables, cosmetic tinted and opaque soft lenses, and bandage soft lenses. Close monitoring of patients in need of therapeutic contact lenses is critical since these lenses are being fit on compromised corneas. When fit and monitored properly, therapeutic contact lenses can make a world of difference in the life of a patient in need.
Keratoconus is a progressive degeneration of the cornea characterized by thinning, steepening, and advancing distortion of the corneal surface. The disease results in gradual loss of clear vision with progressive distortion of images. The first line of treatment for keratoconus is the use of contact lenses to mask the surface distortion. Contact lenses can provide more-improved corrected vision in comparison to glasses. Our doctors specialize in the treatment of Keratoconus and are one of the recommended doctors by the National Keratoconus Foundation (NKF).