Contact Lens Types

Evaluation and Fitting of Contact Lenses

The Eye and Vision Center at MCPHS has the most up-to-date knowledge and technology to prescribe contact lenses for a wide range of needs from simply not wanting to wear eyeglasses to eye health conditions where other forms of correction are not able to provide the best possible vision such as keratoconus. Our doctors and student interns have the most advanced diagnostic expertise in the region with access to traditional and custom specialty contact lenses to best care for your individual needs.

A soft contact lens is a flexible, soft, thin, oxygen permeable plastic material which can be produced in an ophthalmic prescription which allows for the correction of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), distance and near vision in the form of a multifocal (bifocal), and for the correction of astigmatism. Soft contact lenses have different chemical agents such as plastic, water, silicone, wetting agents, and surface coatings which in combination with each other provide comfort, quality of vision, durability, deposit resistance, oxygen transmission, and wettability to each lens.

Soft contact lenses are available for several types of contact lens wearing schedules, all of which are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Soft contact lenses are available as single use daily wear disposable, 2 week daily wear disposable, and 1 month daily wear disposable lenses.

The Eye and Vision Center can prescribe conventional, commercially available soft contact lenses as well as custom designed and manufactured lenses for patients whose needs cannot be met with standard lenses.

As the name suggests, gas permeable corneal contact lenses are made of non-flexible, thin, oxygen permeable plastic materials which can be produced in an ophthalmic prescription which allows for the correction of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), distance and near vision in the form of a multifocal (bifocal), and for the correction of astigmatism. These lenses are ideally suited for the correction of astigmatism and provide crisp, unsurpassed quality of vision at both distance and near. There is a short period of adjustment to contact lens awareness on the eye. These lenses are durable and do not have to be replaced as often as soft contact lenses. Gas permeable corneal contact lenses are often indicated in the presence of dry eye disease or other corneal disorders such as Keratoconus.

Scleral contact lenses are large diameter gas permeable lenses which usually range in size between 14 mm and 22 mm. Scleral contact lenses completely vault over (do not make contact with) the cornea and come to rest upon the clear conjunctival tissue above the sclera (the white of your eye). Since there are no nerves in the conjunctiva, scleral contact lenses are often very comfortable to wear. The area between the inside surface of a scleral contact lens and the front surface of the cornea is filled in by a supply of unpreserved saline. This creates an optically improved tear lens and patients with ocular surface disease or ectatic corneal disease such as Keratoconus often experience significant improvement in their vision while wearing their scleral contact lenses. Scleral contact lenses can be used by patients with severe dry eye conditions as well, often resulting in relief of discomfort and a reduced need for artificial tears.

The comfort of scleral contact lenses along with the high quality of vision correction provided by these contact lenses make them a wonderful option as a cosmetic contact lens for the correction of vision.

Scleral gas permeable contact lenses require the technology, expertise and clinical experience found at The Eye and Vision Center.

How often have you been told by your eye doctor that you cannot be fit with contact lenses because you have too much astigmatism? Astigmatism is not an eye disease. It is merely an indication of a non- spherical curvature on the surface of the front of the eye (the cornea) or on the surface of the internal lens of the eye (crystalline lens). While there may have been some truth to this comment in years past, today there is a contact lens for you. It may require a special soft toric contact lens design, a gas permeable corneal contact lens or perhaps a scleral contact lens. Advances in contact lens manufacturing and design have made it possible to provide the patient with astigmatism with crisp correction of vision.
As people approach the age of 40, they begin to lose the ability to focus their eyes on reading print and close objects. This is unavoidable and a result of an age-normal loss of flexibility of the crystalline lens inside the eye. If you are interested in wearing contact lenses for the first time or if you have worn contact lenses for years and now find yourself unable to read when wearing your contact lenses, do not despair. There are a number of different types of multifocal (bifocal) contact lenses available to you in soft, gas permeable and scleral lens designs. The adjustment to multifocal contact lenses typically takes a little longer than contact lenses worn for distance vision only as your brain adapts to the way this type of contact lens focuses light in the eye, but with today’s advanced lens designs, the vast majority of patients are very successfully wearing multifocal contact lenses.
A significant percentage of people develop symptoms and/or signs of dry eye disease as a consequence of aging. There are several generations of contact lens wearers who now find themselves staring into the screens of computers, iPhones, or tablets for hours each day. People experience a reduced blink rate when using these devices which can result in the development of eyelid disorders, tear layer disruption and corneal irritation. The surfaces of contact lenses dry out creating fluctuations in vision. We also live in an era with hundreds of different kinds of prescription medications, many of which produce side effects of dry eye disease. All of these factors can significantly reduce the hours of comfortable contact lens wear each day and are noted to be responsible for between a 15 and 25% contact lens dropout rate. The doctors and student interns at The Eye and Vision Center evaluate every contact lens wearer for a potential dry eye and recommend appropriate treatment to make your contact lens wearing experience a successful one. If you feel that you have dry eyes, read about The Eye and Vision Center’s Dry Eye Clinic here.

Contact Us

Eye and Vision Center

MCPHS Worcester Campus
10 Lincoln Square
Worcester, MA 01608

Open Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

10 Optical Retail Store 508.373.5820
MCPHS Worcester Campus
10 Lincoln Square
Worcester, MA 01608

Operating hours are dependent on MCPHS School of Optometry's academic calendar and operating hours. Please call for hours.
Parking is available on site.