What You Need to Know 

Contact Lenses come in many forms and perform many functions.

Soft Contact Lenses:
Soft contact lenses are soft, supple and they even fold in half. But, it is their size that makes them so tolerable. They are large enough to fit well under the eyelids and are therefore remarkably comfortable, even if you have never worn them before. These designs come in a wide range of replacement schedules.

Colored Contact Lenses:
These lenses come in a wide array of colors. They can enhance your natural eye color or change that color completely. Modern technologies give you a natural look in the eye color that you have always wanted.

Theatrical Lenses:
For those interested in a wide variety of contact lens designs from extreme vivid colors to wild eye designs, we fit an extensive collection of theatrical lenses for your performance on the stage or in your life!
Lenses for Astigmatism:
A contact lens rests on the clear window in front of the colored part of your eye. Rarely is this tissue the same shape in all directions. Most eyes have a small amount of irregularity called astigmatism. Most eyes need a correction for a refractive error (see your prescription) that can be provided by a standard or spherical contact lens. If you have a greater amount of astigmatism your eyecare professional will fit you to a “toric” lens.
One of the reasons that a soft lens is so comfortable is that it drapes over your cornea. But, this allows an underlying irregular shape to transfer through the lens. A spherical contact lens will allow you to see better than with no correction, you will not see as well as you do with your glasses. “Toric” is Latin for two curves, and just like your spectacles, a toric lens has two curves cut on the back of it which align to the different curves on the front of your eye. These lenses provide great comfort and great vision.

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Multifocal Contact Lenses:
Single vision lenses let you see in the distance. When you also need help with reading, we can fit you to a bifocal contact lens. Spectacle bifocals have the distance correction on the top of the lens and the extra power for reading at the bottom. We have never been able to create a really effective contact lens that has allowed us to keep the reading segment in the right position. So all bifocal contact lenses use some combination of concentric rings. This allows you to see at distance and at near. We offer experienced contact lenses fitters who will use the latest innovations to provide you with good vision at distance, near and everywhere in between.

Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses:
While once reserved for the more complex prescriptions, high degrees of myopia or large amounts of astigmatism, rigid lenses are once again, increasingly popular. Originally we made rigid lenses from a plexiglass like product, the material used for storm doors. This plastic provided great clarity of vision, but did not allow oxygen to pass through to and provide nutrition for the cornea. As a result, we had to make the lens very flat so that it would rock and draw oxygenated tear film under the lens. This meant that the bottom edge of the lens literally stuck out and bumped the lid as the wearer blinked.

Modern gas permeable materials allow a high volume of oxygen to pass right through the lens. And, modern manufacturing technologies allow us to use complex designs that mimic the shape of the cornea, vastly improving wearer comfort.
Offering the Greatest Comfort

Soft contact lenses are in fact soft. They are very supple; they can even be folded or turned inside out. When a contact lens is on your eye it can be more than half tear film. But, it is the size of the lens that makes it so very comfortable. The lens fits well underneath your lids, limiting the interaction between the lens and the edge of your lid providing astonishing comfort, even if you have never worn a lens before.

New wearers need to build their tolerance to contact lenses by slowly increasing their daily wear times over their first week of wear. While, your Parrelli Optical® contact lens specialist can see adaptive symptoms on the front of your eye through your first weeks, most patients have no real symptoms after the first few hours with lenses on.

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Replacement Schedules:
Many years ago we gave patients a single pair of lenses and a rather complex care kit and said “Try to make these last six to twelve months.” Soft lenses are about 50% tear film when they are on your eye. As the tear passed through the lens it deposited organic substances like calcium, lipid and mucus on the contact. Environmental contaminants also collected on the lens surface. As a result by the end of the 1980’s we were sending patients home with a burdensome chemistry kit to care for their lenses. As you might imagine, compliance was an issue and we began to see a wide variety of complications directly attributable to dirty lenses.

In 1988 manufacturing engineers studied the problem and created new ways to fabricate contact lenses. The results are better quality products in a wider array of designs that can be affordably replaced on some kind of a pre-planned schedule.

One Day: These lenses are opened from a sterile package, worn and thrown away after one use. There is no care regime required. One day lenses are the healthiest and safest way to wear contacts. They are exceptionally convenient and are recommended for young eyes.

Two week: This lens is designed to be used 14 times or be open for 30 days. If you are wearing lenses every day, you would replace them after two weeks. Care of these lenses requires a multi-purpose solution. After removal, the lenses are rubbed, rinsed and stored, all with one product. Until recently this was the most popular modality.

Monthly: Increasingly popular monthly designs offer a greater variety of correction options (astigmatism and bifocal designs in particular). Because we do so little on a two week schedule, the increase in popularity of this lens can be traced to the simple fact that it is easier to remember to replace your contacts once a month than to remember to do it every two weeks. The longer replacement schedule requires a more aggressive care system. Each day after removal, the lens is rinsed and then stored for six hours in a more effective cleaning and disinfecting agent. This is the modern paradigm, most manufacturer’s newest designs are in the monthly format.

Quarterly: Highly specialized designs for unique prescriptions may require custom designed lenses that are replaced every two to three months. These require a significant increase in daily maintenance to be safely cleaned and disinfected.
Providing Superior Vision
Rigid or gas permeable lenses are firm. Rather than draping over the cornea they float on top of that delicate tissue. Each lens is in essence two lenses. The first lens is the contact itself which forms a new, smooth surface for the front of eye. The second lens is the layer of tear between the back of the contact and the front of the cornea.

Damaged Corneas and Eye Disease

Your Parrelli Optical® skilled, professional contact lens fitter can use this unique lens design to create a tear layer that will neutralize any corneal irregularity that might be found in a damaged or diseased tissue, including keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration of corneal transplants.
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Complex Prescriptions

Modern, computer generated manufacturing technologies allow us to fabricate far more intricate designs than ever before. At Parrelli Optical® we use our expertise to design lenses for complex prescriptions like astigmatism, bifocals and multifocals. Each of our gas permeable lenses is individually designed and custom fabricated for your eye affording almost anyone comfortable wear and great vision.

Dry Eye

Modern soft lenses are generally 50% tear film when they are on the eye. That means you need to produce enough tear to keep that lens hydrated, comfortable and functioning well. A rigid lens material is less than five percent water, so that you only need enough tear to float that lens on your eye. Many dry eye patients find gas permeable contact lenses quite comfortable.

Rigid Gas Permeable contact lenses remain the only responsible annual replacement contact lenses. A daily cleaner and separate storage solution for safe disinfection and healthy lens wear are indicated on a daily basis.

Gas permeable contact lenses require an extra level of professional expertise to design and build. Our eyecare professional has the experience to improve your vision and your comfort.
Exciting New Lens Designs

Gas permeable contacts are firm and yield exception sharpness of vision. They can correct a wider range of vision problems. The firm lens floats on the front of the eye providing new ocular surface for irregular, diseased or surgically altered corneas. These lenses also provide much more oxygen to the delicate cornea that other materials.

Some eyes, due to genetics, damage or injury are hyper-sensitive to contact lenses. A hybrid contact lens provides the best answer for these patients. Hybrid lenses are made from two different plastics. The center portion of a hybrid contact lens is a gas permeable lens that provides high definition vision. The periphery of the hybrid contact is soft. This outer ring is supple and it slides under your eyelids to provide exceptional wearing comfort.

Hybrid contact lenses can offer you the best of both worlds. Your brain receives the high-definition visual acuity and your eye receives the extra oxygen associated with gas permeable lenses, but more importantly, you also get exceptional comfort delivered by soft contact lenses. Hybrid contact lenses are indicated for keratoconus, corneal ectasia, problems reading, high amounts of astigmatism and for the hypertensive eye that is intolerant of other designs.

© 2014 Dr. Scott Sylvia ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Some images are courtesy of manufacturers.