Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person suffering with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult proposition. However, it does not rule out wearing contact lenses altogether; it just means you will need to discuss the possibility of wearing a specialized contact lens to fit your needs.
Reasons for Hard to Fit Contacts
Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:
- Dry eyes
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
Astigmatism: Astigmatism is a condition in which the surface of the front lens of the eye (the cornea) is out of round. Instead of having a shape that is spherical (like the side of a basketball), the surface is more like the the side of a football with many different curves. Astigmatism can be corrected with rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, or with a special type of soft contact lens that is called a 'toric' lens.
Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia, and it typically affects people over the age of 40. With the use of multi-focal contact lenses and other fitting techniques, most people who require reading glasses, bifocals or even trifocals can be successful contact lens wearers.
Dry Eyes: When eyes are dry, it causes irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions. However, with proper management and choice of lens material, often patients with dry eyes can wear contact lenses very comfortably. In cases of extreme dryness, part-time or occasional wear for sports of social events is often possible.
GPC: This is a form of conjunctivitis often found in patients suffering from eye allergies. It causes inflammation of the undrneath surface of the eyelids creating microscopic "bumps" much like those caused by poison ivy on the skin. The resultant sensitivity makes wearing contact lenses very irritating and uncomfortable. New eyedrop medications, along with single-use soft contacts, have allowed many patients with GPC to wear contact lenses successfully.