Note: This is the first post in series about specialized contact lenses that we offer at Bright Eyes.
Very frequently during a comprehensive exam, I will ask patients if they have thought about contact lenses and they will reply something to the effect of: "Oh. I was told that I couldn't wear contacts." They'll say it is because they have astigmatism, or have dry eyes, or need reading glasses, or have had eye surgery in the past, or some other reason.
Well, I'm here to tell you that this is rarely true. Contact lenses are absolutely contraindicated in very few people. This means that almost anyone, if sufficiently motivated, can wear contacts. I have patients that are 5 years old that successfully wear contacts. I have patients that are 70 years old and enjoy contacts as well. And there are lots of people in between of every type and description who use contacts some of the time.
Rather than just saying, "You can't wear contacts," I prefer to say, "You probably can wear contacts, but your case is more complex and will require more time and effort for both of us. Because this will require more expertise and specialized contacts lenses, the fee will be higher. But you can be assured that we will proceed with the various options that are open to you until we agree that either (1) you are successful and happy with the vision and comfort of your contacts or (2) we have exhausted all of the options you wish to pursue."
Dr. Janice Jurkus, one of my Optometry professors who specializes in contact lenses, taught me that the single most important factor in determining success for a given contact lens patient is motivation. If the patient is motivated, contact lenses will likely work, one way or the other. If they aren't, they likely won't. It is as true today as when she taught it.
But in addition to motivation, there is another important factor: contact lens technology. Contact lenses have improved so vastly and are now so diverse, that they can meet many needs that we not possible even just a few years ago. From convenient daily disposable lenses, to cosmetic lenses, to high-performance, custom-made lenses, there are contact lenses for every need and lifestyle.
So if you have been told that you can never wear contact lenses, that might be true. Or it might not. If you'd like o find out, schedule an appointment and we can talk about it.
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.