Caution: contact lenses sit on the front surface of the eye and can cause complications including infection, corneal damage, scarring, decreased vision, and blindness. When contact lenses are worn appropriately, they are a safe alternative to glasses. However, close monitoring by your eye care provider is crucial to prevent damage to the eyes.

  • Soft disposable "spherical" contact lenses-
    • Soft contact lenses allow patients with near-sightedness (myopia) or far-sightedness (hyperopia) to see clearly without glasses. These lenses sit on the cornea (the front surface of the eye) and allow for clear vision.
    • "Disposable" means the lenses are thrown away more often than older "conventional" lenses. Some brands are monthly, 2-week, or daily disposable.
      • Dr. Mayes recommends daily disposables for all kids under age of 16 until they have shown responsibility and good hygiene habits as well as an understanding of the importance of taking care of their eyes.
      • Daily disposables are a great option for part-time wearers. If you like wearing glasses most of the time, but enjoy the option to wear contacts for special occasions, daily disposables stay good in their sterile pack until you are ready to wear them. No need for cleaning solution or remembering when it's time to dispose them.
      • Daily disposables are safe for swimming. Any other lens option is not recommended to swim in due to risk of severe damage to the eyes from bacterial or amoeba infections. Patients can choose to purchase monthly disposable lenses for regular use and purchase a small quantity of dailies for summer use when swimming or going to the lake.
      • Monthly or 2-week disposable lenses are an affordable option for full-time contact lens wearers who are compliant with the cleaning and replacement schedule for their lens type. The FDA requires all disposable lenses meet specific criteria and sets the replacement schedule based on the tests and studies that determine how long a lens can safely be worn without increasing the risk of complications to the eye and loss of vision.
    • "Daily wear" means they are worn during the day and removed at night. These lenses are removed nightly and stored in a case with solution. They can be re-worn daily until they have been worn the maximum number of uses. If a disposable lens is over-worn, the risk for damage to the eyes increases.
    • "Extended wear" means they can be worn over-night. Extended-wear increases the risk for infection or damage to the eyes. However, some lenses are designed to reduce this risk. It is still not preferable to sleep in the lenses, however certain situations may warrant this wearing style. If extended wear is prescribed, patients are warned to do this with caution and be attentive to any warning signs (redness, discomfort, blurred vision, pain) and contact their eye doctor immediately. If you need the option to sleep in your lenses, always discuss this with your eye doctor. Certain lenses do not allow enough oxygen to pass to the cornea while you sleep and can cause damage without you being aware this is happening. Certain lenses are designed for extended wear, however, not everyone can safely wear these lenses overnight. Your eye doctor must evaluate your eyes and determine if this is a safe option for you.
  • Soft disposable "Toric" or Astigmatism correcting contact lenses-
    • Astigmatism can be associated with far-sightedness or near-sightedness, however the cornea is not perfectly sphere and causes the eye to not focus vertical and horizontal lines at the same time.
    • "Toric" or "astigmatism" correcting lenses are designed to allow patients with astigmatism to see clearly without their glasses. These are different than regular contact lenses because they have a different power going up and down versus going side to side. These lenses must be evaluated behind the slit lamp microscope to ensure they sit straight. Any rotation can blur the vision.
  • Soft disposable "Multi-focal" contact lenses-
    • When a patient is over age 40 and needs a different power to see far away than they need for reading near work, if contact lenses correct distance vision, then the patient needs reading glasses to read.
    • Multi-focal contact lenses are not like bifocal glasses. They are designed like a bulls-eye with one ring of power correcting distance vision and one ring of power correcting near vision. The eye has to learn how to focus through these lenses to give clear vision at all ranges. These lenses are very pupil size dependent and may give better vision in certain lighting conditions than others. Also, some patients with very small or very large pupils may not be able to achieve good vision in these lenses.
    • Mono-vision is an option where the doctor corrects the dominant eye for distance in the contact lens and the non-dominant eye wears a contact lens corrected for reading. With both eyes viewing, the brain learns to use the dominant eye when viewing distance objects and switch to the non-dominant eye when viewing near objects. Many patients adapt well to this option, but there is some reduction in depth perception and night vision.
      • Glasses can be prescribed to be worn over the mono-vision contact lenses for certain tasks. For example, mono-vision may work great for everything but night driving. The doctor can prescribe glasses to put on for night driving that negates the mono-vision and gives balanced and clear distance vision. The glasses are removed when the patient is done driving.
    • Multi-focal contact lenses have been shown to reduce the progression of near-sightedness (myopia) in children. Studies have shown that if a child is progressing in the severity of their myopia, wearing multi-focal contact lenses can slow the progression. Studies have also shown that time spent outside under natural sunlight can slow the progression of myopia. However, UV protection is important to reduce the risk for damage to the eyes. Acuvue Oasys Presbyopia is a great option for children with progressive myopia. The lenses provide UV protection while playing outdoors and allow for distance and near tasks to be clear without straining the eyes.
    • Multi-focal Toric contact lenses are a specialty type lens designed for patients with astigmatism who also need a different power for distance tasks and near tasks. These lenses are slightly more expensive because they are custom designed for each patient. However, many patients have enjoyed crisp, comfortable vision with this lens design who previously were told this was not an option for them.
  • Colored contact lenses- some patients desire to change the color of their eyes. Previously colored contact lenses were uncomfortable and did not provide good oxygen supply to the cornea. However, Alcon has designed a colored lens in their Air Optix brand that is breathable, holds moisture well, and provides comfortable clear vision. These lenses are only available in some power ranges and do not correct astigmatism or offer multi-focal powers. Dr. Mayes has sample lenses for those who are interested in trying a colored contact lens.
  • Extremely high prescriptions can now enjoy great vision with comfortable soft disposable contact lenses.
    • Biofinity XR is a monthly, high oxygen lens that comes in very high prescription ranges including high amounts of astigmatism.

Dr. Mayes enjoys offering a wide array of contact lens options that meet the unique needs of each patient.