Contact Lenses

Welcome to Our Offices

For New Wearers

Frequently Used Lenses

Solutions

"Contact Lens 101"

Cost of Fitting and Lenses

 

Welcome to Our Offices:

Whether you are an experienced contact lens wearer or new to wearing, you may have concerns or questions about the process.  We have been fitting standard, custom, and specialized contact lenses for over 28 years.  Our experience, our history of success, the support of our doctors and staff, the resources of thousands of on-site fitting lenses, combined with the availability of modern contact lens and solution products from major manufacturers will give you confidence through the fitting process.

If you have never worn lenses before, you may want to visit the next section, ‘for new wearers’ to read more.  But be assured, we fit patients who have been told they cannot wear lenses or are poor candidates for lenses.  

If you are an experienced wearer but are having problems with comfort, vision, new visual demands (computer work, work environment), or are experiencing normal changes in vision; we have many options available for solving your problems.
 
If you are an experienced contact lens wearer and you are happy with your current lenses, we can determine if your vision is optimized, evaluate the health of your eye, and review your lens care habits to help you avoid complications.
 
In all cases, please feel comfortable in calling to ask our staff any questions you may have about the process, your individual situation, insurance coverage, or scheduling.       
 
For more detailed information see our other contact lens sections: Solutions,  Contact Lens 101 or Frequently Used lenses. 

 

For New Wearers:
 
Welcome to the office!  Read further in this section and learn what to expect.  Starting to see the world through contact lenses is exciting.  Our doctors and staff will guide you through the process of seeing the world through new vision.   The benefits of contact lens wear are many: better peripheral vision, no reflections from eyeglass lenses, often sharper vision in all directions, better for sports and activities. But the fitting and care of the lenses is very important.
 
How does this fitting process work?
 
Before you visit:  Feel free to read more about contact lenses in this section.   It should give you a better idea of what to expect.  You may want to watch the videos at the end of this section (other tools).
 
At your evaluation:  We will take measurements and evaluate the size of your cornea, the curvature of the cornea, the tear film, the eyelids, and your eyeglass prescription.  We will determine your visual needs and ask you questions about medications and environment.  From this information we can then discuss recommendations for your lenses and help you make choices.  In many cases, we will then insert trial lenses from inventory.  After evaluating the performance and visual acuity with these lenses we will either adjust the prescription, try alternate lenses, or guide you directly to our technician for training.  The technician will teach you how to prepare to work with lenses and then show you how to remove your lenses . You will then learn to insert them and practice this insertion and removal (I&R) technique.  In most cases patients become successful at the first visit, but we may also recommend extra sessions until you and we are both confident with your capabilities.  The staff will describe or demonstrate many useful tips to help in your adaptation to contact lens wear.  They will then proceed to educate you on the handling of lenses, give you starter solutions with instructions on their use, give you a lens wear schedule and discuss general contact lens care and wear.  You will then be scheduled for a progress evaluation appointment, generally within a week of the final lens dispensing date. 
 
1 week progress evaluation:  At this visit we will ask you questions on your experience with the lenses over the past week and allow you to ask questions you may have (by the way, please feel free to call the office if you have questions during that week!).  We will then check your visual acuity with the lenses.  The doctor will evaluate the fit of the lenses and the status of their interaction with your eyes.  If any adjustments or changes need to be made it will happen now and you will be seen again in another week.  If no modifications are necessary we will see you again in about 3 weeks.
 
1 month progress evaluation:  By now you will be very used to wearing the contact lenses.  Again, we will check your vision and ask about your wearing experience.  This visit is intended primarily for the doctor to be sure the lenses interact safely with your eyes and avoid any long-term contact lens wear complications.

This will complete your fitting process:  For the future, we recommend a contact lens progress evaluation at a 6 month interval the first year you are fit with new lenses and then annually thereafter (which can be done at your routine eye examination).  If you ever have questions or concerns, call the office!  If you are concerned that you may have a contact lens problem, we have a doctor who can be contacted 24 hours a day through the answering service. 
 
Other Tools: 

Instructional Videos on inserting and removing your lenses

Provided by AcuVue :  http://www.acuvue.com/wearing-apply-remove
 
Provided byCooperVision: http://coopervision.com/sites/default/files/Application-and-Removal-of-Contact-Lenses.mp4

Congratulations on your new outlook (and look out…of your new lenses)!

Frequently Used Lenses:
 
At our offices, we use many different contact lenses.  Each manufacturer has multiple lenses for use.   Although we use hybrid lenses (gas-permeable center surrounded by soft lens skirt; Synergeyes lenses), gas permeable (rigid lenses like hard contact lenses, but lenses which allow more oxygen to permeate through the lens), and custom toric and multifocal lenses, the more common lenses and lens manufacturers are listed here (alphabetically):  Just as an FYI before reading further, ‘toric’ means that it corrects astigmatism…

Alcon/CibaVision:   A BIG company created by the mergers and acquisitions of Syntex, Sola, Pilkington-Barnes Hind, Wesley-Jessen, and now Alcon and CibaVision.  They have dropped many of the older, duplicative contact lens products and now offer some contemporary  ‘work-horse’ and premier contact lenses.

Dailies (Focus Dailies Toric, Dailies Aquacomfort Plus)– daily spherical and toric lenses.  Patients love these lenses.  The toric parameters are limited, but may be expanded soon.  Daily disposables are the healthiest and most convenient lens option. Patient instruction booklet: https://www.myalcon.com/docs/dailies_pib.pdf

Dailies Total 1 – a new technologic advance in daily disposable lens material; silicone hydrogel with hydrogel outer layers combining ultimate water gradient for oxygen permeability and comfort.  A great lens for patients who have had problems with lenses in the past. Patient Instruction booklet: http://ecatalog.alcon.com/cl/DailiesTotal1_pib_us_en.pdf

Air Optix (Aqua, – spherical, toric, and multifocal contact lenses; monthly replacement.  We have had great success with all of these lenses. They are comfortable, fit a great number of patients, come in many prescriptions, and have had an excellent health profile.  Patient Instruction Booklet: https://www.myalcon.com/docs/o2o_pi.pdf

Night and Day – 30 day extended wear spherical lenses: a great contact lens.  We do not recommend extended wear use of ANY contact lens due to the high risk of vision loss, but this is an excellent contact lens.   Patient Instruction Booklet:  https://www.myalcon.com/docs/N&D-PIB.pdf

Bausch and Lomb (B&L):  A leader in contact lenses for decades.  They set the original pace with soft contact lenses.  We had some issues with their original ‘PureVision’ contact lenses but feel they should have re-named their new products because the new ‘PureVision 2’ line of lenses is excellent.  Lots of oxygen permeability, dramatically improved comfort, and some of the sharpest vision correction we have seen in contact lenses.
 
Biotrue ONEday  -  B&L’s newest daily disposable. A high water content for immediate comfort on insertion.  A very good daily disposable contact lens

PureVision 2 (sphere, toric, now 3-zone multifocal) – A modern collection of lenses.  Great oxygen permeability, stable handling, excellent visual acuities and competitive comfort.  Patient Instruction Booklet: http://www.bausch.com/-/m/BL/United%20States/Files/Package%20Inserts/Vision%20Care/pv2t-pib.pdf

Soflens 38 (spherical) – An old favorite, non-silicone hydrogel.  This has been a ‘workhorse’ lens for many years.  Although not dramatically oxygen permeable, it is a very comfortable lens, especially for dry eyes.  Well tested over the years.  Package Insert:   http://www.bausch.com/ecp/-/m/BL/United%20States/Files/Package%20Inserts/Vision%20Care/soflens-38-package-insert.pdf

 
CooperVision:  One of the early contact lens companies, Cooper has continued to maintain a large number of contact lenses having a wide-range parameters.  Their multifocal lenses offer the widest range of fitting parameters we have ever worked with. We like CooperVision’s lenses.
 
Biofinity (spherical, toric, multifocal)- A really high quality silicone hydrogel.  Good for dry eye, good for patients who deposit proteins on their lenses (allergies, individual variations…you know who you are), easy to handle, wide range of parameters.  Package Insert: http://coopervision.com/sites/default/files/LF0125A_Package%20Insert_comfilcon%20A_Biofinity_Sphere%20Toric%20Multifocal.pdf

ProClear (Daily, sphere, toric, multifocal, extended ranges)- great for people with high prescriptions who have not been able to find a good planned replacement lens. More options for fitting steep corneas. Package Insert: http://coopervision.com/sites/default/files/PI014F_Package%20Insert_omafilcon%20A_Proclear_Sphere%20Asphere%20Toric%20Multifocal.pdf
 
Preference, Vertex, Biomedics – options for older lens designs that worked so well under many circumstances.  A variety of choices for the difficult to fit or the patient that really preferred the non-silicone hydrogels.

Other Contact Lenses

We also deal with many companies for niche’ products, gas permeable lenses, hybrid lenses, custom color lenses, and bandage contact lenses.

Contact Lens Solutions:

The purpose of contact lens solutions are to clean, rinse, and disinfect contact lenses before their next use.  The days of making your own saline (salt water the same salinity/saltiness of tears) and boiling the lenses have passed.  New materials do not stand up to the high temperatures.  It was effective, but harsh.  New disinfection procedures are generally chemical (preservative that inhibits growth of bacteria, fungi, amoeba) or oxidative (hydrogen peroxide used to ‘burn’ deposits and microbes on the lenses).  The options are discussed below as an FYI, but you should follow the recommendations of your doctor rather than making any decisions on your own:
 
Chemical disinfection:

The Pros – easy to use, easy to find, uses a very portable case, great for long-term (eg-1 week) of storage.
 
The Cons – Some patients, especially blonde, blue-eyed, are either sensitive to the preservative or develop corneal infiltrates (a low-grade allergic reaction), bottles can be contaminated (as a result, solutions, once opened, should be discarded and replaced monthly).


Oxidative disinfection:

The Pros – Really cleans off the contact lenses (generally keeping them ‘newer’), effective against most microbes,  contact lenses generally feel better on insertion in the morning (we hear this a lot when patients switch).
 
The Cons – Not as portable, best if lenses are disinfected every night, burns the eyes if not neutralized properly (you have to know how to use these solutions.  They are NOT interchangeable with chemical disinfection solutions).

Rinsing:

Multipurpose solutions (“they rinse, they clean, they disinfect”) work well unless you are sensitive to them. 

Canned Saline (Arm and Hammer seems to be the only manufacturer left standing- hard to find).  No preservatives, feels good, lasts on the counter a long time.
     
Cleaning:
 
Pretty much down to Lobob (order on line) as one of the only ‘soapy’ or alcohol-based cleaners left.  Multipurpose solutions and dailies have limited the use of cleaners.  Using Lobob to clean and multipurpose solutions to rinse and store seems to work very well.

Generics:

They are generally functional.  You can use them, but we recommend the major manufacturers.  The cost of your copayment for a ‘red eye’ office visit will cost more than the difference you pay on solutions for years.  And it is your vision that is at risk.  Of course, proper use of any solution is the most important factor.

Of note:  the FDA has changed its procedures for testing new solutions.  The recommendation is to have a disinfectant that is active against not just bacteria, but also fungal and protozoan organisms.  The solutions below ‘fill that bill’ and are generally the solutions we recommend:
 
Revitalens (Abbott laboratories):  http://www.yourhealthyeyes.com/indications-important-safety-information/revitalens-ocutec-multi-purpose-disinfecting-solution/
 
Optifree Express, Replensh, PureMoist (Alcon Laboratories):  http://www.opti-free.com/pdfs/OFPureMoist_us_en.pdf
 
BioTrue (Bausch and Lomb): http://solution.biotrue.com/ecp/biotrue-packaging-insert.pdf

Clearcare (Alcon): https://www.myalcon.com/products/contact-lens-care/clear-care-solution/technology.shtml

OxySept (Abbott Laboratories): http://www.abbottmedicaloptics.com/products/corneal/peroxide-systems/oxysept-ultracare-formula
 
Arm and Hammer Saline:   http://www.armandhammer.com/personal-care/wound-care-eye-care/Products/simply-saline-brand-sterile-saline-solution-for-contact-lenses.aspx

Lobob:  http://www.loboblabs.com/prod2b.htm
 

Contact Lens 101:
We would love to produce information to teach you LOTS about your contact lenses.  However, AllAboutVision.com has a very comprehensive website that covers most of these issues very well.  Follow this re-direction to learn more about contact lenses: http://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/contact_lenses.htm

Cost of Wearing Contact Lenses:

FITTING COSTS:

If you have read much of the information above, you will see that contact lens care is much more than picking a nice color and learning  how to put a lens on your eye.  Our contact lens fees are categorized into 33 levels based on the time and cost involved to fit a patient into that lens.  The catagories take into account whether you have worn lenses before, whether we have evaluated you before, which type of lens you are currently wearing and whether we will be providing an exact replacement, adjusting the power, or refitting you into another lens.  It is actually very scientific, logical, and reasonable.  The costs range from $35 for an annual evaluation in conjunction  with your eye examination (many of the tests overlap) and identical lens replacement, to  $180 for a multifocal contact lens fitting for a patient with no prior experience. 

For custom lens fittings (extended range torics, rigid gas permeables, fitting for aphakia, keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, scarred corneas for hand-painted iris lenses, etc.) the costs are higher and dependent upon the complexity of the case.

You can ask the staff what our fees are and they can sometimes give you a better idea of the fee range by looking at your prescription and hearing your history, but it will come down to talking to the doctor at your visit (whether that is during your eye exam or for a contact lens fitting visit) for all of the above reasons.  But rest-assured, it is scientific and fair and reasonable compared to the typical fees in this community and region.

CONTACT LENS MATERIAL COSTS:

The cost of the lenses is dependent on which lenses are used.  Our office provides lenses that are about the same as those found on-line (some slightly higher, some slightly lower).  Our staff will help you by providing you with the information you need to obtain rebates from the manufacturers.  Cost savings are good when you buy a six month supply of lenses.  Your best cost for lenses, when our office discount and the manufacturer rebates are highest, occurs when you purchase an annual supply of lenses.  Generally, the annual supply of lenses can be shipped directly to your home or to our office for you to pick up without shipping charges.  We even keep some lenses inventoried at the office. 

COST OF LENS CARE SOLUTIONS:

This cost depends upon the solution you use and where you obtain it.  We are sorry, but we do not stock solutions for sale.  The majority of solutions we use are available at most stores in the area.  Shopping for sales and stocking up on solutions will provide your best annual cost.  In general, the cost is about $14-$16 a month for solutions.

 

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Hamden Eye Associates
2300 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, CT 06514, At the Hamden Mart
2032483937

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Contact Information

Dr. James D. Weston

Dr. Thomas R. Conrod

Hamden Eye Associates

2300 Dixwell Ave.
Hamden, CT 06514
At the Hamden Mart

Phone: 203-248-3937

Hours:
Monday   8 :30  – 5 :00
Tuesday  8 : 30 – 5 :00
Wednesday 8 :30 – 5 :00
Thursday :  9 :30 – 8 :00
Friday :  8 :30 – 5 :00
Saturday :  8 :00 – 12 :00

Wallingford Eye Associates
314 Main St.
Yalesville, CT 06492
At Route 150,
Next to the New Post Office,
Just Off Route 68

Phone: 203-269-3000

Hours:
Monday 8 :00 – 5 :00
Tuesday  8 :00 – 5 :00
Wednesday  8 :00 – 7 :00
Thursday :  Closed
Friday :  8 :00 – 5 :00
Saturday :  8 :00 – 12 :00
Office closes 12 :30 – 1 :30 daily for lunch