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If you’ve tried wearing contact lenses, but you’ve found they’re not terribly comfortable -- or maybe they don’t provide you with the same clear, crisp vision you can get with glasses -- don’t give up. You might be a good candidate for hybrid contact lenses, which feature a special design that can be a great fit for people with “hard-to-fit” eyes and some types of vision issues.
Hybrid contact lenses are lenses that are larger than “traditional” contact lenses. Unlike a “regular” contact lens that uses a single material and design across the entire lens, hybrid lenses feature a rigid gas permeable (RGP) central area or zone and a soft border area made of a flexible material like silicone hydrogel. The soft border encircles the entire lens like a flexible frame. The purpose of hybrid contact lenses is to provide the same crystal-clear vision offered by a gas permeable lens along with the comfort of a soft contact lens. Because of their special design, hybrid lens fittings are more complicated than fittings for traditional contact lenses, and to get the best fit and the best vision, you need to have a fitting performed by an optometrist with plenty of experience in hybrid lenses.
Hybrid lenses can be a great choice for people with corneal astigmatism. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea - the clear covering over the lens - is elongate instead of round. The elongated shape “warps” light as it enters the eye so everything appears blurry, regardless of the distance. Because contact lenses rest on the cornea, this difference in shape can make contact lenses uncomfortable as well as interfere with your ability to enjoy clear vision while wearing contacts.
Hybrid contact lenses are also available for people with some other types of corneal irregularities, as well as people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and presbyopia (close-up vision issues that develop with age). And they can be a good option for people who simply find rigid lenses too “stiff” and uncomfortable, yet aren’t satisfied with the quality of vision they experience with their regular lenses, or for those who have issues with contact lens movement - especially people who wear multifocal lenses that have different vision "zones" that require perfect alignment for optimal sight. They're not a good option for people with lenticular astigmatism (astigmatism caused by aberrations in the shape of the eye's lens).
Hybrid contact lenses cost almost the same as soft or gas permeable multifocal contact lenses.
Because they're made of two different materials, hybrid lenses require a different care routine compared to other contact lenses, and taking them out and putting them in your eye also takes some practice. But as with regular contact lenses, these are habits you'll easily pick up over time.
If you're interested in learning more about contact lenses or if you've tried contact lenses and found them uncomfortable or ineffective, The Plano Eye Care Center can help. Contact us at 972-964-3937 and schedule an appointment today.
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