You’ve just purchased new contact lenses. As you’re reading the package, you notice there are some terms you are struggling to understand! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve created a contact lens glossary of terms with all you need to know to understand your unique eyewear features.
Silicone Hydrogel Core: A specialized contact lens material that increases the amount of oxygen to your eyes which helps to maintain eye health and comfort. Some contact lenses restrict the amount of oxygen to your eyes, which can lead to complications such as corneal swelling. Don’t fret, silicone hydrogel lenses are one solution that allow up to 5X more oxygen to your eyes. If you wear contacts without a silicone hydrogel core, ensuring that they’re fitted properly can also improve breathability. Contact your optometrist if you have any questions about your contact lens fit.
Toric Lenses: This type of contact lenses is used to treat astigmatism, a common vision condition that causes your vision to be blurred and unfocused. It’s due to an irregularly shaped cornea that prevents light from focusing properly on your retina. Astigmatism often occurs when other vision conditions are present such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). Toric contact lenses, can provide you with sharper vision. Look out for this descriptor in your contact details if you have astigmatism!
Corneal Topography: Topography uses specialized technology to measure the curvature of the corneal surface of your eye. Topography is valuable because it can diagnose and monitor various eye conditions. It also allows your contact lenses to have the best fit possible. You can have your corneas mapped with this tool at your next eye exam.
Daily Modality: A type of contact lens designed for single use for up to one full day. These lenses are convenient and require no cleaning because they are disposed of at the end of the day. Some contacts wearers prefer dailies to avoid the clean-up, but maintaining a consistent good contact lens hygiene routine ensures all types—monthlies and weeklies included—are safe for many individual preferences. Dailies are also not necessarily suitable for all eye conditions, it’s always best to talk with your optometrist about which modality is best for you.
Presbyopia: the inability to focus up close due to the lens of your eyes losing flexibility. This condition typically starts to affect individuals over the age of 40. See multifocal lenses below for how this vision condition can be treated with contacts!
Multifocal Contact Lenses: Lenses uniquely designed with two powers in the lens, one for long distances and one for near, reading distances. If you wear this type of lens, you can potentially have no problem seeing at every distance. Typically, this type of contacts is only needed when presbyopia occurs. Patients with presbyopia tend to use separate reading eyeglasses. Multifocal lenses remove that extra step!
UVA and UVB protection: A feature of contact lenses that blocks potentially harmful ultra-violet rays emitted from the sun. If you’re outside frequently this might be a term to keep an eye out for on your contact lens packaging.