Improve and protect your vision, maintain your eye health and prevent blindness with the help of our team of eye specialists.
More than 37 million Americans wear contact lenses. Whether you wear contacts to correct nearsightedness or require specialty lenses because glasses don’t work for you, the experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have dedicated training in eye health and can prescribe the correct contacts for you to achieve optimal vision.
What are contact lenses?
A contact lens is a medical device. It’s a circular disc made of a flexible, oxygen-permeable plastic that’s placed on the eye to improve vision. Contact lenses are used to correct refractive errors or certain medical eye conditions. Your doctor determines your prescription based on your eye shape and vision needs, and there are specific kinds of contact lenses for different needs.
Routine contact lenses
If you have vision problems that aren’t medical conditions—such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia—there are many soft contact lenses and gas-permeable lenses available to provide excellent vision and comfort.
Specialty contact lenses
If you have a history of medical-related eye conditions, specialty medical contact lenses may improve your vision and provide relief from your symptoms. Specialty contact lenses work by providing a stable surface for light to refract off of when entering the eye. Medical conditions that may be helped by specialty contact lenses include:
- Corneal ectasia
- Corneal scarring
- Corneal transplant
- Dry eye disease
- Ocular graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
- Refractive surgery
- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
Specialty contact lenses are created specifically for your eyes by an optometrist (eye doctor) who has specific training in medical contact lenses and ocular diseases. Learn more about specialty lenses.
Why do glasses not correct my vision?
If your eye is irregular, glasses can’t focus light through the surface of your eye. Adding a specialty contact lens on top of your eye to provide a stable surface allows light to focus clearly and improves clarity.
Who can wear contact lenses?
You can wear contact lenses if you:
- Have been evaluated by an eye doctor and given a final prescription
- Can physically apply and remove a lens safely
- Maintain contact lens cleaning habits and healthy eyes with lens wear
- Continue to see your doctor to assess how your contact lenses are fitting and renew your prescription
Your doctor will work with you to determine the best kind of contact lenses for your vision needs.
Why is it important to have my vision prescription and eye health checked annually?
Because contact lenses are a medical device, they should be renewed and evaluated yearly. In Ohio, contact lens prescriptions are valid for only one year. Patients need to be seen annually by their eye doctor to renew their prescription and check their eye health in response to wearing contact lenses.
Your prescription may or may not change each year, but it’s still important to have your doctor check your eye health. Your doctor can identify eye health issues before you may even be aware of them. These problems include:
- Neovascularization of the cornea – new blood vessels grow into the eye and can interrupt vision and even lead to loss of sight
- Inflammation of the cornea and eye
- Corneal scarring
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) – the inside of the eyelid is red, swollen and irritated
You may not experience symptoms of these conditions, but your doctor can detect them upon evaluation, catch them early and recommend treatment.