Contact lens patients present with various visual concerns, the most common of which are alleviated with performing refractions over the contact lens. Some, however, go beyond the typical over-refraction and can frustrate both patient and practitioner. The first step in teasing apart visual concerns with custom contact lenses is to establish a successful fit first, then proceed by performing a sphere or spherocylindrical over-refraction over the contact lens. If, however, these steps do not alleviate the patient’s visual concerns a potential factor may be the optic zone of the contact lens being too small in relation to the patient’s pupil size or sagittal depth of their anterior segment. This is to say they are catching stray light rays outside of the optic zone, which are visually disturbing to them. Words patients use to describe this are flare, glare, halos, streaking of lights.
Contact lens manufactures often limit the size of the optic zone as the power of the lens increases. They usually do this to control for thickness, however it can be counterproductive visually, as this increases the risk of the patient perceiving light outside of the optic zone. Ordering custom soft contact lenses from SpecialEyes can go a long way to fix this phenomenon for patients. Ordering the custom sphere or toric contact lens with a specifically larger optic zone can help to eliminate the flare, glare, and halo symptoms for your contact lens patient.
Visit SpecialEyes’ Online Learning Center to find out more about customizing the optic zone of their sphere and toric custom soft contact lenses.
Matthew Lampa, OD, FAAO
Dr. Lampa is an Assistant Professor of Optometry at Pacific University and a consulting optometrist to SpecialEyes.