One day some nerdy eye doctor shot up from their bed after having the most amazing dream. They rushed into their lab and set to work on stitching together 2 different kinds of contact lenses. A ghoulish creation that would hope to give exceptional clarity with incredible comfort. Thus was born the hybrid lens.
Ok, honestly? I’m not 100% sure that’s how hybrid contact lenses came about. Once upon a time, doctors would fit a patient in a soft lens and then place a hard lens on top of that lens. This was called a “piggyback” lens and was done because hard lenses can be (initially) uncomfortable for many patients. While soft lenses are more comfortable, they don’t tend to serve the visual needs of patients with irregular corneas as well as hard lens does. Therefore, the piggyback system was derived to serve the comfort and visual needs of the patient. Eventually, someone wised up and just designed a hard lens with a soft “skirt” around it in order to do the same thing without a patient having to wear 4 total lenses. Genius.
Most patients won’t need this kind of lens. So who will? Most of our GP/hybrid lens wearers fit in to one or more of the following categories:
A hybrid lens is a custom designed lens. Therefore, it’s necessary to note we won’t have a lens for you to take home on your first visit. We will need to first determine your prescription and take measurements of the surface of your eye. Using the data, an initial lens is produced and sent to our office within a week or two. We will have you try this lens for a 1-2 week “trial period”, after which you will return to our office for a follow-up evaluation. If our evaluation shows the lens to perform well and provide good comfort, we will finalize your prescription. If not, we will make adjustments and trial another set. Finalizing your set may take between 1 to 4 follow-up visits. Our doctors prefer the SynergEyes Duette hybrid, but can fit any hybrid.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Good Outcome with Gas Permeable Contacts?
It’s important to note that there is no silver bullet when evaluating specialty contacts and there is never a guarantee of success. If hybrid contacts are not a viable option, there remain many other options on the table. If a patient is motivated to try, we have several other options at our disposal. In a few weeks we’ll talk about scleral lenses. These function in much the same way as a hybrid, but do not have a soft skirt and are more customizable.
What Options Are Best for You?
Drs. Shaver and VanAusdal understand that your situation and needs are unique. To learn more about what the best course of action for you would be, scheduled an appointment today by calling us at 480-656-7739!