Imagine a contact lens that has the comfort of a soft lens but the sharp acuity of a rigid gas permeable lens. You may think that this is not even possible, but it is! This type of lens is called a hybrid contact lens and is exclusively manufactured by SynergEyes.
A hybrid contact lens consists of a rigid gas permeable center with a soft silicone hydrogel skirt. Thus, it is a hybrid of two contact lens designs. Any patient can wear this type of contact lens, but hybrids are especially beneficial to certain patients.
In our office, the most common use of this lens design is for patients who have prescriptions with a significant amount of astigmatism. These patients achieve the best vision when their lenses are perfectly stable on their eyes. This is often not the case in traditional soft contact lenses for astigmatism because many patients experience variable vision especially after a blink. Hybrid lenses, however, provide stable vision even after a blink. The rigid center of the contact lens provides a precise prescription and the soft skirt anchors the contact lens in place providing stable, clear vision throughout the day.
Another common use of the of this lens is for irregular corneas due to corneal disease and/or surgery. Basically, this lens can be used for any patient who is also a candidate for scleral lenses. In fact, it is often used as an alternative to scleral lenses. Most of the time, patients with irregular corneas have high astigmatism, thus they also benefit from the well centered, crisp optics the hybrid lens has to offer. Some patients prefer a hybrid design over a scleral lens due to the ease of insertion and removal since this process is similar to that of soft contact lens.
In conclusion, hybrid contact lenses are yet another option for any patient who has been told that he/she is not a contact lens candidate! Schedule your specialty contact lens evaluation today.
-Ashley Tucker, OD, FAAO, FSLS, Diplomate ABO
Specialty Contact Lens Expert at BFEC