The Ophthalmology Department includes an optometrist who is specially trained in contact lens fittings and refractive services. Our optometrist is a general eye care professional who can diagnose and treat medical conditions as well as specializing in other refractive based services, such as low vision services, vision therapy, and contact lenses.
At Mount Sinai, our optometrist is available for co-managing with the other ophthalmologists (eye doctors) in order to further patient care. While the ophthalmologists attend to patients' medical care, the optometrist focus on visual comfort, whether that is through a low vision refraction for patients with retinal diseases or specialty contact lenses for patients with corneal diseases. The optometrist is also available for eye exams, basic refractions, and soft contact lens fittings.
Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lens fittings are for patients with healthy eyes (meaning controlled dry eyes), no corneal diseases, and no other ocular pathologies. The doctor will administer an eye exam to measure the patient's prescription, and different soft contact lens options will be discussed. Typical lenses are either for daily disposable (one day of wear to be removed at the end of the day and discarded), biweekly wear (2-week disposable lenses which are removed and cleaned nightly, reinserted in the morning, and disposed after 14 days of wear) and monthly wear (30 day lenses which are removed and cleaned nightly, reinserted in the morning, and disposed of after 30 days of wear).
Contact lenses are good for patients with near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, presbyopia (the age-related decrease in the ability to focus at near for computer and reading), as well as anisometropia (a large difference in prescription between the right and left eye). Mount Sinai's optometrist will work closely with you to determine the best options for your particular needs.
Hard Contact Lenses
Hard contact lenses (rigid gas permeable lenses or RGP lenses) are specialty contact lenses custom designed for each patient. The RGP lens is a rigid lens that will not conform to the shape of your cornea. It will mimic a smooth cornea and provide excellent vision for patients with corneal diseases, such as keratoconus (corneal steepening), pellucid marginal degeneration (corneal steepening), post-refractive surgery abnormalities (corneal flattening or steepening), as well as other corneal pathologies and patients with large amounts of astigmatism. RGP lenses can also be used in healthy patients for various other reasons: long-time RGP wearers, aphakia (patients without an intraocular lens whether from trauma or surgical complications), and to provide better vision than a soft contact lens can provide in certain cases.
The RGP lens provides the smooth surface in front, while, behind the lens, the patient's own tears fill in the empty spaces. Patients can achieve better vision with RGP lenses than with regular glasses or soft contact lenses. The optometrist will work closely with the patient to custom design an RGP lens that maximizes visual potential for the patient while optimizing patient comfort.
Mount Sinai's optometrist is available for refractive services. These can range from simple refractions to low vision refractions. Our physicians works closely with patients with ocular pathologies – including (but not limited to) diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, hypertensive retinopathy (due to high blood pressure), and glaucoma – to find prescriptions that make the patient most comfortable at distance and near, inside and outside. There are special tints and lenses that can be recommended to aid in patient comfort. Simple refractions and appointments for Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) forms are also available and welcomed.