What you need to Know about Contact Lenses

What you need to Know about Contact Lenses

24-07-2014   |   Posted By: Admin   |   2012 View(s)

There are millions of people around the world who wear contact lenses, though you might know it by just looking at these people. Many people wear lenses as they feel that they look better in contact lenses. These lenses are not like glasses; they do not get splattered by rain or mud. Also, they are excellent for physical activities and as compared to eyeglasses; they might offer better and more natural eyesight.

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What are Contact Lenses?

A contact lens is a thin, curved lens which is placed on the film of tears that covers the surface of our eye. Naturally, the lens is clear, but it is given the slightest tinge of colour, so that is easier for wearers to handle. Nowadays, people go for soft lenses as they are safer and are of better quality. Contact lenses are the saviour for people who have sight-related issues and hesitate wearing glasses.  The power of the lenses is customised as per the requirement of the eye patient. Contact lenses are light in nature and do not feel heavy, unlike framed glass lenses.

Types of Contact Lenses:

Generally, there are two types of lenses: Hard and Soft. The Hard lens is made of plastics and other materials such as fluoropolymers or silicone. They are the rigid and gas-permeable lens (RGP). Hard lenses may be the best choice when the cornea has enough astigmatism. Also, these lenses are preferred for those who have allergies or people who tend to deposit protein on their contacts.

Wearing Contact Lenses

There are also various other types of Lenses such as:

Soft lenses

This lens is chosen by most contact wearers as they are highly comfortable. They come in a variety of versions, depending on how you want to wear them.

Advantages

They are very comfortable as compared to the RGP lenses
They are suitable for active lifestyles
They are also available in tints and bifocals
They have a very short adaptation period.

Disadvantages

They do not correct all vision problems
Their vision is not as sharp as with RGP lenses
When you wear these lenses, a regular visit to Doctor is required.

Extended-wear lenses

They are worn overnight and are removed weekly for cleansing purpose Mostly; the Doctors do not recommend them as people who wear them are at greater risk of getting a corneal infection.

Advantages

It can be worn up to seven days without removal.
They are FDA approved for up to 30 days.

Disadvantages

They do not correct all vision problems.
You would have to pay regular visit to your Doctor for follow-up care.
They require regular monitoring and care.
They can increase the risk of eye problems and infections.

RGP Lenses

These lenses are also called as Hard Lenses and are made of plastics which are flexible in nature and allow oxygen to pass through to the eyes.

Advantages

They provide an excellent vision
They are comfortable to wear.
They can correct vision problems.
They are available for myopia control and refractive therapy.
They are convenient and are easy to take care of.
They have a relatively long life.

Disadvantages

You have to wear them constantly to maintain adaptation.
They can slip off center of the eye.
Sometimes, Debris can get under the lenses.
They require regular office visits for follow-up care.

contact lenses

Disposable wear lenses

These lenses are convenient but are expensive. They are to be removed every night and are replaced on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. These lenses are recommended for people who have certain kind of allergies and also for those who form deposits on their lenses.

Advantages

They require little or no cleaning at all.
If you follow the wearing instructions properly, these lenses will reduce the chances of eye infections.
They are available in tints and bifocals.

Disadvantages

Their vision may not be as sharp as with the RGP lenses
They do not correct all vision problems
They are difficult to handle.

Coloured lenses

These lenses can change your eye colour. They should be worn only after an eye exam. Over-the-counter coloured lenses pose a serious threat to your eye health and are illegal. They can cause eye infection and even vision loss.

Few Dos and Don’ts for Contact Lens Wearers:

-Do keep your hands clean.

-Whenever we touch something, our hands get covered with germs. Thus, make sure that you wash your hands well before putting in or taking out your lenses. Also, ensure that you use lotion-free soap and dry your hands thoroughly.

-Do clean your lens case.

-Researchers found that people who do not clean and dry their contact cases have a high count of microorganisms in their cases. If you have to clean your case properly, you would have to pour out all the lens solution from the case, and then rub it with clean fingers. Then you would have to rinse it with fresh solution and wipe it with a clean tissue and store it upside down. You must replace the case every one to three months.

-Do replace your lenses in a timely fashion.

-If you wear contact lenses beyond their recommended time, it can lead to eye infections and even vision loss. You must replace your lenses according to the type of lens you use.Some lenses are to be thrown daily, weekly or monthly. On the other hand, some lenses are replaced once a year. Before buying the lens, you must consult your Doctor to select the best type of lens for you.

-Do visit your eye doctor regularly.

-You must make it a habit of visiting your Eye Doctor regularly, even if your eyes feel fine, you should make an appointment. Especially in the cases where your eyes become itchy, red or watery, take out your contacts immediately and consult a Doctor.

-Do not use ‘used’ lens solution

-You must use fresh lens solution when you store the contacts overnight. You should not add new solution to old solution which is already in the case. Also, you must not clean your lens with water.

-Do not buy a Contact Lens without a Prescription

-Many times people think that if a lens is decorative or coloured and has no ‘power’, they can wear it without a Doctor’s prescription. However, our eye’s surface has unique properties, and so you must consult an Eye Doctor before wearing any lenses.

However, there are many myths associated with lenses and as such, it is important for us to know the Facts about Contact Lenses.

Top Myths and the facts about Contact Lenses :

1. Contact Lenses Cure Myopia or near-Near Sightedness:

Contact lenses cannot cure or prevent myopia. Myopia is an eye problem that is inherited and hence no external efforts can cure it. It was believed before that wearing rigid lenses prevents continued growth and thus protects eyes from myopia. But no scientific evidence has been found regarding the same.

2. Contact Lenses Aggravate Myopia:

There is another group of people who believe in the myth that lenses can increase the risk of having myopia or can aggravate the situation. Research is being carried out by scientists regarding the same, but no evidence has been found yet.

3. Wearing Lenses Makes you Dependant on Them:

Lenses are prescribed to improve vision. Both lenses and glass lenses work the same way. One can easily switch between wearing glasses and lenses without any issue. Wearing lenses cause no dependency on them at all.

4. Wearing ill-fitted Lenses affects your Eyes severely.

This myth is a fact! The cornea is a very delicate part of your eye, and it gets affected by the loosely fitted external lenses. To prevent such kind of situation regular check-up is crucial. Wearing good quality lenses also prevents such eye issues.

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5. It is okay to wear Contact lenses while Swimming:

Swimming pool water is not pure water and contains millions of microbes and parasites. If they get into the eye, in extreme situations even cornea transplant might be required. Moreover, swimming pool water often makes the lenses fit tighter which can affect the cornea. One can either wear disposable lenses while swimming or wear goggles while swimming. The Best option is not to wear any lenses at all, though.

6. Children and Teenagers should avoid Wearing Contact Lenses:

Any age group can wear contact lenses. Even young children can wear contact lenses, but they should be careful and follow the right eye care regime. They cannot be careless while wearing lenses and should have the maturity to manage it carefully.

Contact lenses have made it simpler for people who have vision problems. It is a lightweight solution for vision correction. It is easier to wear and helps people who find glasses difficult to wear or cannot wear glasses all the time due to professional reasons. With the advancement in technology, contact lenses are lighter and feel feather-light making them a more comfortable choice.

A contact lens is very convenient and is easy to carry. They are also available in various colours to make your appearance more attractive. However, remember to go for a regular Health check-up and visit your Eye Doctor before buying any Contact Lens.

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