Contact lenses are thin, transparent, lightweight medical devices that are placed directly on the surface of the eye to correct visual defects from refractive errors. They are very similar in their function to those of spectacles. Contact lenses are curved and fit directly on the central, black part of your eye (the cornea) and are either hard or soft.
Contact lenses can be worn to correct vision, or for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons. People who choose to wear contact lenses for aesthetic and cosmetic reasons do so to avoid wearing glasses or to change the appearance of their eyes. Some people wear contact lenses for functional or optical reasons. For example, keratoconus and aniseikonia are some conditions that are corrected better with contact lenses than with glasses.
While contact lenses are used to correct the same conditions that eyeglasses correct, such as myopia (near-sightedness) and hyperopia (far-sightedness), they provide better peripheral vision than spectacles. Unlike spectacles, contact lenses do not collect moisture from rain, snow, condensation, or perspiration, making them more preferable for sports and other outdoor activities. Sunglasses, goggles, or other eyewear can also be worn by contact lens wearers without having to fit them with prescription lenses.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF CONTACT LENSES??
|Gas permeable lenses (RGP)||· Corrects astigmatism as they offer a more rigid fitted lens.
· Used in irregular corneas
· Used by soft lens wearers who don’t find their vision is sharp enough
|Soft contact lenses||Used to correct refractive errors such as myopia and astigmatism||· Extended wear CL
· Daily disposable lenses
· Toric contact lenses
· Multifocal contact lenses
· Cosmetic contact lenses
|Scleral/ mini scleral contact lenses||Used to correct vision in a number of conditions such as
post-refractive surgery corneal issues, ocular surface disease,
dry eye, and even normal refractive errors.
|Therapeutic contact lenses||· Help treat or manage diseases of the cornea
· Used to patch one eye (to treat double vision)
Recommendations for contact lens users:
- Always wash and dry your hands before handling contact lenses.
- Contact lenses should be cleaned carefully and regularly as instructed by your eye doctor.
- Rub the contact lenses with your fingers and rinse them thoroughly before soaking them overnight in a multipurpose solution that should cover each lens completely.
- Use a lens storage case to store lenses, and replace your case every three months or sooner. After each use, clean the case and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
- To clean and disinfect your lenses, use products that are recommended by your eye doctor. Do not use tap water, saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect lenses.
- Use the fresh solution to clean and store contact lenses. Never reuse old solution. Even if you don’t use the lenses on a daily basis, change your contact lens solution according to the recommendations by the manufacturer.
- Contact lens should be replaced according to the replacement schedule prescribed by your eye doctor.
Some tips for first-time users of contact lenses
- Have patience and motivation when wearing contact lens for the first time as your eyes will need a little time to adapt to the foreign body sensation.
- Your eyes may water a lot initially until they get used to the sensation of the contact lens.
- Start with the same eye when you put in and take out your lenses, to avoid getting them mixed up.
- Do not rub your eyes as dirt or oil from your fingers can enter your eyes, or your lens can get dislodged.
- You may experience dryness in the eyes after using contact lens, especially around air-conditioning, smoke, and dust, or if you spend long hours in front of the computer. You can use rewetting drops recommended by your eye doctor to keep your eyes hydrated.
- If you experience any burning or irritation when wearing contact lenses, it could be due to the presence of dirt or fiber that has been caught between your eye and the lens. Remove the contact lens, rinse it in the solution and insert it again.
- Follow the contact lens guidelines for wear, especially when it comes to disinfecting and cleaning them.
- Do not use the contact lens for more than the specified disposal schedule.
- Take special care while working in a dusty environment if you are wearing contact lenses.
- In case of recurrent dryness, itching or redness, seek medical help.