Help and information on contact lenses

Contact lens help
Lens fitting and care
Lens insertion and removal
Contact lens disinfection
Contact lens protein removal
Lens solution incompatibility
Contact lens history
Contact lens future
Contact lens glossary
Types of contact lens
Soft contact lenses
Hard contact lenses
Disposable contact lenses
Extended wear contact lenses
Bifocal contact lenses
Contact lenses for astigmatism
Therapeutic contact lenses
Contact lens problems
Contact lens dry eyes
Damage to lenses
Contact lens infections
Eyelid inflammation
Corneal complications
Contact lens conjunctivitis
Giant papillary conjunctivitis
Peripheral corneal infiltrates
Contact lens help

Contact lenses unquestionably represent a major advance in the area of non-surgical vision correction leaving glasses way behind. Indeed today, in contrast to contacts, glass spectacles look like prehistoric artifacts. Unfortunately, the benefits of contacts still remain unrealized in some quarters because of what they were once.

Modern contacts offer you better vision, more comfort, far fewer problems and are much easier to look after. They come in varieties to suit almost all individuals. They were pricier, but today the average pair of spectacles would set you back more than contact lenses.

Why swap glasses for contacts?

  • To retain your original and natural looks. Glasses do change the appearance. In fact with contacts, you also seem natural to yourself. Contact lenses are just like new eyes in many ways.
  • To get the burden and the pressure off your nose, cheeks and ears that coems form wearing glasses. Plus glasses become cloudy requiring frequent cleaning. And that’s one hassle you could very well do without.
  • Contacts allow you to play any sport and give it 100% without the nagging fear of your glasses falling off. Don’t believe the myth that contacts fall off or irritate the eye. They do neither of these.

Contacts offer you freedom from glasses not to be scoffed at if you’ve read the preceding section well.

How do contacts help?

They correct all types of vision problems that glasses correct. Plus some kinds of astigmatism that glasses cannot correct.

What are the types of contact lenses?

A critical property of contact lenses is their gas permeability, which allows oxygen to flow through them. Oxygen is vital for good eye health. Higher the gas permeability more is the quantity of oxygen that the eye receives.

Today a variety of contact lenses are available made from different types of plastic material but can be grouped under two categories. These are the hard or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses and soft contact lenses.

RGP lenses: RGP lenses are harder and do not contain water. They are less flexible than soft contacts and so little uncomfortable, but only initially. However, their gas permeability is higher, causing fewer problems. They can correct more vision problems including astigmatism. On the whole, compared to soft contacts, RGP lenses last longer, need less frequent replacement, are less likely to cause infections and are easy to look after.

Soft contacts: Soft contact lenses have higher water content and types include:

  • Daily wear contacts are worn by most people who use contacts. They need to be inserted every morning and removed every night before going to bed.
  • Disposable contacts are used for specific periods, depending on their construction, and then discarded. The period could range from one day to a month. Most doctors recommend seven to fourteen days wear. Disposables have proved to be the safest and least prone to infections.
  • Extended wear contacts are worn continuously from 7 up to 30 days. Since extended wears are meant for wear even during sleep, they are made from super permeable materials, which allow more oxygen to reach your eyes. However, the long periods of wear can cause more problems.

Don’t they cause problems?

They can but all good things come at a price. Any foreign body implanted in us will set off some adverse reactions. With contacts the eye faces two main problems.

The first one concerns corneal infections. Contacts, which cover the eyes, reduce the normal flow of oxygen producing these complications. The earliest glass contacts hardly allowed any oxygen to reach the eye causing many problems. Modern contact lenses are much more gas permeable. But the oxygen received still remains reduced and will remain so, at least for the foreseeable future, since contacts will always remain a barrier to normal supply of oxygen.

Secondly, lenses, to some extent, obstruct eye movements reducing tear production and flow. Tears keep the eye clean. Lenses therefore cause unremoved debris to collect under the lens causing infections.

Lens care

Three quarters of the lens wearing population are free of any complications, but that leaves one quarter of wearers who experience one or more of the above adverse consequences of contact lens wear at some point.

Better lens care can prevent a lot of eye problems. Studies have shown that improper lens care is the direct cause of many such problems. Proper lens care regime prescribed by the doctor, as also his other instructions, is the price you pay for wearing contact lenses.