Sunday, March 2, 2008

Consumer Guide To Contact Lenses

If you are planning to switch to contact lenses but are confused by the sheer variety on offer in the market, never fear. We help you take a fresh look at the options available.
Many years ago people who wore contact lenses were few and far between. This was not only because contact lenses were difficult to acquire but also because they were complicated to use. They were hard, uncomfortable and required the maintenance of a small car.

Today, because of the variety available and the sheer ease of wear, everybody’s into contact lenses, even those who don’t have bad eyesight. They wear lenses for the pleasure of batting a pair of baby blues one day and flashing tawny tiger eyes the next.

Those who opt for contact lenses have a wide variety to choose from now. Opt for daily disposable that you chuck in the trash each night or wear them for 24 hours if you like. You choose what suits you best.

Contact lenses come in two types : Rigid gas permeable, also known as semi soft; and soft lenses. Let’s look at the options:

Semi Soft Lenses

These rigid gas permeable contact lenses are made of silicone polymers that allow oxygen to reach the cornea of the eye. Compared to soft contacts, these lenses maintain their shape and offer clearer vision for some types of corrections. They are highly recommended for those who have a cylindrical number. They are also easy to take care of and are more durable than soft contact lenses but the catch is that you take longer to get used to them than you would to soft lenses.

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses are made of a soft polymer plastic material combined with a percentage of water that allows oxygen to pass through the contact lens to the cornea, increasing comfort. Most soft contacts also protect you from the sun’s ultra violet rays. Soft contacts are more comfortable than semi soft lenses for first timers.

Many soft contact lenses are disposable and can be thrown away after a short period of use. Being able to have a fresh pair of lenses means less chance of infection, less cleaning, and more comfort, especially for people whose eyes naturally produce excessive protein that clouds the lenses. Other soft contact lenses are worn on a yearly basis and are not disposable. It is advisable to change soft lenses after a year to avoid eye infections,

While most people choose soft contact lenses because they are comfortable and are easy to wear, they have their disadvantages. They easily absorb pollutants like lotion or soap from your hands that can irritate the eyes. They can also rip or tear easily. But they are available in many options:

  • Daily disposables: These are wear and throw lenses. These are the lenses for you if you are prone to allergies. Wearing daily disposables reduces the risk of infection, dry eye syndrome and irritation caused by contact lens solution.
  • Monthly disposables: They can be used for daily wear for up to a month. Among disposable lenses, monthly disposable lenses are the most popular as they are not only economical but also safe for those whose eyes are prone to infection.
  • Silicone extended wear disposables: These soft contact lenses are made with a new silicone hydrogel material and can be worn for up to 24 hours at a stretch. They are excellent for professionals who need to work longer hours or odd hours. They provide up to five times more oxygen to your eyes than monthly disposables.
  • Colored soft contact lenses: They come in a variety of shades and are very popular. They require the same care a lenses. But remember, coloured contact lenses are a medical device just like clear contact lenses. Never share them with anyone. Clean and care for them just as you would a prescription contact lens.
Bifocal Lenses

Bifocal contact lenses are designed for people who have presbyopia, an age-related change that affects the natural lens in the eye. Contact lens options for presbyopia include bifocal and mono-vision design. They are available in both soft and semi-soft types. Apart from bifocals, multi-focal or progressive lenses are also available. These are seamless lenses that can be used for long distance viewing and for reading too.

Toric Contact Lenses

Toric contact lenses are special lenses for people who suffer from astigmatism i.e. blurred vision.
They are also available in soft and semi-soft forms. Like bifocal lenses, toric lenses have two powers, one for astigmatism and the other for near sightedness or farsightedness.

Lens Sense

  • Before handling your contact lenses, wash your hands using a mild non-cosmetic soap and rinse well. Dry your hand on a lint-free towel. Keep your fingernails short and smooth to avoid damaging the lenses or scratching your eye.
  • Apply cosmetics after inserting your contact lenses
  • Never use tap water to clean or soak your lenses. Tap water contains bacteria that can cause serious eye infections.
  • Do not reuse lens care solution
  • Stop wearing lenses 48 hours before going for eye check up
Fix it Forever

Though contact lenses work for most of us, some would be happy
if they never had to see a lens again in their lives. Luckily a few options are available:

Laser therapy
- Lasik reshapes the cornea with the help of a laser, thereby altering its curvature. It corrects vision by altering the refractive power of the eye. The procedure is quite safe and patients can resume normal activities within a few days.

Zyoptix - An even more advanced technology is called Zyoptix. The difference between Lasik and Zyoptix is that between a readymade shirt and one stitched by a tailor. Lasik offers the same treatment for all, but Zyoptix is customised to suit individual needs.

Natural Treatment - A few natural vision correction treatments are known and proven to be highly effective.
Hypnosis treatment to get rid of glasses has also gain momentum. It can help cure both near and far-sightedness. Natural vision improvement method have helped thousands of people dramatically improve their bad vision – all without expense associated with laser surgery.


Robert said...

Thanks for such a nice information about contact lenses..... used to visit Just Lenses for them.

J-Kamb said...

I like your page, green.

Soft Contact Lenses

Shaune said...

It is common to get asked why we need to do a separate service for contact lenses. Some people even wonder why it would be necessary if they are simply wearing color contact lenses. It is common to see Hollywood stars wearing cosmetic lenses to change their eye color or to make their eyes look crazy in one way or another. Other people have been wearing the same lens, or same prescription, for years. In these cases it would seem natural to ask why it is neccessary to have a doctor be the gatekeeper.

A few years ago, contact lenses were designated a medical device by the FDA. Injury, infection and abuse prompted this classification. Contact lenses increase the risk of certain complications. For instance, a lens that does not move well on the eye can 'suction' to the eye and cause inflammation that can be quite painful. While wearing contact lenses there is an increase for infection. Proper care is vital to prevent infection and there is need to be in contact with a and optometric physician incase an infection does occur. Allergy and hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the eye) are two other common complications to contact lens wear.

A thorough exam by an optometrist can identify potential problems before they occur. Careful selection of appropriate lens material and design followed by evaluation of the movement can help to prevent many of these problems. Yearly examination can then identify issues before they become serious. I had one patient recently who came into the office. He went to college in Cedar City. His mother spoke to me and indicated that he had a history of contact lens abuse. When I spoke to him it was stressed that he needed to order contact lenses because wearing lenses too long can cause complications and that new contacts cost less than fixing an eye infection. Three months later he called our office with a ragin red eye.

Contact lens wear can be a great modality. Recent studies indicate that children may have a better self image if they wear contact lenses instead of glasses. People with large prescriptions can avoid fishbowl glasses by wearing contacts. The important part is that they are managed and cared for well. That is where facilities such as Clear View Eye Care can help; they can service most contact lens fittings and issues to help maintain healthy vision.