To correct your vision, you often have the choice between glasses or contact lenses. If you choose contact lenses, the optometrist will establish your visual health to determine whether contact lenses are a wise choice for you. Your life habits, your work and your leisure activities, as well as an examination of your eyes’ surface, are considered. After all of these criteria have been evaluated, the health care professional may recommend wearing contact lenses.
Then, the optometrist will ensure that you receive the most comprehensive information regarding the maintenance and tasks associated with wearing contact lenses. A contact lens trial and adjustment period for is required. The time to adjust to this vision correction method may be longer than that of the glasses.
In the last few years, the number of types of contact lenses available on the market has increased dramatically. These five criteria help you make an informed selection:
- Shape: The vision problem to correct has an impact on selecting the contact lenses’ shape.
- Type: Three types of contact lenses are available: flexible, rigid or semi-rigid.
- Period worn: Lenses prescribed for daily use must be removed, cleaned and disinfected before going to sleep. Otherwise, they may cause irritation, injury or damage to the cornea. With a prescription for wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time, these can be worn while sleeping and for several days or weeks, depending on the optometrist's prescription.
- Durability: The material used in manufacturing the lenses determines the lenses service life. The thinner and the more oxygen permeable the material is, the more residue it collects and the more it prevents the cornea from breathing. This is especially the case with disposable lenses, which must be disposed of every day. However, some more resistant materials allow the same lens to be worn for a week or two, sometimes even a month.
Even if you do not feel any discomfort when wearing an expired lens, your eye health may be at risk if you continue to wear it.
- Hue: Three categories of tinted contact lenses are available on the market. The lightly tinted ones are useful, since the lens is visible when it is cleaned or thrown away. Pale tinted lenses draw attention to the natural colour of the eyes, while remaining translucent. It is a hue that is better suited for people with pale eyes. More opaque lenses completely change the colour of your eyes. Some even manage to give a different shape to the eye, similar to the eyes of cats.
Contact lens maintenance
No matter the kind of lenses, all must be properly maintained every day, with adequate cleaning solutions, adapted to your needs. Daily cleaning of the contact lenses removes deposits, dust, tear residue and some bacteria caused by lens handling and the environment. The most important thing is to prevent infections.
Here are some efficient cleaning tips:
- Handle contact lenses with clean, dry hands at all times;
- Do not wash contact lenses with tap water and prevent pool, spa or shower water from contacting the eyes;
- Place the contact lenses in their case immediately after cleaning them with the correct solution;
- Replace the solution contained in the case and wash the case daily;
- Do not reuse the soaking solution;
- Change the case containing the contact lenses regularly;
If your contact lenses cause irritation, pain or redness in your eyes, remove them and consult an optometrist.
Given the increasing number of infections associated with contact lens use, optometrists reiterate the importance of rigorous contact lens and case maintenance.
Watch the video: How it works - Contact lenses