An addition or alternative to spectacles is contact lens wear. Contact lenses give you the freedom to play sport, a full field of view and better peripheral vision.
Contact lenses are safe and easy to wear, but it is vital that you are prescribed the correct contact lenses for your eyes. At your contact lens examination you will be advised to the correct contact lenses for your eyes and lifestyle.
There are various types of contact lenses to suit different eyes and different needs and you will be advised as to the suitability for your eyes and lifestyle at the contact lens examination.
Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are very popular today because they are easy to adapt to and are very comfortable to wear. They are easy to maintain and can also be used for occassional use.
Conventional soft contact lenses
These contact lenses have a lifespan of approximately 12 months. However they require a more intensive cleaning regime than soft disposable contact lenses. They are not widely used these days as disposable lenses offer more advantages.
Disposable contact lenses
Soft disposable contact lenses have a lifespan of either two weekly or a month. One major benefit is improved eye health as the contact lenses are replaced before deposits (that could lead to eye health problems) accumulate on the lens surface. They are comfortable and are easier to care for than conventional soft contact lenses.
Daily disposable contact lenses
This design of soft lens is inserted in the morning, and at the end of the day you simply take them out and throw them away. They are a good choice for children as they don’t need to worry about a cleaning regime. They also work for the ‘occasional’ wearer who wants to wear contact lenses for special events such as sports events and social events.
Extended wear soft contact lenses
Imagine being able to wake up in the morning and being able to see to navigate your self around your bedroom getting ready for work. Or coming home after a night out and just being able to go to sleep without having to take your contact lenses out. Well with extended wear contact lenses, now you can! They are made of a new material that allows up to 6 times more oxygen to pass through your contact lens than other soft contact lens materials. The increase in oxygen transfer through the contact lens allows you the ability to sleep with contact lenses on your eyes depending on the design, as advised to you by the optometrist, they are usually worn continuously for 30 days and and then are replaced with a new pair of contact lenses. A suggestion is that one would use a ratio of: wear for a period, up to 6 days, remove for 24 hours and then continue wearing for a further period.
Multifocal contact lenses
Multifocal contact lenses are new to the market and allow the wearer to be able to see clearly in the distance and upclose whilst reading. They are very suitable for wearers who are presbyopic.
Patients with astigmatism can now be corrected with soft contact lenses and achieved reasonably good sight.
Rigid or Hard contact lenses
Hard contact lenses are made from a different type of material than the material used in soft contact lens production. They are smaller and more rigid than soft contact lenses. Initially they are not very comfortable to wear as with soft contact lenses but wih time become more comfortable to wear. The cleaning regime is different than the cleaning regime of soft contact lenses. They often correct astigmatism easily and give better vision. They are more durable than soft contact lenses and last longer.
Contact Lens Check Ups
Most people ask why would I need to have a check up if my contact lenses feel comfortable and i can see clearly with them?
What one needs to remember is that the contact lens is resting on the anterior surface of the eyeball. Problems can occur on the cornea even though the lens feels comfortable and sight is clear. These problems can lead to dryness, irritation and infection.
During the contact lens check your sight is assessed for changes that may have occured, the health of your eye is carefully assessed for any damage or disease. The fit of the contact lens is assessed and the contact lens surface is examined for any irregularities and/or deposits which may in the future cause eye problems. These check ups should be performed every six months.
Before handling your contact lenses: wash your hands thoroughly in order to ensure that dirt and germs are not transferred to the eye, thereafter dry your hands with a lint free towel.
Remove the right lens from your eye and place the lens onto the palm of your hand. Apply a few drops of solution onto the lens and rub both sides gently for 20 seconds each. Then you rinse the lens with solution to free it from its debris. Cleaning eliminates eye produced buildup, cosmetics and other substances that build up on the lens through out the day.
Fill the clean lens case with new, fresh solution.The lens is then placed into the appropriate compartment of the contact lens case. Secure the cap on the lens case. Repeat with the left lens. The solution will disinfect the contact lenses overnight.
On insertion of your contact lenses, your hands need to be thoroughly washed again amd dried with a lint-free towel. Remove the right lens from the lens case. Place the lens on your eye. Repeat with the left lens. The solution that remains in the lens case must be poured out and the lens case must be rinsed and cleaned and allowed to air dry.