Contact Lenses – The Basics

Contact lenses have been around for a long time. Many people today prefer to wear contact lenses as opposed to traditional eye glasses. Some people wear contact lenses for sports and outdoor activities, while choosing to wear eyeglasses for the day to day. 20% of Americans who are in need of vision correction wear contact lenses. However, not many people take the time to truly understand what they are and how to get the most out of their contact lenses.

Contact lenses are used to correct vision problems, such as farsightedness, nearsightedness as well as astigmatism. They provide the wearer with the opportunity to go glasses-free without having to invest in vision correction surgery.

Benefits of Contact Lenses

  1. They provide a more natural field of vision. This is because they are placed right on the eye. This means that there is far less (and sometimes no) distortion of what you are seeing.
  2. Contact lenses provide a wider field of view than glasses. Glasses do not provide peripheral vision. The wearer has to turn her head in order to view items on the side.
  3. There are no annoying reflections off the lenses or frames obstructing your view.
  4. Contact lenses are practically weightless. There is no frame to slip down your nose or cause discomfort.
  5. No one will know that you’re wearing devices to correct your vision unless you tell them or they carefully examine your eyes close up. Contact lenses allow you to maintain your natural look.

Types of Contact Lenses

There are different types of lenses available in the market. These include:

  1. Rigid gas-permeable lenses

    These are made of plastic that is slightly flexible. They allow oxygen to penetrate the lens to the eye beneath.

  2. Extended wear

    These are designed for extended use. You can wear these glasses for up to seven days without having to remove them. They can be worn overnight.

  3. Daily wear soft lenses

    These are made of plastic that is soft and flexible. The plastic allows oxygen to penetrate and therefore pass through to the eyes beneath.

  4. Extended wear disposable lenses

    These are soft lenses that are designed for extended periods at a time. They can be used for up to 30 days and should then be discarded.

  5. Planned replacement lenses

    These are soft lenses that can be used for daily wear. They are to be replaced based on a planned schedule.

Should You Get Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are beneficial in many cases. However, they can also cause serious problems. It is important to see an eye care professional for advice before getting contact lenses. If a prescription is approved, be sure to stick to the maintenance guidelines for contact lenses.