Contact lenses are a popular alternative to glasses that help to correct vision without being visible to others. However, since contact lenses are placed direct on the eye itself, extra care is needed compared to glasses to ensure that the eyes are not injured or infected. If you are or plan to become a contact user, be sure to follow these basic rules.
Types of Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are available in two basic forms. The first, soft lenses, are made from gel-like, water-based plastics that cover the entire cornea. Some types of soft lenses, like silicone hydrogel contacts, allow more oxygen to reach the eye. GP lenses, on the other hand, are made from rigid, waterless plastics that provide sharper vision, so GP lenses are better for people with presbyopia and high astigmatism. Overall, silicone hydrogel contact lenses are by far the most popular and account for up to 70 percent of all new contact lenses.
Different lenses are safe to wear for various periods of time. Daily disposable lenses need to be thrown away after one day’s use, while disposable lenses can be used in about two week increments. There are also replacement lenses that can be used for months at a time. Of the daily disposable and replacement contacts, some of them can be worn overnight, and others cannot. It’s critical to talk to your eye doctor and read the directions to ensure you’re sticking to the rules.
Soft Contact Lens Care
Since contacts will sit in your eye for an extended period of time, they need to be maintained in a specific way to prevent infection and other eye problems. Before you take lenses out of your eyes, wash your hands and dry with a towel. Clean each lens with FDA-approved solution that removes eye-produced buildup, cosmetics, and other debris. Rinse them in the solution to ensure all debris is removed, and then place the lens in a clean holder and fill with fresh solution. Don’t just “top off” old solution, or you’ll create a breeding ground for bacteria.
With proper care, you’ll enjoy the clear vision that your contacts produce without any complications.