What are contact lenses?
Contact lenses are thin plastic versions of the regular lenses on eyeglasses, and are placed right on the surface of the eyes. Like eyeglasses, they are mainly used to correct eyesight problems such as Myopia (nearsightedness), Hyperopia (farsightedness), Astigmatism (distorted vision) and Presbyopia (need for bifocals). They can be used both for medical and cosmetic purposes.
There are two general types of Contact lenses, soft and RPG (Rigid Gas Permeable). Soft lenses allow oxygen to pass through its flexible plastic. It’s easier and more comfortable to wear than RPG. On the other hand, RPG takes some time to get used to. RPG is made out of firm plastic materials which allows the wearer to have a sharper and clearer vision. It is also more durable than soft lenses, RPG could last for years with proper care.
Wearing contact lenses has a lot of pros and cons. The main reason why people wear contact lenses is for convenience, especially for those with a really high eyeglass prescription. Another reason is for appearance. Many people feel more comfortable and confident without eyeglasses. Wearing contact lenses are also advisable for athletes since it’s dangerous to wear eyeglasses during sports activities.
Although they have a lot of pros, wearing contact lenses also has a downside: they are extremely high-maintenance. Eyes are delicate and could easily be irritated or infected, so remember to wash your hands before handling your contact lenses. You must always be sure that your hands are impeccably clean before putting the lenses on. Additionally, you have to consistently clean your lenses too. Wearing your lenses overnight is also a big NO. There’s always the risk of your lenses ripping while you sleep, or the lens getting into a deep, unreachable part of your eye. If you are unable to retrieve your lens from your eyes, you may need an operation.
Here are additional things to keep in mind when you choose to wear contact lenses:
- For first timers, ask an eye care practitioner how to properly put and remove the lenses
- Do not use expired solutions. Always check the expiration date.
- Do not use tap water, saliva or any other liquid in place of the solution
- Take them off before sleeping
- As much as possible, try not to get them wet with water. Take them off before swimming or taking a bath.
- Keep your lenses and its case clean.
- If your eyes start to experience any discomfort, redness, light sensitivity, pain, excessive watering or blurred vision, remove your contacts immediately and let your eyes rest. Check the expiration date of the lenses or if there are any damages on the lenses themselves; if everything checks out, try putting them on again after a while. If symptoms persist, have your eyes checked by a doctor.
- Do not wear contacts beyond their prescription dates.
Eye infection should not be taken lightly. It can damage eyesight permanently. If you don’t feel comfortable with using contacts, you can use alternatives instead. You can opt to undergo laser treatment; although Lasik Eye surgery has some risks and is quite expensive, a successful treatment corrects your vision completely.
Then there’s always the traditional eye glasses, although frame nowadays are quite modern. Additionally, the right frames for your face shape can enhance your features. If you are having problems with your eyesight, consult with your Optometrist and carefully consider which would be the best option/s for your lifestyle.