What are contact lenses?
Contact lens are medical devices prescribed by eye care practitioners to correct vision. These are made of a thin plastic that has been modified into a curved shape to cover the eye’s surface. Although they are mostly clear, contact lenses are provided with a slight tinge of color to reduce the difficulty in handling them, especially for first-time wearers.
Similar to how eyeglasses work, they aid in correcting refractive errors in the eye. The correction occurs by adding or subtracting focusing power on the cornea and lens of the eye. These lenses may also help in reducing the following vision issues in the same way as eyeglasses: –
- Hyperopia or farsightedness
- Myopia or nearsightedness
- Astigmatism or distorted vision
- Presbyopia or the need for bifocals
Several types of advanced lenses are designed to reduce the issues caused by impaired vision. Each advanced contact lens type will be discussed, and the condition in which they can help you. However, it is also necessary to understand the different types of contact lenses before discussing advanced contact lenses. Here are the different types of contact lenses and areas where they can help reduce vision issues.
Types of Contact Lenses
There are several types of contact lenses that are made from high-quality materials. Depending on the requirement, the following contact lenses are commonly prescribed by eye care practitioners:
- Rigid Gas-Permeable (RGP)
Rigid Gas-Permeable Lenses, also known as RGPs, are made of rigid plastic and other materials like fluoropolymers or silicon. Due to such a composition, it allows oxygen to pass through the lens. The benefits of these lenses are as follows: –
- Wearing rigid gas-permeable lenses help in providing excellent vision.
- These are ideal for high cylindrical powers (astigmatism), irregular corneas. These need less frequent replacement.
- These are also available in tints.
- These lenses can also help control myopia and are used in corneal refractive therapy.
2) Soft Contact Lenses
These are the most popular kind of contact lenses dispensed since the 1980s primarily because they are easy to adapt. They feel comfortable within minutes of insertion into the eye for even a first time user. These can correct a variety of vision defects like myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism as well as presbyopia (reading glasses).
Apart from vision correction, Soft contact lenses are also popular as cosmetic lenses among the fashion conscious.
Depending upon their modality or frequency of replacement these are classified into the following: –
- Annual replacement: These are not very popular these days since there is a higher chance of allergies and infections. However, the option exists for very high powers and for the budget conscious.
- Monthly replacement: These are the most popular in India. A fresh pair of lenses every month greatly reduces the chances of infections. This modality of lens wear has greatly reduced the effort required in contact lens care regimen. Therefore, they have become the ideal contact lenses for even young children.
- Fifteen day or fortnightly replacement lenses: These are the most popular contact lens modality in the west, especially the US. The basic principle is that the more frequently you replace your contact lenses, the chance of infection. Also, every time you start with a fresh pair of lenses, it enhances the comfort for the eyes.
- Daily disposable: This is the fastest emerging trend in contact lenses world-wide. Adopting this modality gives the wearer the flexibility to always have fresh contact lenses, at their disposal, which they can wear as an option to their spectacles whenever they want. Also they are a great alternative to regular contact lenses when travelling as there is no need for solutions or cleaning here. You simply discard them after one use.
Based on the material of contact lenses soft contact lenses can be broadly classified as: –
Hydrogel – these are made of conventional soft lens materials. The oxygen permeability of these lenses depends upon the water content of the material. Hence, dryness plays an important part in the comfort and duration of use of these lenses. These are fine for 8-10 hours of regular use.
Silicone Hydrogel – these are soft contact lens materials based on silicone that allows more oxygen to pass through. Hence, they are suitable for a wider audience, including those who may be facing dryness issues with hydrogel lenses. Also, they allow for longer duration of use during the day.
Extended Wear Contact Lenses: These extended-wear contact lenses can be worn for longer durations, usually one to six days, before being discarded. Alternatively, extended wear contact lenses are available in the one to thirty days variants.
However, these lenses are more prone to infections and have lost out of favour of most eye-care practitioners. These are rarely dispensed now.
Let’s now look at the benefits of contact lenses before wrapping up.
Benefit Of Contact Lenses
Contact lenses need proper maintenance. Several benefits make it seem that wearing contact lenses is a good choice. Different types of lenses are helpful in various eyes, and vision issues can be reduced to an extent.
- Wearing contact lenses provides unobstructed clear vision and reduces distortions.
- The field of vision is as much as someone who does not have spectacles; peripheral vision is excellent.
- Contact lenses do not carry the minifying (as in minus power) or magnifying (as in plus power) effects of high powered spectacles.
- Contact lenses need not be cleaned due to fogging or dirt.
- These lenses are a great choice for people with an active lifestyle
- Contact lenses also provide improved natural vision.
All the information regarding the most advanced contact lenses has been provided here. It is a good idea to always look for the best lenses near me through a search on the internet. Doing so will provide you with many options, from which you choose the most viable option according to your needs and budget.