Did you know that contact lenses are the second-most widely used corrective vision accessory and can be worn by almost anyone with a healthy eye? Did you also know that different contacts are specifically designed for different situations or personal preferences?
Contact lenses give a fresh look to your eyes by changing their colour and appearance. They are easy to use and require minimal maintenance, like other artificial eye accessories. Are you curious about what contact lenses exist and how they can change your look?
When it comes to contact lenses, there are a ton of different types and brands on the market. But which one is right for you? It depends on factors like your prescription, lifestyle, and budget. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular types of contact lenses, so you can figure out which one is best for you. The most convenient type of contact lenses is daily disposable lenses. As the name suggests, you wear them for one day and then throw them away. They’re perfect for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of cleaning and storing lenses or for those who wear contacts only occasionally. Plus, they’re the most hygienic and healthy option.
Contact Lenses: An Introduction
A contact lens is a thin lens that you place directly on your eye to correct vision problems or change your eye’s appearance.
How do contact lenses work?
Contact lenses bend the light that enters your eye just like spectacle lenses do.
Contact lenses can correct a wide range of vision problems, including
• Nearsightedness or Myopia. This is the most common refractive error found in young people and is growing among children at an alarming rate. This is corrected using minus-powered spectacles.
• Farsightedness or Hypermetropia. Powered spectacles correct this refractive error. This is often undetected at a young age because the internal eye muscles compensate for it. However, the result of such compensation is eye strain and headaches. Therefore, children should be tested every six months, if not then at least once a year, for such vision defects.
• Astigmatism: This refractive error is corrected with cylindrical powered spectacles. Contact lenses it is corrected with special lenses called Toric lenses. This can be due to minor discrepancies in the overall curvature of the cornea or the eye’s internal lens surfaces. This also goes undetected at a young age. Hence, regular, periodic vision checks are essential for healthy vision development.
Colours and Tints in Contact Lenses
Your eyes are one of the most crucial parts of your face and personality, so every person must have clear, healthy, beautiful eyes. You can make your eyes look even more attractive by using contact lenses. Many types of coloured contact lenses are available in the market, each having a different shade and tint.
Contact lenses are designed to correct vision problems. You can also use them to change the colour of your eyes. Coloured contact lenses, known as cosmetic contact lenses, are available in many colours, including blue, green, grey, hazel, brown and black.
What should be included in a Basic Contact Lens Kit?
If you have decided to buy contact lenses, know the necessary things you should carry in a basic kit. It includes a lens case, a cleaning solution, and a few extra lenses if you break or lose one.
- A contact lens kit should include a solution for cleaning and disinfecting the contact lenses.
- A contact lens kit includes a lens case.
- Always clean and store contact lenses after each use in fresh solution in a clean lens case
- Prefer to clean the contact lenses before wearing as well. It would be best to store lenses in a lens case.
The Different Types of Contact Lenses
There are many different types of contact lenses available on the market today. Each type has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here, we will look at the most popular types of contact lenses and help you decide which is right for you.
- Soft Contact Lenses
For a good reason, soft contact lenses are the most popular. They’re comfortable to wear, easy to put in and take out and provide good vision. Soft lenses are made of a gel-like material that conforms to your eye’s shape and is available in daily and monthly disposable varieties.
- Rigid Gas-Permeable Contact Lenses
Rigid gas-permeable (GP) lenses are made of hard, plastic material. They’re less flexible than soft lenses, so they may take a little getting used to. But they’re quite comfortable once you get the hang of putting them in and taking them out. GP lenses provide excellent vision and are less likely to dry out your eyes than soft lenses.
The main downside to GP lenses is that they can be more difficult to adapt to and can occasionally pop out of the eyes.
How to Insert and Remove Your Contact Lenses?
You first must know how to put in and take out your contact lenses. It is important to wash your hands before you handle your lenses. Then, gently place the lens on your eye. Once the lens is placed properly, blink your eyelids a few times to help it settle.
To take out your lenses, again, wash your hands first. Then, gently take out the lens from your eye. Next, place the lens in the palm of your hand and clean it with the cleaning solution recommended by the eye care practitioner. Once cleaned, store them in a fresh solution in a lens case.
How to Store Your Contact Lenses?
It is important to store your lenses in a clean case after each use. The best way to do this is in a contact lens case filled with a fresh cleaning solution. Be sure to replace the solution in the case every time you take your lenses out. Avoid topping off. Topping off is a common practice among contact lens users. If there is some solution left in the lens case, instead of discarding the remaining solution, they add the fresh solution. This is a dangerous practice. It should be avoided at all costs. Always discard the old remaining solution in the lens case and pour a completely fresh solution into the lens case.
You should also avoid storing your lenses in water. It includes water from the sink, shower, or swimming pool.
How to Clean Your Contact Lenses?
It would be best if you cleaned your lenses every day. The best way to do this is to use a multipurpose solution:
- Wash your hands.
- Take out your lenses and place them in your palm.
- Add a few drops of solution to the lenses and rub them gently.
Once you have rubbed the lenses, please place them in the contact lens case and fill them with a fresh saline solution. Be sure to replace the solution in the case every time you take your lenses out.
How to Clear Protein Depositions from Your Lenses?
With monthly, fortnightly and daily disposable lenses, the problem of protein build-up does not exist. However, with conventional yearly changeable soft and Rigid Gas Permeable contact lenses, Protein deposits can build up on your lenses over time and irritate them. To remove protein deposits, you should use an enzymatic cleaner. First, wash your hands. Then, remove your lenses and place them in the palm of your hand.
Next, add a few drops of solution to the lenses and rub them gently. Once you have rubbed the lenses, please place them in the contact lens case and fill them with a fresh cleaning solution. Be sure to replace the solution in the case every time you take your lenses out.
When to Replace Your Contact Lenses?
Most soft contact lenses today are planned replacement lenses. The most common modalities are one month or one day. Fortnightly or 15 days modality is also available. These should be replaced as per the plan in one month, every day or each use (one day) or every 15 days as recommended by the eye care practitioner. Conventional yearly changeable and Rigid Gas Permeable lenses may have a longer cycle and require replacement every 6 to 12 months. Additionally, you should replace your contact lens case every three months.
How to Tell if Your Contact Lenses are Damaged?
It is important to inspect your lenses for damage before each use. Hold the lens to the light and look for any cracks, tears, or holes. If you see any damage, do not use the lens. Instead, dispose of it and get a new one.
When to See an Eye Care Practitioner (ECP)?
You should see an eye care Practitioner at least once a year, even if you don’t wear contact lenses. During your appointment, your ECP will check your vision and the health of your eyes.
Additionally, if you wear contact lenses, your doctor will check to ensure they fit properly and that they are not causing any irritation.
This is just a basic guide to essential contact lenses care. For more specific information, be sure to talk to your ECP.
Which Type of Lens Is Right for You?
The type of contact lens that’s right for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you have dry eyes, you may want to try hybrid lenses. On the other hand, soft lenses may be the best choice if you want the convenience of daily disposable lenses.
If you need help determining which type of lens is right for you, talk to your eye doctor. They can help you choose the lens that will work best for your eyes and your lifestyle.
Wearing coloured contacts can change your look completely. Contacts can do everything from adding a pop of colour to your eyes to making you look different. But choosing the right contact lenses for your needs and eye condition is important. Contact lenses can be the right choice if you are interested in changing your look and want your eyes to stand out.
- What to expect when putting in contacts for the first time?
First-time wear of soft contacts may cause some discomfort for a few minutes. In the case of rigid lenses, it could take a few days to get comfortable. Avoid touching or washing your eyes with water when you put in your first pair of contacts. Over the first few days, beginning with 1 to 2 hours on the first day, increase lens wearing duration each day and ramp it up to the intended duration or that recommended by the ECP over the first 7-15 days.
- Can I shower or swim with contact lenses?
It is generally not recommended to shower or swim with contact lenses, it is recommended that you avoid direct contact with water (such as splashing) and never wash your eyes with soap or liquid cleanser because this can cause damage to the eyes as well as the lens. If contact lenses become dirty, rinse them with lens solution. When taking them out, examine them for scratched or cloudy areas.
- What will happen if I sleep in my contacts?
Sleeping in your contact lenses may cause damage to your eyes and lead to dry eyes, redness and irritation. If you wear contacts while sleeping, you may experience dry eyes, sensitive eyes and eyelid swelling. In addition, while sleeping in your contacts, your corneas can swell up, causing pain and discomfort. If you have accidentally slept with the contact lenses, wait to immediately take them off upon waking. Put lubricating drops in the eyes a few times and blink. When the eyes start feeling less itchy, then remove the lenses, clean them thoroughly and store them in a fresh solution in a lens case.
- I only throw away my lenses when they feel uncomfortable. Is that okay?
There are two aspects to this question. First is when the duration of the lenses has expired, and the lenses are still comfortable, you continue using them until they start feeling uncomfortable; that is a wrong practice and will be harmful. If before the expiration of the duration, the lenses feel uncomfortable before the duration has expired, clean them and try them on again, if they still feel uncomfortable, it’s best to discard them and start using a new pair. If that still feels uncomfortable, see your ECP.