There are a variety of different types and brands of contact lenses available, including soft, daily disposable and reusable.
The majority of modern contact lenses are soft. These are very thin and manufactured from materials that allow oxygen to easily pass through to the eye. The three main types of soft lens are: Spherical – These are used to correct issues such as hyperopia (long-sightedness) and myopia (short-sightedness). Toric – These compensate for the irregular eye surface that causes astigmatism. Bifocal or multifocal – These are prescribed for those with presbyopia (poor near vision focus).
These contact lenses are designed to be worn for one day and then disposed of. They require no maintenance and are highly convenient for busy people.
These lenses are taken out at the end of each day, stored over night and replaced the next morning. They require careful maintenance.
Who can wear contact lenses?
Most people can wear contact lenses, regardless of their prescription. The age at which a child can begin wearing contact lenses may vary, but from about eight years old they can start to learn about caring for contacts.
Are Contact Lenses Safe?
Contact lenses are a very safe option for most people but you must consult your optometrist for advice regarding your individual suitability for contact lenses. It is important to carefully follow guidance regarding eye health and contact lens care. This will ensure they continue to remain safe and effective to use. Very rarely complications can arise as a result of wearing contact lenses. A serious one is microbial keratitis, a bacterial infection which causes a sore to develop on the cornea.
How easy is it to take care of contact lenses?
Maintenance of contact lenses very much depends upon the type you choose to wear. For example, daily disposable lenses require no maintenance whatsoever, while others may need daily cleaning as well as additional enzyme treatments each week. It is important not to use tap water to clean contact lenses. This is because tap water can sometimes contain impurities that could potentially cause damage to the eyes. It is also not recommended that contact lenses are worn in the bath, shower, hot tub, or when swimming. Nearly all health problems relating to contact lens use occur as a result of poor lens care. It is essential that wearers establish a strict routine for caring for their lenses and of course the lens case. Those who lead very hectic lifestyles and find it difficult to find the time to carry out a proper cleaning ritual may benefit from daily wear disposable lenses.
Is it okay to wear contact lenses while taking part in sporting activities?
Yes. In fact, they are considered more suitable than glasses when playing sport. The risk of associated injury is reduced when wearing contacts compared to when wearing glasses. Contacts will not fall out or move around during play and they also provide a wider field of vision. In addition, wearing contacts instead of glasses makes it easier to wear protective equipment such as goggles.
Can I sleep in contact lenses?
There are a number of factors that will dictate whether or not it is safe to sleep in your contact lenses. These include the type of lenses you are wearing, the overall health of your eye and your tear film composition. You should ask your optometrist for advice about sleeping in your lenses. If you are advised not to sleep in your contact lenses but do so accidentally, try not to panic. Don’t try to remove them immediately as they may be dry and abrasive. Instead put some lubricating drops in and wait a little while before taking the lens out. See your optometrist if your eyes become red, sore or painful.
How often should contact lenses be replaced?
The frequency at which lenses should be replaced will depend upon the type of lenses they are. Your optometrist will be able to tell you how often you will need to replace yours, but as a general rule: Daily disposables – Should be replaced with a new pair each day. Reusable – Can be worn on more than one occasion as long as they are properly cleaned and stored. Different types and brands will vary, but will typically need replacing every few months. Some last for up to a year. Extended wear – These lenses can be worn for extended periods of time, day and night, but should be replaced regularly. If removed they must be properly cleaned before being replaced.