Do you suffer from not seeing very well? Does this happen when you’re driving? When you’re reading? When you’re looking at the board in class? Does it happen 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week? You are probably a candidate for, or have already discovered, corrective contact lenses. Commonly known as “contacts,” corrective contact lenses are used to improve vision and eyesight. People turn to contact lenses for many reasons: their practical purpose, appearance over eye glasses, and for other reasons that outweigh wearing eye glasses.
Corrective Contact Lenses for Sight Contacts have been used for quite some time. They are used all over the world, and in the United States alone, over 20 million people wear them. Contacts are basically therapeutic lenses to cover the cornea of the eye. They are worn to improve vision. Many people, as evidenced by the astonishing number above, have a mismatch between the refractive power of the eye and the length of the eye; this is known as a refraction error. The corrective contact lens, for all intents and purposes, acts like a buffer by neutralizing this disparity and promoting the correct focusing of light on the retina, which is the part of the eye that receives images. There are a number of conditions for which corrective contact lenses are suitable:
- Myopia: near or short sightedness.
- Hypermetropia: far or long sightedness.
- Astigmatism: blurry vision.
- Presbyopia: this results with age and is marked by a diminished ability to see clearly.
There is also another condition that could possibly be corrected with corrective contact lenses, and it is called color blindness. The lens will allow those with color blindness to distinguish between colors better. It is not a cure, but a corrective measure.
How to Wear Contact Lenses It is important not to keep any type of contact lens in the eye day in and day out. Giving your eyes a break will prevent infection and irritated eyes. Wear the contacts during the day, and either take them out at night or every few days. When you should take them out depends on the specific type of contacts. Daily wear contacts should be only worn for the day and taken out at night. Extended wear contacts can be worn continuously, day and night, for 6 or more days; discard them after the specified amount of time. Another type, made with silicone material, can be worn for up to 30 consecutive days, and are called continuous wear. Both extended and continuous wear contact lenses have high oxygen permeability, allowing the integrity of the eye to remain intact and healthy. Before inserting any type of lens into the eye, wash the hands thoroughly with soap and water to prevent the spread of bacteria. You will need to be taught how to put the lenses in, and remember, practice makes perfect!
Caring for Contact Lenses If the corrective contact lenses aren’t just for single use, they need to be properly cared for; they’ll require regular cleaning and disinfecting. There are different types of cleaners that can be bought for this over-the-counter: multipurpose solutions, hydrogen peroxide, saline solutions, enzymatic cleaner, and more.
Contact Lenses vs. Eye Glasses Both types of eye wear have benefits; mainly that they allow you to see more clearly. Advantages of contact lenses are: they are less affected by damp/wet weather, they don’t steam up, and they provide a wider field of vision than do glasses. Many people simply find them to be more comfortable than wearing eye glasses. However, the choice is yours, and if you find it difficult to wear contact lenses for any reason, that is perfectly okay.