Millions of people wear contact lenses in the world today for numerous different eye problems. They are a great alternative to glasses but it is vital to care for them correctly in order to prevent eye infections, discomfort or problems with eye oxygenation. When you were first given contact lenses by your optician he should have coached you through how to care for contact lenses, but it’s always good to be reminded. And if you are currently considering switching your glasses for contact lenses the following article should help.
Contact Lens Types
There are four main contact lens types which are:
- Soft contact lenses which are made of flexible plastic and are said to be more comfortable for the wearer than other types.
- Rigid Gas Permeable lenses (RGP) which although aren’t as comfortable as soft contact lenses, they are said to provide a better level of vision. They are also a lot more durable and resistant to a buildup of deposits.
- Extended Wear lenses which are able to be worn for between six days and one month at a time. Most contact lenses have to be removed at night time so the benefits of these lenses are clear.
- Disposable contact lenses which have to be disposed of after one use.
The type of contact lenses that is best for you will determined after you have spoken to your optician. The above categories can be further split up depending on the eye problem that you are suffering from. Long sighted, short sighted and bifocal contact lenses can all be obtained. UV lenses and coloured contact lenses are also available although these are not usually obtained for health reasons.
How to Care for Contact Lenses
The best way to care for your contact lenses will depend on the type of contact lenses you wear and the material that they are made from. Generally daily disposable lenses don’t need to be cleaned because you will throw them out after one usage however if you wear contact lenses that are available to be worn more than use there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind to avoid contact lens problems.
- Always wash your hands with warm water and soap, and dry them properly before touching your eyes or handling contact lenses.
- Don’t wear your contact lenses for longer than your optician advised.
- Clean your contact lens case daily.
- Only use the contact lens solution that was advised by your optician as some forms of solution are not suitable for contact lens wear and others are only suitable for specific types of contacts.
- Never ever clean your contact lenses in your mouth or with pure water – this can lead to contact lens problems such as infection.
- If you find you are suffering problems or think you have an eye infection switch back to your glasses immediately until you have sought medical advice.
- Never use anyone else’s contact lenses.
- Unless you are prescribed extended wear lenses do not sleep with your contact lenses in.
- Use a plain saline solution to keep your eyes lubricated and make sure that this does not come into contact with anything else such as your fingers to prevent contamination.
- If you wear makeup, place your contact lenses in your eyes first.
- Schedule an appointment with your optician or doctor immediately if you suffer any sight problems or notice anything unusual.
Contact Lens Problems
The main contact lens problem that people tend to suffer from is an allergic reaction to the lenses. This is primarily seen when the extended wear lenses are worn and manifests itself with redness, water or itching. If you experience this you should remove the lenses and speak to your optician about changing the lenses that are being worn. Other problems occur when the lenses are not cared for properly and these are simple to prevent by following the guidelines above. If you experience severe contact lens problems you should immediately remove the lenses and contact your GP.