Contact lenses are worn by twenty-eight to thirty-eight million people in the United States, and 125 million worldwide. Among designer contact lenses, almost ninety percent of people in the United States wear soft lenses, with the remaining people opting for rigid gas permeable lenses. Soft lenses in the United States have a predominantly spherical design to correct farsightedness or nearsightedness.
Research shows that women are the primary consumers in the market. More than half wear soft contact lens. Women wear nearly three quarters of the rigid gas permeable type. Soft contact lens are typically worn by persons aged 18 to 39. Those who wear rigid gas permeable lens are primarily over age 40.
People may select contacts instead of glasses to enhance appearance or for pragmatic reasons. Glasses tend to become impaired in wet weather, fog up, and fall off, particularly during sports. When participating in sports, such as swimming or polo, wearing glasses is impractical. Contacts can also offer a wider unobstructed field of vision than frames can provide.
Brand name, store name and generic contacts offer consumers choices on material, types, breathe ability, and moisture retention. Some high end contacts push the boundaries of comfort further, such as offering deposit-resistant surfaces, and extended wear. A variety of lenses are available to cater to lifestyle and eye care needs.
Disposable contacts can last for a day, a week or a month. Lenses for a specific eye conditions are available. Toric lenses help patients with astigmatism with special design features. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is misshapen or there’s a lens defect. Bifocal lenses are available to correct farsightedness.
While most lenses are tinted a light blue for easier visibility, the use of lenses for the cosmetic result of changing the eye color was three percent in 2004. Colored lenses can be aesthetically pleasing, and correct vision. Cosmetic options now include opaque lenses to change dark colored eyes. Enhancement tint contacts have a translucent tint to accent natural eye color for lighter eyes. Color tint lenses are darker, opaque tinted lenses that can completely change your eye color. With this selection, the iris of the lens is clear versus colored to prevent vision impairment. Cosmetic contacts can also cause vision problems such as irritation, blurring or obstruction.
All lenses may pose some health risks to the eye from mild redness to more serious infections. An eye care professional can ensure eye safety for contact wearers. Risk of eye infection can be reduced by following the manufacturer and your physician’s instructions.
Use of tap water is not a suitable substitute to clean contacts. When cleaning contacts, multipurpose cleaning solution and saline can be used. However, saline solution will not disinfectant. The lenses should be cleaned when extracted from the eye in the solution. If stored in solution, when removing contacts from solution, the solution is then considered contaminated, and should be discarded. When contacts are stored, fresh solution should be used. Properly fitted and maintained designer contact lenses can enhance the quality of vision and life for people, no matter which type, material or color selected.
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