Understanding What Contact Lenses Are

A convenient and a smart substitute for spectacles, contact lenses help in eye focusing in the same manner as spectacles do. Contacts are small visual devices made with curved pieces of plastic shaped in a way to adapt to the wearer’s eye.

Conceptualized first by Leonardo Da Vinci, there has been many changes and modifications made to the original idea of contacts. They provide an artificial refracting surface to the human eye and are used to correct vision problems like myopia and hyperopia.Besides, contact lenses can be used for therapeutic and cosmetic reasons. There are almost 35million wearers of these lenses today in the USA alone.

Features of Contacts

Made from different types of materials – soft and rigid – and come in a variety of designs and colors which disposable, colored, astigmatic, aphakic, presbyopic and keratoconic lenses. However, the most important thing is the initial fitting and follow-up care essential to maximize benefits of comfort, vision and tissue integrity.

Advantages of Contacts

There are places where the contacts score above the spectacles. Unlike the spectacles they are not in the danger of slipping off, getting wet, or fogging up. Moreover, they can correct several eye problems which spectacles cannot.

o Contacts are more comfortable for hypermetropiac people and people with their cataracts removed since they provide a better and even vision.
o For people with damaged corneas through diseases or injuries can have more improved vision through contact lenses.
o In case of sportsmen, these lenses are more convenient since spectacles may be a hindrance in their job.
o Contact lenses give a better side-vision as compared to glasses.

Uses of Contacts

o Besides the primary function of correcting myopia or short sightedness, contact lenses also rectify visual problems like hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia and aphakia.
o Rigid lenses correct irregular corneal trauma.
o Soft lenses are used as bandages for conditions like bullous keratopathy, recurring corneal erosion and also increases comfort, vision and postoperative wound healing.

The Main 2 Types

o Soft lenses-These are made of hydrophilic plastics and absorb liquid and should be kept moist for softness and easier molding to the corneal surface. These are extremely comfortable and are used by majority.
o Rigid contacts RPG)-Easier to maintain these are made of which permit oxygen to pass through to the cornea. These have replaced the original hard lenses, or PMMAs, used earlier which did not allow oxygen to pass to the eye.

The Adverse Effects

o It is difficult to use lenses if you have eye irritations due to allergies, dust or chemicals.
o You cannot use contact lenses if you have overactive thyroid gland, severe diabetes or extreme arthritis in the hands, dry eyes related to pregnancy, contraceptives, diuretics, antihistamines and decongestants and eye disease.
o Besides, the use of contact lenses can lead to other problems like eye infections, allergic reactions to lens care solutions ,deposit on lenses, redness of the eyes, scratched corneas, change in corneal shape and structure and growth of abnormal blood vessels in the apparently clear cornea.

If any kind of irritation or discomfort persists you should visit your ophthalmologist. Moreover, it is advisable to consult your ophthalmologist before you choose the contact lenses in order to see which is the right lens for you- soft or gas permeable. A yearly eye examination is also essential for the welfare of your eyes.

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