Glasses, LASIK surgery, and contact lenses are generally the three major options for correcting common vision problems. Choosing the right type of corrective aid depends on the person, but millions of people decide to wear contacts for corrective vision needs every year. Contact lenses free you from wearing glasses without requiring surgery, and lens products have improved greatly over the years to become the comfortable, convenient options they are today.
How Are Contact Lenses Made?
The idea of placing a foreign object in your eye may seem ridiculous, but contacts provide clear, crisp vision with comfort and reliability. Knowing what contact lenses are made of might help you feel more at ease plucking them in and out of your eye.
They are precision cut with a special machine called a lathe from various forms of plastic polymers. An injection molding process helps ensure quality. Until properly molded, each lens begins as a disc-like piece of plastic. The type of plastic polymers used depends on the style of the contact lens required. An eye doctor will need to recommend the right type of lens for an optimal corrective vision experience, but some types include:
- Soft contacts that consist of hydrophilic plastic polymers. Soft contact lenses interact with natural water layers in the eye for optimal comfort. The thin plastic actually conforms around the eye’s surface to provide comfort.
- Silicone hydrogel lenses, which are a popular choice. Consisting of tiny holes, the hydrogel lens allows oxygen to continuously flow to the cornea for optimal comfort.
- Gas permeable or hard contacts, which do not conform to the eye. Unlike soft contact lenses, the rigid, gas permeable lenses require unique customization to fit into the eye properly and ensure maximum comfort.
How to Wear Contact Lenses
After making an informed choice about lens type, learning the basics of caring for and wearing contacts is crucial. Wearing them may sound like a simple task, but contacts require a specific care routine. A new daily contact wearer must learn how to properly clean, maintain, and wear the lenses.
Daily wear, extended wear, and disposable contacts provide different options for the new contact wearer. Each type has specific care requirements.
Daily wear requires the user to remove and clean the lenses each night. Daily wear is generally an economical choice. Extended wear lenses do not need daily removal, as they can remain in the eyes even when you sleep. The contact lenses need cleaning and disinfecting each week. Disposable lenses require removal after the time limit of use. Following the instructions that come with your lenses helps you keep your contact lenses in optimal condition for use.
How to Clean Contact Lenses
Always begin with clean, dry hands when handling your lenses to avoid any type of debris or bacteria getting into your eye. Using a multipurpose solution, clean and prepare the contacts right in the palm of your hand by slowly moving the contact lens back and forth in the solution. Cleaning contacts helps in removing debris to obtain maximum comfort levels.
How to Put in Contact Lenses
Placing the contact gently on your eye’s surface may require practice and patience. With daily or extended wear lenses, you must rinse the lens with a solution prior to placing in your eye. Begin by placing the contact lens on your index finger. Hold your eyelid open with your other hand and place the lens in the lower part of your eye. Remove the hand holding your eyelid open. Continue blinking until the lens is in the center of your eye.
How to Remove Contact Lenses
After wearing the lenses the recommended amount of time, you will need to remove the lenses. Looking upward, gently place your index finger on the lower edge of your contact lens. Carefully slide the lens down until you can squeeze the lens together to remove it from your eye.
In the beginning, the process of putting in or removing your contact lenses may seem difficult or frustrating. Give yourself plenty of time to do each step. Practicing lets you develop an eye care routine.
Medically Necessary Contact Lenses
Under some medical conditions, contacts may be the only choice for corrective vision treatment. Medically necessary lens prescriptions are part of a treatment for a health condition. The use of glasses would not provide the same type of results as the medically necessary contacts.
Smart Contact Lenses
The future of contact lenses is always changing. With advancing technology, smart contact lenses are becoming available to help people with diabetes. A diabetic can constantly monitor glucose levels through natural tears simply by wearing the smart contact lenses.
From nearsightedness to medical necessities, contact lenses are here to help with each person’s individual needs. Discussing contact lens options with your eye doctor is crucial to obtaining the right lens for you.