Contact lenses are a safe and convenient alternative to spectacles, provided you follow the instructions given by your optometrist. They are able to correct most refractive error conditions such as shortsightnedness (myopia), longsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism and presbyopia (blurred near vision that occurs as we age). There are two main types of contact lenses. Hard lenses are usually made of rigid plastic and cover only part of the cornea. Soft lenses are made of a flexible water-absorbing material that conforms closely to the shape of the eye. They usually come in regular replacement forms (i.e. daily, fortnightly or monthly disposable lenses). The type of lenses that are prescribed depend on your eye health, vision problems, the shape of your eyes, your work environment, sport and hobby requirements.
All contact lenses need to be cleaned and disinfected daily (except daily disposables) in order to remove micro-organisms that can cause eye infections. Contact lens related eye infections can be sight threatening, so the correct maintenance and care regimens are not to be taken lightly. Here are some important points to note:
1. Don’t sleep in your contact lenses. The incidence of eye infections from contact lens wear rises sharply in overnight wear compared to daily wear. So it’s important you don’t sleep in your contact lenses unless you have been permitted to do so under special circumstances by your optometrist/ophthalmologist.
2. Don’t overwear your contact lenses. The older a lens is, the higher the risk of contact lens contamination with microbes; so it’s important you replace them according to the correct schedule (you may need to set yourself reminders!). Daily disposable contact lenses are the safest option because you start each day with a new lens.
3. Don’t forget about your case. Your contact lens case also needs to be cleaned on a daily basis and replaced monthly to avoid transmitting microbes to your contact lenses.
With an appropriate care, maintenance and replacement schedule, contact lenses offer a safe and wonderful alternative option to spectacles. Come and see us if you are interested in the possibility of contact lenses for your vision requirements.
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