Development of the Contact lenses was considered as a milestone in ophthalmic care,
because it has solved a lot of previously difficult to manage problems.
It was a giant
step toward correcting refractive errors that are not easily managed by glasses or at
least not fully corrected by only glasses usage.
All this advancement did not come without a price to pay, more & more people
started to use them without knowing the impact of abuse or the proper care of the contact
It is also true that older versions of Contact lenses were more toxic to the human eye
and required more care and hygiene, the newly developed lenses are made of materials that
are less Allergenic and toxic to the eye as well as having the advantage of requiring less
care and cleansing.
There are hundreds of types of contact lenses in the market, discussing of them all is
out of the scope of this brief summary, but some of the common types will be mentioned.
Generally the contact lenses are either Hard (Gas permeable) or soft, the majority of
Lenses used conventionally are of the soft material, the hard lenses have specific uses
Of the soft lenses there are the
EXTENDED wear: can be worn time after time, requires meticulous cleansing procedures
and should be replaced after the specific period of time.
DISPOSABLE soft Lenses: these have a specific duration for usage and expire after a
Examples of these are:
Daily wear lenses: these are used for 24 hours only and are disposed off.
Weekly wear lenses: these are similar lenses as daily wear but can b worn for one week.
Monthly wear: these lenses can be used for one month after which it should be disposed
Cosmetic Lenses: these lenses are becoming very popular especially among ladies, these
lenses are of extended wear type and they come in various colors and shades.
It is very important to realize that if the lenses are misused, can produce a
significant risk of loosing the eyesight, many people do take it very lightly and do not
adhere to the recommended cleaning procedures of the lenses, or over wear them beyond the
recommended safe time limit.
In addition, we face another hazard in this part of the world that is; the dry and
dusty weather conditions, which can produce a lot of problems for contact lens wearers.
Following are some guidelines for safe contact lens usage:
It is mandatory to have a complete Eyre Exam before contact lenses to be used, as there
are certain contraindications for the usage, which can only be recognized by a thorough
Eye Exam, this includes all kinds of contact lenses including the Cosmetic colored
lenses. There are specific measurements of the Corneas (the black round part of the Eye)
to be performed before a suitable lens can be prescribed.
The contact lens wearer should acquire knowledge about the advantages and disadvantages
of each type of lenses and hence can decide which type suits his or her needs.
In general daily, weekly and monthly lenses require less care and are safer to use than
the extended wear lenses.
The user should have full knowledge about the types of cleansing procedures and type of
solutions and "tablet Protein removers" and should know how frequently should
the lenses be cleaned.
It is absolutely forbidden to sleep with the contact lenses on; this poses a great risk
of developing Infections and Corneal Ulcers that can be sight threatening.
It advisable to learn the exact technique for applying and removing the lens without
scratching its surface, this should be done after washing and rubbing both hands with a
disinfectant soap for at least five minutes before handling the lenses.
Do not wash the lenses with tap water, it can produce a corneal ulcer caused by the
Parasite "Acanthamoeba" which is a normal habitant of tap water, these ulcers
are very nasty infection and is very difficult to treat.
Always use the lenses under the specified or recommended times limit, do not over wear
the contact lens beyond its Expiry date (every lens has a time limit which most of the
time does not exceed 4-6 months).
Remember, not replacing the contact lens before the expiry date can cause severe damage
to your eyesight "which is very precious".
Any abnormal feeling after putting the lenses on
(Itching, Redness or Foreign body sensation) should be taken seriously, the lenses
should be carefully removed and eyes washed with clean water, if symptoms persist, an eye
doctor should be consulted.
Over cleaning will only consume some extra time & effort, under cleaning could
consume your eyesight.
Dusty & dry weather conditions poses an extra risk for Eye infections, so extra
care is to be taken if lenses are worn in such conditions, its even advisable not to wear
the lenses in dusty and windy days due to the high risk of acquiring infections.