Contact lenses are a popular alternative to glasses, but there are various types to suit different conditions and requirements. There are many types of contact lenses but they generally fall into two categories: hard and soft lenses.
Soft lenses tend to be the more popular choice; they are comfortable and fit most people well. Hard lenses hold their shape while still allowing oxygen through to the cornea. Hard contact lenses are often more suitable for people who have conditions such as high astigmatism or keratoconus, where the cornea is irregularly shaped, as the soft lens may not fit properly or give clear vision.
In addition, the type of lens that your optometrist or ophthalmologist may recommend for you may differ depending on how often you plan to wear them and for which occasions.
Disposable lenses are removed every evening and replaced on a on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on the lens-type. These lenses should not be worn overnight as this could pose a risk of infection. Daily wear lenses are sometimes recommended for people with allergies as they are thrown out after each use which doesn’t allow for allergen buildup.
Extended-wear lenses may be worn overnight but are removed at least weekly for thorough cleaning. However, this type of contact lens is being recommended less frequently due to increased risk of infection with overnight wear.
Taking care of your eyes
Although they are safe to use, wearing contact lenses comes with a number of associated risks. The main risk associated with contact lens use is eye infection.
It is not advisable to swim in your lenses, and you should also avoid wearing your lenses when showering or using a jacuzzi or sauna.
The most effective way to avoid eye infections is through proper lens care. Using the correct solution, taking care when cleaning the lenses and replacing the lens case frequently are some of the most important steps in reducing the risk of infection. Also, make sure to check the expiry date, and don’t use solution or lenses that are expired.
DO'S & DONT'S of contact lens care
- Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before touching your lenses.
- Clean your contact lenses carefully and regularly.
- Store your lenses in proper storage cases.
- Only use fresh contact lens solution.
- Don’t use tap water for cleaning or storing your contact lenses.
- Don’t put contact lenses in your mouth.
- Remove your lenses before swimming.