Contact lenses are worn directly on the cornea. Just like eye glasses, they can correct refractive errors and improve your vision. When used with proper care and supervision, they make good alternatives to eyeglasses.

Contact lenses can correct the following conditions.

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Astigmatism (distorted vision)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Presbyopia

While you can find many different kinds of contacts lenses, you should choose contacts that suit your particular situation. Ask your optometrist to help you find the right contact lens.

Daily disposable lenses

These contacts are more expensive, but they carry much less risk of infection. You should remove them at bedtime to reduce the risk of infection.

Soft contact lenses

Soft contact lenses are widely prescribed. They are made of materials which incorporate water. As a result they are soft and flexible. They also let oxygen reach the cornea.

Risk Factors

Misuse of contacts can cause major damage to the cornea. People who wear contacts at bedtime have a much higher risk of developing cornea infections. Improper wearing of contacts can also result in intolerance.

Gas permeable contact lenses can scratch your cornea if they do not fit well or if they are worn while sleeping. These lenses may also slide off your cornea and get trapped under the lid. Worse, they may ‘pop out’ of the eye. These lenses may have protein build-up. This can cause allergies and result in blurring, discomfort and intolerance. You will probably need special solutions to dissolve them.

Who must not use contact lenses?

Most people who require vision correction can use contacts. If you have severe allergies and frequent eye infections you should not wear them. People who work in dirty or dusty environments too should not wear contacts.

Caring for your contacts

  • You have to properly clean and disinfect contact lenses after removing them. This is necessary to kill germs. You should clean your contact lens cases daily. You should also replace the cases every three months.
  • Do not put the lens in your mouth before putting it in your eye.
  • Do not use homemade cleaning solutions. They may lead to severe eye infections.
  • As eye drops can interact with contact lenses, use only the prescribed solutions.

How to wear your contact lenses properly

  • You should wash your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses.
  • Do not share your contacts with another person.
  • Do not use non-prescription color contact lenses.
  • Wear lenses according to the schedule prescribed by the optometrist.

Warning signs

You should remove the contact lenses if you notice the following symptoms.

  • You are too sensitive to light.
  • You have red, watery eyes.
  • Your eyes feel scratchy.
  • Your eyes are painful.
  • You have blurred vision.