Today, almost anyone is a candidate to wear contact lenses. Patients with astigmatism, bifocals, and dry eyes who were formerly not candidates for contacts can now wear them comfortably and safely due to recent advances in contact lenses and lens solutions.
Types of contacts
There are two types of contacts: gas permeable and soft lenses. Gas permeable contacts are harder than soft lenses, and are traditionally worn by patients with high amounts of astigmatism or patients with certain other unique prescriptions. They should be removed at night, and one pair may last a year or more.
Soft contacts are mass-produced, and they should be discarded monthly, bi-weekly, or daily. Many soft lenses should be removed before sleeping, but some can be slept in under certain circumstances. Soft lenses come for people who are nearsighted, people who are farsighted, people with astigmatism, and people who need a bifocal.
Contacts also come in many colors, with or without a prescription, to change or enhance the color of your eyes.
Contact lens care
Contact lens care is dependent on the type of contact lens worn. Daily disposable lenses need no care – as the name implies they are discarded daily. Other contacts may need to be cleaned and disinfected daily, weekly, or monthly. Some aspects of contact lens care are constant, regardless of what type of contacts a patient wears. The following are general guidelines for contact lens wear:
- Always wash your hands before handling your contacts.
- Never sleep in your contacts unless your eye doctor has said it is OK.
- Only use the type of contact lens solution prescribed by your eye doctor.
- Never share your contacts with another person.
- Discard your contacts at the intervals recommended by your eye doctor.
- If your eye turns red or painful, remove your contact lens immediately.