As more people discover the advantages of contact lenses, and with the persistence of the global need of vision care, the use of this form of vision correction is increasing around the world. There are now in excess of 100 million contact lens wearers globally, but with more than 1.45 billion myopic people in the world to cater for, the Brien Holden Vision Institute continues to strive for new innovations to treat eye conditions and making advances in the development of better contact lens products.
Contact lenses can now correct almost all eyesight problems including:
· Myopia (short-sightedness)
· Hyperopia (long-sightedness),
· Presbyopia (age-related reading problem).
Even with the many recent advances in spectacle lens technology and the rising popularity of surgical interventions such as laser eye corrections, the use of contact lens remains a safe, effective and inexpensive way of achieving clear comfortable vision for many people.
Contact lenses offer various benefits over spectacle wear and refractive surgery. Compared to spectacles, contact lenses enable more ease of wear during sports and leisure activities by providing a wider field of view, less chance of dislodgement, less susceptibility to fogging, slipping off the face due to sweating, and dirt. Contact lenses also allow sunglasses and protective eyewear to be worn on top without any hassle.
In addition to the obvious benefits of offering natural peripheral vision and enhancement of appearance, in some cases, contact lenses may also offer better visual acuity. It has been found that optimal vision correction offered by contact lenses can improve performance in some elite athletes.
Contact lens practice has come a long way since the prescribing of the very first contact lenses, made out of the non-oxygen permeable and rigid PMMA material, over forty years ago. The ongoing advances in technology have allowed contact lenses to be increasingly comfortable, more breathable, and able to be worn for longer periods of time with minimal complications of the eye.
Contact lenses are now soft and easy to adapt to. They come in frequent replacement and daily disposable modes of wear, which reduces the risk of infection and other adverse ocular events by minimising lens deposits, lens contamination, and general lens wear and tear.
The development of the silicone hydrogel material which is highly oxygen permeable (a breakthrough achievement of the Institute and its partners), allows lenses to be worn for long hours and still keep the eyes healthy and clear. If the lens cleaning regime is adhered to, lenses are being replaced as they should be and regular eye tests undertaken with an optometrist, contact lenses are a safe and convenient way of obtaining good vision.
What is a Contact Lens?
These are small lenses that float on the tear fluid of the eye, hence the name contact lenses.
They are made to your prescription so that you will be able to see, without the need for spectacles.
Are they a lot more expensive than spectacles?
In the past they were a lot more expensive, however with recent improvements in technology, the cost of contact lenses have now become comparable to buying spectacles.
Are they comfortable to wear?
Over the past few years lenses have been made softer, thinner and more flexible, making them extremely comfortable. Within about 5 days, the average person will be completely adjusted and forget they are wearing contact lenses.
Are they available for any prescription?
Most people wearing spectacles would be able to wear contact lenses, since they are available for a wide range of prescriptions.
There are now even special lenses for people who wear bifocals and for those with astigmatism.
Can I still keep my spectacles?
Countless people alternate between spectacles and contact lenses to suit their particular lifestyle. Some only wear them for special occasions or when they need to look their natural best, the rest of the time they use spectacles.
What types of lenses are there?
Actually there is a wide range to choose from. There are daily, weekly or monthly disposable lenses and even longer term ones. The disposable lenses are made from a soft plastic material, whilst the longer term lenses are made from a similar but harder material.
I'll get the lenses mixed up with each other?
Contact lenses are supplied in a special case with two chambers, one for the left eye and the other for the right. Ideally it is best to start with the right eye first and then move to the left eye. Inserting and removing in this way, makes sure that the lenses will be correctly placed.
How do I put the lenses in?
The most common method of inserting lenses is as follows:-
- Place the lens on the tip of your forefinger, it should look like a bowl.
- Place the middle finger near your lower eye lashes and pull down the lid.
- Using the other hand, use a finger to lift the upper lid, then place the lens on the eye.
- Gently release both lids then blink a few times.
- Do likewise for the other eye.
There are other methods of inserting the lenses, and should the above not be suitable, then our staff can consider finding a better way of doing so.
How do I take them out?
Providing that you have short finger nails, the simplest way to remove contact lenses is to use what's known as the "Pinch Method".
- Look up and slide the lens down to the white of the eye using a finger.
- Gently pinch the lens between the thumb and forefinger and carefully remove it.
There are other methods of removing the lenses, and if the above is not suitable, our staff can consider finding a better way of doing so.