The Latest Trends in Contact Lenses

Who says that wearing contact lenses is lame and boring? Who thinks that contact lenses are only for bookworms, geeks and nerds? If you are someone who thinks this way, better think again because contact lenses are far more than just vision-corrective devices, they are also fashionable and trendy accessories that makes a simple outfit stand out. Some contact lenses are even designed to enhance the wearer’s natural beauty. All contact lens manufacturers come up with various and innovative methods to consistently produce better products. Consumers from all age groups and walks of life, now have several contact lens options that cater to their needs and dynamic personalities. Gone are the days, when contact lenses used to be shabby and have poor qualities, today’s contacts are by far more improved in many aspects.
Number one on our list for the latest trend in contact lenses is the “30-day contacts”. These lenses allow the wearer to use the contacts morning, noon and night for 30 straight days. The wearer can even forget wearing them, since they can be left in the eye for a long period of time. The 30-day contact lenses are made out of silicone hydrogel material which allows higher oxygen permeability, allowing oxygen to pass through freely making it safe for the wearer. People who live in dusty and smoky areas may experience small particle accumulation on the lens over time. Number two on our trendy list is the “disposable contact Lenses”. Although these lenses have been available for quite some time now, this type has become more disposable and inexpensive than ever. Day-use contacts can be thrown away after 24 hours of use. These types of lens is hassle free, build up free, allergy free and most importantly doesn’t require any type of storage. Number three on our list is “color contacts”. Color contact lenses are very popular among teens and young adults. These lenses correct vision and at the same time add style and flare. Colors can range from natural tones to extreme shades; some even have features that can add sparkle and interesting shapes and patterns.

Contact Lenses and the “hard- to- fit” patient

Although contact lenses are for everyone, there are a select few, who are not ideally fit. Certain conditions and situations make wearing contact lenses a bit difficult for these people, but difficult doesn’t mean impossible. Wearing contact lenses is still an option for them but, finding the right pair might require some hits and misses. Individuals suffering from eye conditions such as Astigmatism, Giant papillary conjunctivitis or (GPC), Keratoconus and Presbyopia may need specialized contact lenses as well as refractive surgery or LASIK as a form of treatment and intervention. Doctors and Eye specialists are the best people to help select the right contacts for these “hard-to-fit” patients.

Contact Lenses for Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a condition where in the normal curvature of the front portion of the eye is oval shaped or has a bulge. This distorted curvature causes blurred vision. Patients with astigmatism wear soft “Toric Lenses”, a type of lens that doesn’t rotate, fits the eye snugly and aligns with the bulge, correcting vision.
Contact Lenses for Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
GPC is an inflammatory condition on the inner surface of the eyelids caused by foreign substances, bacterial build-up and protein deposits. Patients with GPC can wear one-day disposable contact lenses which can be changed daily. Frequent contact lens changes can help prevent accumulation of protein deposits.

Contact Lenses for Keratoconus
Keratoconus is an uncommon eye condition where in the cornea becomes thin, making the eye bulge forward, giving it a cone shape appearance. Patient with keratoconus can wearing gas-permeable contact lenses. This type of lens does not adhere directly to the eye its rigid shape can contain the bulge while correcting vision. Gas-permeable lenses also provide cushion and comfort.

Contact Lenses for Presbyopia
As people age, the eye loses its ability to focus clearly, this visual degenerative process is called presbyopia. Old adults with presbyopia can wear contact bifocal or multifocal contact lenses. These specialized and customized lenses are made to fit the specific visual needs of the wearer.
It is best for “Hard-to-fit” patients to look at all their options and then consult with a medical specialist before making their choice.

Sports and Contact Lenses

Aside from, physical strength, speed, agility and endurance, excellent vision is one of the most important assets an athlete needs to possess. In any sport, vision is an essential factor that contributes to a great athletic performance. For athletes who do not have the best and perfect vision, they can resort to several options such as lasik surgery, corrective glasses and contact lenses. Each option has its own set of pros and cons, as well as benefits and disadvantages. Other factors like the cost, comfort and convenience may also affect which vision corrective measure an athlete chooses to go for.

Wearing glasses can be a good option for most athletes, but when they play contact sports like baseball or football in the field, or race competitively, this could be a big problem. Wearing contact lenses during play on the other hand provides more comfort and fewer restrictions. Contact lenses fit snuggly on the athlete’s eye, allowing him to look straight ahead and on the sides. Wearing glasses can cause blind spots, most especially on the peripheral areas. Contacts when worn properly do not fall off or break, which prevents the occurrence of eye and facial injuries.

The best contact lens option for athletes is the rigid gas-permeable lens. These lenses hold their shape on the eye and they do not flatten out like soft contact lenses. Rigid gas-permeable lenses also provide better correction for corneal abnormalities and astigmatism. These lenses are comfortable to the eye because oxygen can flow freely and tears are not absorbed. Small particles and debris do not accumulate on rigid gas-permeable lenses, making them clean and safe.

Staying safe during sports and wearing contact lenses at the same time is very important for athletes. Proper contact lens handling and care must be observed at all times. Mishandling and improper use can lead to eye infections, complications and visual damage. It is also very important to remember that most contact lenses do not provide adequate protection from UV rays, wearing protective goggles or additional eye paraphernalia may help reduce its harmful effects.Sports Contact Lenses

Children and Contact Lenses

Wearing a pair of contacts is generally safe and convenient for adults but when it comes to children safety can become an issue. Most doctors and optometrists will not prescribe contact lenses to children below 12 years old. Young children are not yet capable of using contact lenses in a safe and healthy manner. Proper contact lens handling, hygiene and cleanliness might be compromised if done by young kids. Children above 12 years old are more responsible, this age group can even manage to handle certain types of contact lenses.

The eye of young children as well infants can tolerate contact lenses. Some newborns are even fitted with special lenses at birth to manage certain conditions like congenital cataracts. If you’re a parent and you have a child who’s interested in wearing contact lenses, you should take note of these simple things. Assess how your child handles simple tasks and how he copes up with responsibility. If he can perform simple chores and routines independently, he might be a good contact lens user. If you have a child that needs constant reminders and doesn’t perform tasks that well, he might not be ready for the responsibilities of using contacts.

Children who are fit to wear contact lenses are great wearers. Physically, their eyes are less prone to dryness compared to adults. Some children even follow instructions better than adults and because of this they have fewer complications like over-wear and improper use of contact lens solutions.

Contact Lens vs. Eye Glasses

Like many of us, there comes a time in our lives when we get confused about certain things. We are faced with several options and we do not know which one to take. Before deciding on what’s best, we weigh things out; some of us even list down all the pros and cons, to help make our final selection. Narrowing our choices down to the final 2 definitely helps.

When it comes to eye wear, there are 2 choices, a person can opt for. He can either use glasses or contact lenses. For someone who hasn’t tried either of the two, it would be difficult for him to choose. There are several factors that need to be considered when choosing the right eye wear. There’s preference, comfort, vision correction and price. For individuals who tend to gear for what’s “traditional”, they can choose eye glasses. This type of corrective eye wear is simple, convenient and easy to use. Eye glasses also come in different frames, styles, shapes, colors and sizes that can help make a person look terrific. Eye glasses are like any other accessories, they do not need sterilization and they can be worn and removed multiple times. Individuals who want to improve and correct their vision, minus the glasses can choose the contact lens. This type of eye wear offers a lot of advantages over eye glasses. Contacts are worn directly over the lens which allows more natural vision. Contacts do not obstruct and obscure vision, athletes and physically active individuals can benefit from this. Contact lenses can help retain more peripheral vision compared to eye glasses. For those who do not want any alteration in their physical appearance, wearing contacts is the best choice.

The Do Not’s in Wearing Contacts

The success and safety of the use of contact lenses greatly depends upon the person using them. If you’re a person who’s already wearing contact lenses or if you’re someone who considers getting a pair of your own, here’s a list of “do not’s” that will help make you a better contact lens wearer.

1)       Do not touch the bottle tip of the contact lens solution with your fingers; also do not touch the bottle tip on your eye when applying the drops.

2)      Do not hold the edges and ridges of the contact lens, most especially if it’s a rigid gas permeable type. Hold the front or back portion instead.

3)      Do not slide the contact lens on a surface that’s flat and dry.

4)      Do not use hair spray or anything similar to that when the contact lens are in place, use them before inserting the contacts.

5)      Do not use any type of fluid, most especially saliva when wetting the lens. Saliva is full of microorganisms that can cause eye irritation and infection.

6)      Do not sleep with your contact lens in your eye, unless indicated by the doctor.

7)      Do not wear contact lenses when your eyes appear red, irritated and swollen.

8)      Do not share or borrow used contact lenses, this is a big no-no.

9)      Do not apply eyeliner on the eyelid’s inner margin; doing this can increase the risk for infection and irritation.

10)   Do not use water proof eyeliner and eye mascara; these cosmetics are difficult to clean off when it comes in contact with the lenses.

11)    Do not apply contact lenses in moving vehicles and dark places to prevent eye injury.

The Do’s in wearing Contacts

Wearing a pair of contacts is not as difficult as one might think. It’s very easy to get them, both the prescription lens and the non-prescription type. Contact lenses can be bought anywhere, from optical shops, health stores and even on-line. Once you have your very own pain and once you have decided to start wearing them, here’s a list Do’s that will help you with your contact lens experience.

1)       Do remember to keep you contact lens moist. Moisture helps prevent possible tears and breaks

2)      Do add re-wetting drops and solutions before removing the contact lens

3)      Do remember to wet the lens with saline drops especially during cleaning and before picking them up from a dry surface.

4)      Do use eye cosmetics sparingly and choose the hypoallergenic and non-flaky kind. Flaky cosmetics might enter the eye and cause discomfort and irritation. For people who use eye make-up, use a fresh, unexpired batch of shadows and liners.

5)      Do remember to insert lenses before applying any eye cosmetic.

6)      Do remember to remove lenses before removing any eye cosmetic.

7)      Do follow the doctor’s recommendation and advice; when it comes to contact lens solutions, use the ones recommended by the experts.

8)      Do keep the contact lens case/container clean. It is advisable to scrub the container with a cleaning solution once or twice a week.

9)      Do remember to always carry a fresh supply of contact lens cleaning and hydrating solution at all times. You never know when you might need it.

10)   Do consult the doctor for any complications and undesirable effects of wearing contact lenses. Report redness, irritation, itch and unresolved pain.

Contact Lenses and its Possible Health Complications

Vision is, by far the most important sense that we are fortunate to have. Attaining good vision can sometimes be a problem for a lot of us. People of different age groups and background can suffer from eye related conditions and visual deficiencies.  Wearing contact lenses is among the most reasonable and convenient interventions, one can practice in order to have good vision.

According to the American Optometric Association, a website supported by the National Institutes of Health, wearing contact lenses is generally safe; however, people who use them must be aware that there are possible health risks and complications. Wearing contact lenses can be potentially hazardous to the eye, if not done correctly. People who wear contacts face the risk of developing several health complications.

1)      Contact Lens “Over-wear” – This complication happens when not enough oxygen gets to the eye. The person can experience over-wear if he wears contacts for a very long duration. Over-wear symptoms include eye pain, discomfort and blurred vision. Not wearing contacts for a few days or weeks is the best remedy for this condition.

2)      Corneal Abrasion – Contact lenses are worn over the cornea. During instances where the contact lens is ill-fitting or when worn improperly, it could scratch the cornea’s surface and cause abrasions. Infection can occur on the site of the abrasion, antibiotics may be given as treatment.

3)      Corneal Ulcer – In severe cases, contact lenses can cause corneal ulcers. Major trauma and infection can happen on the cornea which results to permanent vision loss. An ulcerated cornea might require corrective surgery or even a corneal transplant.

4)      Allergic Reaction – Hypersensitivity reaction is usually related to the preservatives used in contact lens cleaning solutions. In this condition, the eye becomes red, irritated and swollen. Doctors can prescribe hypo-allergenic solutions to prevent these reactions.

Hard contact lenses at a glance

With cheap and vast types of soft contact lenses that are very much rampant in the market, one must wonder why someone should still opt for hard contact lenses. Unlike soft contact lenses, they are debatably less comfortable, fragile and they require more effort to clean.

However, all these commonly said differences that mostly give soft contact lenses a good impression on contact lens wearers still cannot deny the fact that eye doctors still recommend hard contact lenses especially to patients that have just begun to wear contacts.

These hard contact lenses are gas permeable, meaning that it allows air to pass through the plastic. Unlike soft contact lenses that are made of water, hard contact lenses do not welcome dirt; pollution and protein build ups that cause irritation. They also do not absorb water from the eyes which prevents dryness unlike soft contact lenses.

Most of hard contact lens wearers who also tried soft contact lenses that hard contact lenses give them a clearer and more focused vision compared to soft contact lenses.