Eye Health Awareness Week 2010 – Day 3: Wearing Contact Lenses

contact_lens

If you did a 10 minute survey of people coming out of a busy station chances are a large proportion of them would be wearing contact lenses. According to the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers, around 3 million people in the UK wear contact lenses but that number is growing fast all the time.

With such huge scientific advances in the industry over the past few years, the popularity of contact lenses has soared as they become increasingly comfortable and affordable. The days of going through the agonies of getting used to wearing rigid contact lenses that cost a fortune are thankfully long gone.

People of all ages and prescriptions can wear lenses, even children and those with astigmatisms thanks for the wide range now available: daily disposables, two weekly disposables, monthly disposables, extended wear which can be worn whilst asleep, toric for astigmatisms, multi-focus to correct both long and short sightedness, gas permeable and coloured fashion lenses – there’s something for everyone.

However, just because contact lenses have become so mainstream it doesn’t mean they don’t need very careful handling and maintenance. Putting something in your eye on a daily basis greatly increases the risk of infection so keeping hands clean and changing lenses at the recommended intervals is basic. Bacteria very quickly builds up on contact lenses so they should either be cleaned thoroughly before wearing or thrown away at the advised intervals for disposables – never worn again to save money.

Misuse of contact lenses can result in permanent damage to the cornea so cutting corners or simply being lazy can have disastrous results.

Just like glasses, contact lenses need to be fitted for the individual. You wouldn’t consider wearing someone else’s glasses and the same should apply to contact lenses.

A contact lens check is an entirely different procedure to an eye test. Both are essential in order to maintain healthy eyes and good vision, it’s not one or the other. Eye shape as well as vision changes with age so yearly checks up’s are essential.

Coloured_contact_lens

Beware of cheap mass produced coloured contact lenses – off-the-shelf products can easily lead to serious eye irritation. Brilliant blue eyes may look stunning to start with but sore red runny eyes at the end of the evening won’t look quite the same and could develop a more serious condition. Coloured contact lenses are a great invention but should always be purchased from a reputable source.

What’s next?

Tomorrow we have a condition called Glaucoma on the agenda which is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness and affects around 70 million people worldwide, so if you want to know more, you know where to find us!

Tony (SelectSpecs)

Tony is the resident optician at SelectSpecs.com, you'll normally find him blogging about eye health and sharing his general optical knowledge.

One thought on “Eye Health Awareness Week 2010 – Day 3: Wearing Contact Lenses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *