An Introduction to Contact Lenses

May 21, 2008 by  
Filed under VISION

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Today, contact lenses are as much for vision as they are for fashion. Giving wearers the ability to change eye color and design in literally the blink of an eye, contact lenses are no longer only for the nearsighted. But before you run out and purchase a pair sporting your favorite team’s emblem you need to carefully consider all that is involved in this seemingly harmless decision.

To wear or not to wear

Whether to wear contact lenses or not is a big decision and it’s one that should be well thought out. This type of cosmetic enhancement, while beneficial in most cases, can lead to the onset of serious eye and vision trouble if maintenance guidelines are not strictly adhered to. It’s not that contact lenses require a considerable or complicated amount of maintenance, but ensuring that the lenses are properly cleaned and stored does take a few minutes, every single time the lenses are worn.

A few minutes of work sounds like an acceptable trade-off for not having to deal with the awkwardness or cumbersome nature of wearing eyeglasses and it is. Contact lenses that fit right and that enhance a person’s vision can really change a person’s life for the better. The problem for contact lens wearers lies in the realization that cleaning and storage, those 2 critical contact lens maintenance issues, generally take place before going to bed, a time when contact lens wearers are usually most tired. For some, the tendency to ‘skip’ these steps in exchange for an earlier arrival into bed is just too good a temptation to pass up, and that decision is what leads to trouble.

Fortunately, those individuals have options. They can opt for disposable or extended wear contact lenses, both of which are designed to be maintenance-free. Wearers simply toss the lenses into the garbage and pop in a new pair when the recommended wearing period has lapsed.

Requirements for wearing contact lenses

There are only a few requirements for wearing contact lenses, the most important of which is the willingness to properly care for them. From there, a person must have a vision problem that contact lenses are able to correct. Even if being used for aesthetic purposes, individuals still need to be properly fitted which requires a prescription.

Tremendous improvements have been made to contact lenses since they first appeared on the market, and new technologies have expanded the number and type of vision problems that can benefit from corrective lenses. But still, not every vision problem can be corrected. That’s why the first step is to visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist to get a complete eye exam including a contact lens fitting.

That session is what will determine whether or not someone is a good candidate for contact lenses. Dry eye and age (maturity level) are some issues that might make a person a less viable candidate. The eye examination will also assist in determining the most beneficial type of lens so that a proper prescription can be written. With prescription in hand, the rest is fairly easy.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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