Contact lenses are very thin glass, plastic or silicone lenses that fit over the cornea to correct near- or farsightedness as well as astigmatism. If you wear or are considering contact lenses, Lindsey Walsh, OD offers some tips on how to get the most out of them.
What Contact Lens Types Are There?
Dr. Walsh: “The variety of lenses available now is amazing. Soft lenses are made of pliable plastic or silicone and hold water, making them more comfortable than hard lenses. Soft contact lenses are designed to be disposed of regularly, depending on the type. Standard daily wear lenses are removed at night and with proper care can last up to six months, making them the most cost effective choice. Daily disposables are discarded after a day of wear so they don’t have to be cleaned, making them hygienic and hassle-free. Disposable contacts are removed nightly and discarded after about two weeks of wear. Extended wear can be worn overnight for seven consecutive days and nights, while silicone continuous wear lenses may be worn up to 30 consecutive days and nights, for maximum ease. Hard lenses are more durable and last longer, but they can leave eyes more prone to infection, so I suggest using them only if you find soft contact lenses to be inadequate to correct your vision. People who previously thought soft lenses might not offer enough correction should come in and see me, because advances in soft multifocal lenses make them suitable for more patients than ever before.”
What Are Multifocal Contact Lenses?
Dr. Walsh: “Multifocal contact lenses provide functionality at most distances, enabling clear vision for about 80% of most people’s day-to-day tasks. I tell patients that my goal is to get them smoothly through the grocery store – seeing down the aisles, up and down the shelves, and across the fronts of labels – without having to reach for their glasses. For the remaining 20% of tasks involving fine details, most people are happy with a pair of +1.00 readers worn over their contact lenses, making it a very easy solution.
“You can also choose colored contacts, which can make eye color more brilliant, enhance contrast in outdoor settings, and make contacts easier to see and handle.”
Who Shouldn’t Wear Contacts?
Dr. Walsh: “I don’t recommend contacts for children under age 9 or for people with a history of corneal infection or who suffer from chronic dry eye. Most other people can easily wear one of the new generation of contact lenses, giving them a comfortable alternative to glasses.”
If you’re ready to try contacts for the first time or would like to upgrade your present contacts to extended wear, continuous wear, daily disposable, colored or advanced multifocal lenses, visit your local Lake Eye and see how comfortable clear vision can be.
Lake Eye Associates