So, you’re thinking whether you should go for contacts after wearing spectacles for all your life.
Then you’re at the right place.
No matter whether you’re considering contact lenses or you’ve been wearing them for years, here are 10 facts you definitely need to know.
Or you might lose your eyesight, especially for #3.
1. Hard Lenses VS Soft Lenses
Before you buy any contact lenses, you must know the difference between soft and hard lenses.
Why? Because you need to know the pros and cons of each type and decide which one you’re more comfortable with.
Hard Contact Lenses or their official name, Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses
- extremely durable and easy to care for
- maintain their shape and are easy to wear
- known to correct most astigmatism in users
- do not dehydrate
However, hard contact lenses may easily dislodge from the centre of the eyes and debris could be easily accumulated under the lenses.
Soft Contact Lenses
- adjusts itself in the centre of the eyes no matter the movement
- they are very moist, more comfortable to wear
- can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, blurred vision, and age-related loss of close-up vision
On the downside, these soft contact lenses are less durable than hard lenses and users have a higher risk of getting eye infections.
2. Contact Lenses are as fragile as newborn babies
Ever found yourself ripping your contact lenses accidentally?
Contact lenses are very fragile and are prone to rips and tears, especially soft contact lenses.
Here are some things you should avoid in order to prevent your fragile contacts from being damaged:
- Do not take contact lenses out from dry eyes
- Be gentle when cleaning your contact lenses.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes when you have your contact lenses on.
- Use the surface of the tip of your finger to take out your contacts, not your fingernails!
3. Wear contact lenses for more than 8 hours and you might just go blind
Have you worn your contact lenses longer than you should?
If you did, you’re not alone. Either because of work or just a long day outside, there are many who kept their contact lenses on after the suggested duration.
But you might want to stop doing so from now on.
The cornea, that transparent layer around your eyes, get oxygen directly from the air. And contact lenses inhibit oxygen intake by the cornea.
A lady in London almost lost her eyesight because she wore her contact lenses for fourteen hours daily.
So make sure you keep to the suggested 8-hour duration, okay?
4. Contact lenses could be your best friends, but they could be your enemies too.
You have every reason to wear contact lenses. It’ll make you look better (but for some people, it doesn’t really help), comfortable and convenient.
But they have their disadvantages too.
Contact lens users are more prone to eye infections such as keratitis – an infection in the cornea, pinkeye or conjunctivitis – infections caused by viruses or bacteria.
These infections could be avoided if contact lenses are given proper care. Therefore, do not forget #2 and #3.
5. Contact Lens storage: Do’s and Don’ts
The way you store your contact lenses play a huge part in keeping your eyes healthy.
- Replace casing every 2 months or whatever is prescribed
- Always rinse or wash your casing before you place your contact lenses in them
- Always use fresh, unexpired solution
- Always store lenses in a closed casing
- Never use the same contact lens solution in a casing for more than 24 hours
- Do not use saliva or water or anything else other than the recommended solution for lubricating or storing your contact lenses
6. No one should ever sleep in their contacts.
Many would use the excuse of “accidentally falling asleep” with their contacts on.
Such incidents may be out of your control if you were unbelievably tired or sleepy at that moment but everyone needs to understand that this habit is totally wrong and unhealthy for the eyes.
I’ll repeat this point: oxygen is very important to the eyes and contact lenses restrict the amount of oxygen entering the eyes.
Now, imagine closing your eyes (read: adding one more barrier) against oxygen going into the cornea.
Without oxygen, the cornea swells up, enough to let bacteria enter your eyes and ultimately cause infections.
7. Danger alert: WATER.
There is a misconception that water could be a substitute for contact lens solutions when your contacts go dry.
Nope, it’s not. In fact, users should never let water touch their lenses.
Despite being purified, water still contains bacteria or other microorganisms that may cause serious eye infections.
In a matter of minutes to hours, bacteria, fungi, and other harmful pathogens can grow on your contact lenses and eventually get transferred to your eyes once you put them on.
This is why most, if not, all optometrists recommend that users should take out their contact lenses when they get in the shower, or go swimming or any other activities that may cause water to get in their eyes.
8. Contact lenses will never get stuck behind your eyes!
Many people, contact lens users or not, have a misconception that contact lenses may get lost in your eyes and get stuck behind the eyeballs.
I’ll clear this up for you. It’s impossible.
The conjunctiva is a clear, thin membrane that covers part of the front surface of the eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelids.
This part of the eyes ensures that contact lenses will never be able to make its way behind the eyeballs.
There may be instances where your contacts may seem like they have disappeared inside your eyes.
Most likely, the lens may be stuck behind your upper eyelid and has dislodged from the cornea.
Not to worry, you can easily remove the lenses by lubricating your eyes with a solution or eye drops, then gently massage your eyelid with your eyes closed.
This will move the contact lenses into a position where you can remove it easily.
9. Backup spectacles are important.
With contact lenses, you don’t need spectacles anymore. Is that true? Nope.
Contact lenses are foreign objects in your eyes and may cause discomfort at any time of the day. Any user would know what I’m talking about.
On some days, you may never expect certain unfortunate situations such as having dirt stuck in your eyes while your contacts are on, or you rubbed your eyes too hard and your contacts fell off.
If you find yourself in any of these sticky situations, a pair of spectacles as a backup will save your life. It is important to always be prepared!
10. Contact lenses are confidence boosters!
In the past, if you wear spectacles, you’re called a nerd. While this might not be the case today (I mean, there are people who wear lens-less spectacles because it “looks cool”), contact lenses are known to boost your confidence.
A study shows that people, especially teenagers, are more confident and feel more attractive when wearing contact lenses.
People tend to perceive themselves to be more attractive without spectacles or glasses on.
So there you go, 10 facts about contact lenses you need to know, no matter whether you’re thinking about getting them or you’re a long time user.
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