Millions of people across the globe wear contact lenses to enjoy a clear full field vision, to enhance their cosmetic appearance, or for therapeutic purposes.

What are contact lenses?

Contact lens is a thin clear lens which is placed on the eye cornea to improve the vision. Like conventional glasses, the contact lenses serve the purpose of providing clear vision. They are light in weight and virtually invisible. Some contact lenses are deliberately coloured to alter the appearance of the eye.

Advantages of wearing contact lenses

People wear this thin disc for a plethora of reasons:

  • It provides Sharp wide field of view
  • They offer natural eye vision
  • Unlike glasses, they are more suitable for sports and all outdoor activities.
  • Glasses need to be changed according to outfit, where as same pair of contact lens is suitable for all outfits.
  • Contact lenses are suitable for all weather conditions as they do not steam up or get wet in rain or slip over nose because of sweat.
  • They are recommended as treatment in eye conditions such as, Keratoconus, Irregular corneas, severe dry eye
  • Colour of eyes can be changed with color contact lenses

Dos and Don’ts of wearing contact lenses:

Although contact lenses are safe, they do require proper care and cleaning. Here are some dos and don’ts of wearing contacts:

Dos

Keep your hands clean: It is always best to clean your hands before touching the contact lenses. This is because; our hands and fingers are covered with germs. Hence, washing them with soap and water before removing or putting in your contact lenses is advised. To clean your hands, always use clear and lotion-free soap. Use a clean lint-free towel to dry your hands.

Clean contact lenses and its case properly: Always clean your contact lenses and its case only with recommended contact lens solution. Do follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding its use. Never wash your contact lenses with tap water as it is not sterile and can contain harmful micro-organisms that can lead to severe eye infections. Do not stick contacts in the mouth or use saliva.  Every day, clean and dry your contacts case and fill it with contact lens solution.

Get your eyes checked: It is best to get your eyes checked regularly. In case, your contact lenses are too tight or too loose, you may face many problems.  A regular eye check-up can help to diagnose any infection or eye complication. Also, an Optometrist can determine any changes in the contact lenses which need to be made for a better vision. Contact lenses related eye complications are easily diagnosed during such examinations. Consult the best Optometrist from an accredited eye hospital.

Replace your contact lenses: Do replace your contacts in a timely fashion. Disposable contact lenses should be thrown away as per the practitioner recommendation. Some contacts are intended to be discarded either monthly, bi weekly or every day. If you are using gas permeable contacts then typically they are intended to be discarded and replaced once a year. Using contact lenses beyond its recommended duration leads to discomfort, unhealthy eyes and increased chances of eye infection.

Trim your fingernails: Long fingernails can accidentally tear your contact lens while picking them up or insertion or removal. So, to avoid scratching and damaging the contacts while handling them. It is better to trim the fingernails short.

Make up: If you are using cosmetics or applying make up, Remember “Contact Lenses First” First insert the lens then apply make up: First remove the lens then remove the makeup.

Don’ts

Don’t bathe with contact lenses still on: Avoid bathing or swimming in contact lenses. Remember to remove the contacts before showering or using a hot tub. Water contains micro-organisms that can lead to serious eye infection, so it is best not to bathe with contact lenses still in the eyes.

Don’t sleep in your contact lenses: Sleeping in contact lenses increases the risk of getting an eye infection. Hence, even taking naps while wearing contact lenses is typically not recommended. However, talk to your optometrist as some contact lenses are approved and can be used for wearing at night. With such contacts, regular eye checkups are mandatory.

Don’t neglect warning signs of eye infection: Your eyes may need medical attention if you experience redness, pain, blurred vision or light sensitivity. If these signs and symptoms persist for over 24 hours, book an appointment with your ophthalmologist as soon as possible. If you experience severe symptoms, see the ophthalmologist immediately regardless of the duration. When contact lens-related problems are treated promptly, they do not cause permanent eye problems or vision loss.

Don’t Share Your Contact Lenses: Never share your contact lenses with any of your friends or family members. Sharing of contacts can lead to pink eye or eye infection.

Follow Instructions

Majority of eye problems associated with contact lenses are minor, like eye irritation. Sometimes, serious eye complications can occur that can be extremely painful. In rare cases, eye complications can lead to permanent vision loss. Hence it is important to follow proper instructions while using contact lenses.

Your Optometrist can give instructions on using, wearing, removal and handling of the contacts. You must follow directions and instructions given by your practitioner to enjoy healthy contact lens wear.

Follow these simple dos and don’ts to improve the way of living with your contact lenses.

Nagesh Vuppala

Nagesh Vuppala

Chief Optometrist at Neoretina
Nagesh Vuppala completed Master of Optometry from Bharati Vidyapeeth University School of Optometry, Pune. He Specializes in Low vision and Keratoconus Contact Lens management. He conducts training programmes and guides optometry students on Low Vision and Contact Lenses research. He is an invited guest faculty for various academic conferences in India and abroad. He has worked as Senior Faculty at Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College School of Optometry, Pune as well as Senior Optometrist at LV Prasad Eye Institute before joining Neoretina in 2010. He has been associated with Johnson & Johnson Vision, India as Key Opinion Leader (KOL). He has presented his scientific research papers at various recognized international conferences at Las Vegas (USA), Brisbane (Australia), Shanghai, Sydney (Australia) and Singapore and at many conferences in India. In the year 2005, he was awarded with FIACLE from the prestigious, International Association of Contact Lens Educators, IACLE, from Australia. He has the privilege of being invited as visiting fellow at University of New South Wales, UNSW Australia.
Nagesh Vuppala

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