An ev­ery­thing guide to con­tact lenses

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR BODY -

Con­tact lenses are some­thing we have all heard of, and some­thing that most spec­ta­cle wear­ers have prob­a­bly con­sid­ered. But when it comes to con­tact lenses, there are still many myths and ques­tions out there about who is an ap­pro­pri­ate can­di­date for con­tacts.

There are many rea­sons why peo­ple choose to wear con­tact lenses. One of the main rea­sons peo­ple want con­tacts is they sim­ply don’t like wear­ing spec­ta­cles. Whether it’s be­cause they en­joy out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, sports, the type of job they have, or they sim­ply don’t like the look of glasses, con­tacts are a great al­ter­na­tive. Other rea­sons peo­ple of­ten en­joy con­tact lenses is the fact they are able to wear sun­glasses with­out need­ing them to be pre­scrip­tion, or read­ing a book when ly­ing down with­out the frame get­ting in the way. Re­gard­less of the rea­sons, it is likely most peo­ple will be great con­tact lens can­di­dates.

Con­tact lenses now come in a huge range of pow­ers and op­tions. Whether a pa­tient is short sighted, long sighted, wears pro­gres­sives or bi­fo­cals, or even sim­ple read­ing glasses, con­tacts can still work.

Astig­ma­tism can now also be cor­rected eas­ily. Pa­tients who were pre­vi­ously told their pre­scrip­tion was not com­pat­i­ble are likely now suitable for con­tacts. Most peo­ple are aware it is pos­si­ble to cor­rect for ex­cel­lent dis­tance vi­sion, how­ever, now with pro­gres­sive con­tact lenses we can cor­rect peo­ple for dis­tance and read­ing vi­sion.

With the huge range avail­able nearly all pre­scrip­tions can be fit­ted so al­ways ask about them at your next eye ex­am­i­na­tion.

If you go ahead with them you will be shown how to in­sert and re­move the con­tacts, and given trial lenses to use be­fore de­cid­ing if you want to stick with con­tacts.

The most com­mon rea­son peo­ple tend to avoid con­tacts is due to some myths and mis­con­cep­tions about them. Con­tact lenses be­ing un­com­fort­able is a com­mon one. With new ma­te­ri­als such sil­i­con hy­dro­gel, con­tacts are now very com­fort­able and can of­ten be worn for most of the day with no prob­lems, says op­tometrist Ja­cob Bene­field.

An­other com­mon con­cern is feel­ing ner­vous about in­ser­tion and re­moval of the con­tact lens. This just comes with prac­tice and very few pa­tients ac­tu­ally cease wear­ing con­tacts be­cause they are too dif­fi­cult to han­dle. As lenses have de­vel­oped over the years, there are now even daily op­tions which don’t re­quire any clean­ing or main­te­nance, an­other fac­tor that peo­ple are of­ten con­cerned about.

It is still true that con­tact lenses have a small in­crease in risk of in­fec­tion, but again with new ma­te­ri­als, clean­ing so­lu­tions and by fol­low­ing your op­tometrist’s in­struc­tions, con­tacts are very safe to use.

Con­tact lenses are be­com­ing more com­mon as lens ma­te­ri­als im­prove and the range of pow­ers in­crease.

We can now fit nearly all pa­tients’ pre­scrip­tions suc­cess­fully and safely, says op­tometrist Har­riet Pita.

Pa­tients of­ten find con­tacts lenses eas­ier to use, care for and less ex­pen­sive then they think. So be sure at your next op­tometrist’s ex­am­i­na­tion to ask about con­tact lenses and how they can work for you.

Con­tact lenses are eas­ier to put in and take out than most peo­ple imag­ine.

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