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January 31, 2021

A Contact Lens Wearer's Guide to Proper Lens Care

Eyes are our window to the world. They’re also one of our most sensitive organs, but we often tend to take them for granted and forget to provide them with the care they need.

Today, our eyes are more vulnerable than ever. Pollution, screen time, and makeup are only a few of the factors that hurt our eyes on the long run without us noticing. Many of you might be aware of that already. However, not all of you know that contact lenses can also harm your eyes if used neglectfully. Although highly useful, contact lenses are not to be used haphazardly.

In this article, we will provide you with a quick guide to contact lenses: their history, types, and use. We will also give contact lens wearers important tips that will help them make the most out of their lenses without putting their eyes at risk.  Let’s dive right in.

A QUICK HISTORY CHECK

The science of contact lenses is fascinating and revolutionary, with Leonardo da Vinci being the first to illustrate the concept. At the end of the 19th century, the latter came to life with the first glass contact lens, which was meant to correct vision problems by covering the entire eye. In 1939, plastic contact lenses were introduced, followed in 1971 by soft contact lenses, then by disposable soft contact lenses in 1987, one-day disposable soft contact lenses in 1996, and finally, custom-manufactured silicone-hydrogel lenses in 2010.

THE 3 MAIN TYPES OF CONTACT LENSES

Today, contact lenses exist in three formats: rigid, soft, and hybrid. They can be categorized in 3 main types, namely: corrective, cosmetic, and therapeutic.

1. Corrective Lenses

Requiring a contact lens prescription, this type is available in 3 subtypes:

  • Correction of Refractive Error: designed to improve vision.
  • Correction of Presbyopia: designed to correct vision problems related to reading.
  • Correction of color deficiencies and extreme light sensitivity.

2. Cosmetic Lenses

This type changes the color or appearance of the eyes. It can be used by anyone, and is especially useful for entertainment professionals who wish to complement the look of a character they are impersonating.

3. Therapeutic Lenses

Therapeutic Scleral Lenses: These large lenses were designed for patients whose cornea is too sensitive to support the lens directly. They can improve vision, reduce pain, and alleviate light sensitivity.

Therapeutic Soft Lenses: This type of lenses usually treats and manages non-refractive disorders.

Currently, other types of contact lenses are being developed such as ones that deliver drugs to the eye or others with magnifying features.

6 USEFUL TIPS FOR CONTACT LENS CARE

Contact lenses are generally safe. However, if used incorrectly or in case of poor hygiene, they could cause eye infections. Here are 6 tips to help you make the best and safest use out of your contact lenses.

1. Wear Your Lenses as Prescribed

Contact lenses are available in 3 formats: Daily Wear (for one-day use), Extended Wear (continuous overnight wear for 6 nights), and Continuous Wear (continuous overnight wear for 30 nights). Make sure you don’t sleep with your Daily Wear lenses on and remove also your Extended Wear lenses before sleeping, as it is better to wear them overnight “occasionally”.

2. Replace Your Lenses in a Timely Manner

When replaced frequently, lenses gather fewer deposits of allergens and germs. Many eye problems arise when contact lenses are used for an extended period of time, after their prescribed use period. Respect your lenses replacement schedule to the letter to prevent serious eye complications.

3. Adopt Proper Cleaning & Disinfection Habits

  • Wash your hands with moisturizer-free and allergen-free soap before putting your lenses on and before taking them off. Use freshly washed towels to dry your hands to avoid contamination.
  • Rinse and disinfect your contact lenses regularly with an appropriate solution to prevent surface coating and infections. You can use a Multipurpose Solution to clean your lenses and store them on a daily basis, and use an Enzymatic Cleaner on a weekly basis.
  • Use a Sterile Saline solution to rinse the lenses before inserting them in your eyes. Remember; Sterile Saline alone does not disinfect the lens and can lead to lens contamination.
  • Clean your lenses case regularly and fill it with fresh solution every day. It is also advisable to replace the case every one or two months, and to keep it stored in a clean environment.

4. Lubricate & Hydrate

Some contact lens wearers suffer from eye dryness. Whether you have this condition or not, it’s always recommended to hydrate your eyes by using sterile saline drops, with your lenses on or off.  

5. Rest Your Eyes

Your eyes need to rest, even if your lenses are designed for overnight use as we said. You can also rest your eyes by removing your lenses at home and wearing eyeglasses instead.

6. Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly

If you’re wearing correction contact lenses, have your prescription regularly updated to ensure your lenses still fit.

Are you considering wearing contact lenses? Magrabi is here to make your transition as safe and pleasant as possible. Visit your nearest branch or give us a call to know more about your best lens fit, great lens care tips, available lens solutions, and our professional eye checks.

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