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Contact Lenses: The Facts

Posted on 23 January 2014

To the millions of people all over the world with vision problems, it can certainly be a blurry place, with many of these people wanting to correct their vision but don't like the idea of wearing glasses. This is why contact lenses offer an easy and an invisible alternative.

Within this article we will look at how contact lenses will correct your sight and the variety of lenses available to you. But let's not forget that not everyone chooses to wear these in order to correct their vision. Celebrities will have contacts when they want to change the colour of their eyes and athletess will wear them to provide them will extra-precise vision on the field.

What are Contact Lenses & What are their Purpose?

Contact lenses are slim transparent discs usually made of plastic that sit on the cornea of the eye. Similar to glasses, they correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. These conditions mean that the eye fails to focus light directly onto the retina and this will lead to blurred vision. Therefore the contact lens will be shaped taking into consideration the particular vision problem and will ensure that light will focus directly onto the retina.

It is not surprising that the majority of people choose contacts over glasses because they are much closer to natural sight than glasses. They have the ability to move with your eye creating a much more natural field of vision. They will not disrupt your peripheral vision which glasses unfortunately have a habit of doing. Some types of lenses are available to be worn overnight.

Your contact lenses will stay in place as they will stick to the layer of tear fluid that is floating on the surface of your eye, and the pressure of your eyelid will also keep them in place. Every time you blink your eye will lubricate the lens removing any impurities that have stuck to the lens.

Types of Contact Lenses

There are generally two types of contact lenses - hard contacts and soft contacts.

Originally contact lenses used to be made out of polymethyl methacrylate. Hard lenses are more hydrophobic (repels water) and they can be less comfortable for the wearer and lead to irritation. These are still available and their advantage is that they are easy to clean and have good oxygen permeability.

Soft contact lenses are more popular as they are easy to wear and made of a gel-like plastic which is hydrophilic (is wetted by water). This enables oxygen to pass through to the eye and are flexible and more importantly comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

Daily-wear lenses   These can be worn all day but will need to be removed before going to bed.

Extended-wear lenses   You can wear these for various periods of time without having to remove the lenses.

Cosmetic lenses   Suitable for those who want to change their eye colour or even create a dramatic look for a party.

When choosing lenses, always consult with your optometrist who will advise on the best course of action for your eye health.