Contact lenses have revolutionized the joy of vision over the past 70 years of optometry. They work on the same principles of light bending as eyeglasses, except that they are “in contact” with the surface of your eye. Over 150 million people around the world appreciate the convenience and versatility of wearing contact lenses.
The concept of contact lenses grew out of the ideas of Da Vinci and Decartes, but it wasn’t until the 1800s that Dr. Fick designed the first contact lens. They were made of glass and covered almost the entire eye. In the 1950s, smaller hard lenses were introduced. As technology and materials developed, the “soft” contact lens was introduced in 1971.
Since the eye is the only organ that receives oxygen directly from the air, it is very important that the contact lens allows sufficient transmission of oxygen.
In 1998, a silicone hydrogel material was introduced which dramatically increased the oxygen transmissibility of contact lenses, allowing your eye to “breathe” making them much more comfortable and healthy to wear. .
There are different types of contact lenses to meet different visual needs:
1) Hard lenses or scleral lenses for special eye conditions such as keratoconus
2) Orthokeratology lenses that reshape your cornea overnight
3) Soft contact lenses for daily or monthly removal:
a. Contact lenses for hyperopia, myopia and astigmatism
b. Multifocal contact lenses
vs. Color contact lenses
D. Transition contact lenses (react to UV light)
Most people can wear soft contact lenses comfortably and they offer wonderful benefits:
• Contact lenses allow a wider field of vision and less peripheral distortion thus giving a more natural visual effect
• Higher refractive orders can be compensated without distorting or unfortunate aesthetic appearance of “bottle bottom glasses”
• They are ideal for sports activities
• They allow you to wear fashionable sunglasses
• Hot or rainy weather conditions do not affect your vision and they are not fogged up by masks like goggles do.
While contact lenses offer great benefits, there are also risks associated with wearing them. Contact lenses are classified as a medical device and require responsible maintenance. This is why it is not a good idea to order your contact lenses online or to skip your annual check-up with your optometrist to ensure the health of your eye.
The main risks associated with wearing contact lenses are:
• Too little oxygen in the eye (ask your optometrist for the Dk / t value of your contact lenses).
• Wearing your contact lenses excessively – either by not replacing them at the right time or by keeping them in your eyes for too long.
• Accumulation of microbial and protein deposits risking eye infection
• Development of eye irritation or dryness – especially with certain medications (eg, birth control and antihistamines)
Contact lens care is ESSENTIAL – but fairly straightforward and hassle-free. Gone are the days when you needed many different products to clean your lenses. Modern versatile solutions provide an all-in-one solution for disinfection, rinsing, lubrication and storage.
Unfortunately, South Africa has recently experienced a shortage of contact lens solutions due to the voluntary recall of Bausch & Lomb, affecting the availability of eight brands of contact lens solutions. This was due to a compliance issue with one of the third parties in Italy responsible for sterilizing bottles and caps prior to manufacturing. Due to the shortage of these solutions, some people have unknowingly used the hydrogen peroxide solutions which have caused corneal burns. Please ask your optometrist for the correct solution for your contact lenses
The future of contact lenses is exciting and still developing. The introduction of “smart contact lenses” opens up the possibility that contact lenses can act as medical treatment devices:
• Johnson & Johnson is in the process of developing contact lenses that release antihistamines. This lens could be used to decrease the symptoms of common allergic conjunctivitis.
• A new hydrogel contact lens material is under development that could be used to treat severe corneal damage and autoimmune diseases.
• Contact lenses that slowly deliver glaucoma medication and monitor intraocular pressure are almost ready for FDA approval.
• Lenses with biosensors that measure glucose levels from tears and warn the individual when levels are too high
We hope you found this article interesting. If you are curious about whether you are a good candidate for contact lenses, please do not hesitate to contact us. We wish you a great vision – the Optirite team.
(Source: Optirite – The Islands)