What are contact lenses?
Contact lenses are very thin, curved lenses placed on the film of tears that covers the surface of your eye. The lens itself is naturally clear, but is often given the slightest tinge of color to make them easier for wearers to handle. Today’s contact lenses are either hard or soft.
Millions and millions of people around the world wear contact lenses, as they are invisible others cannot understand it, just by looking at these people.
These people are grateful for the benefits and advantages of contact lenses.
A brief history of the contact lens
While contact lenses may seem to be a modern addition to eye care, they actually go a long way back, when Leonardo da Vinci in 1508 illustrated the concept of contact lenses. It wasn’t until 1887, that a German glassblower produced a lens that could be used to see through and a German ophthalmologist Mr. F.A.Muller fitted the first contact lens, which was could be worn for a few hours at a time. In 1938 the first plastic contact lens was manufactured in the United States by Obrig and Mullen, using Polymethyl methacrylate and in the 1950s hard contact lenses became available to be fitted around the world. In 1971 the first soft lens was manufactured by Bausch and Lomb using a material invented by a Czechoslovakian chemist named Wichterle.
Over the last 40 years scientific research on production methods and materials have provided us with many very comfortable, contact lenses, which can be categorized in two main types soft and gas permeable. Contact lenses are commonly worn for vision correction, as they can correct myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism, even presbyopia.
Some people wear cosmetic colored lenses which change the color of their eyes, but some more unfortunate people need them to hide the non cosmetic appearance of their eye after trauma or disease. Therapeutic lenses are also available which can treat abnormal ocular conditions and protect the cornea. At Nicolaides Opticians our Optometrists are trained to fit all types of contact lenses and are able to discuss the best lens for each patient and his ocular condition.
Why contact lenses?
Contact lenses are usually used to avoid wearing spectacles since they are more cosmetic and vision is usually more comfortable.
Advantage of wearing contact lenses Vs spectacles are firstly comfort as spectacles tend to be heavy, secondly better all round natural vision as the lens is on the cornea and thirdly a chance to do sport without a chance of injury and lastly for a different look!!!
In addition, eye conditions such as Keratoconus cannot be treated with precision with spectacles so in these cases the use of contact lenses is necessary.
There are two types of contact lenses:
Soft contact lenses are the most popular for their use. They are very comfortable, the eye adapts to them from the first trial and can be used for sports without feeling uncomfortable or fear that they will break like spectacles. Soft contact lenses are categorized as follows:
- Spherical used for patients with Myopia or Hypermetropia.
- Toric used for patients with Astigmatism.
- Multifocal used for patients with Presbyopia.
- Cosmetic used for patients that need or want to change the appearance of their eye.
Gas permeable contact lenses are less popular, mainly because of the amount of time the eye requires to adapt to them. They are usually used in high prescriptions where they aim for clearer vision, they are ideal for Keratoconus.
At Nicolaides Opticians our Optometrists are trained to fit the following lenses:
- New Day spherical contact lenses
- Bioclear spherical contact lenses
- Clarity spherical
- Clarity torics
- Clarity multifocals
- Logic contact lenses
- Frequency 55 aspheric contact lenses
- Clarity silicon aspheric contact lenses
- Select silicon aspheric contact lenses
- Excel toric contact lenses
- Bioclear toric contact lenses
- Clarity silicon toric contact lenses
Taking care of your contact lenses
Contact lenses are like a prosthetic for the eye, so they need to be treated and cleaned thoroughly or else infections and allergies can occur and could even leave permanent damage to the eyes. With the right guidance and advice from our Optometrists we will show you the correct daily regime to conserve the hygiene of your contact lenses and therefore your eyes!
- Always wash your hands with soap before handling your contact lenses.
- Always use antibacterial soap when possible.
- Do not use your contact lens solution if it is expired or open more than 48 days.
- Do not use tap water to rinse your contact lenses. Use only your contact lens solution. Tap water can cause serious infections to your eyes.
- Use solutions that are recommended for your contact lenses.
- Always rinse your contact lenses case with contact lens solution and never with tap water.
- Be very careful when placing your contact lenses back in their case to put the right lens in the right side and the left in the left side.
- Leave your contact lens case to air dry when you are wearing the lenses.
- You should always wear your contact lenses and then proceed to put on your makeup, but when removing your contact lenses, you should firstly remove your lenses, and then your makeup.
- Do not forget replacing your contact lenses case with a new one every month.
- Wear your contact lenses as your Optometrist has instructed you and if in any doubt give us a call or pop in for a visit.
With the help from our Optometrists and our staff, we will show you the proper use of contact lenses and suggest the perfect type
to satisfy your optical needs and lifestyle!