A contact lens is a thin, curved lens 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.
How to Handle Your Contact Lenses
CONTACT LENS EXAM
Eye exams for contact lenses include special tests that typically are not performed in routine eye exams. If you are interested in contacts, or you already wear them and want to have your contact lens prescription updated, make sure you say so when you schedule your appointment for an eye exam. This will ensure your exam includes extra time for additional testing needed for a proper contact lens exam.
Wearing contact lenses is not without risks. Poorly fitted or cheap lenses, abuse of wearing time or replacement schedule are some of the causes of an increase in the risk of sight threatening eye infections.
The lenses which carry the least risk of related pathology are referred to as "Dailies", which are to be discarded after each use. These are most appropriate for patients who only wear lenses occasionally, have had previous lens related infections or allergies and for those wearers who want the most convenient lenses possible.
Other Disposable lens brands are discarded weekly, every two weeks or monthly, depending on the lens that best fits your eye lifestyle and habits. Disposable lenses are can be prescribed for astigmatism, and are available in multifocal (bifocals) and colors.
For those patients with special fitting needs due to corneal distortion, trauma, keratoconus or scarring, Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP's) are the best option. These are typically custom made and the exam and fitting process is usually more involved and time consuming. As previously mentioned, Dr. Massengale is well versed in the intricacies and challenges of these special circumstances.
A WORD ABOUT EXTENDED WEAR
Most lenses approved by the FDA in the last 10 years have been approved for overnight wear. But, much like the fact that you car can go over 100 MPH, it's usually never a good idea to do so. It's the same idea with overnight wear. Studies to determine why some patients suffer serious sight or eye threatening corneal infections, all rate routine overnight wear as the single greatest risk. Our recommendation is that patients DO NOT sleep in their lenses, but an occasional overnight wear, when absolutely necessary, therefore reducing the risk as much as possible.