A thin lens placed directly over the surface of the eye, a contact lens is mostly used to correct or enhance vision, though some people may use it for cosmetic and therapeutic reasons. Over 125 million people around the world used some kind of contact lens in 2004.
People choose to wear contact lenses for numerous reasons. Several diseases are also cured better with contact lenses rather than spectacles. When compared with spectacles, contact lenses provide a number of benefits. They provide better vision and do not collect moisture such as rain, sweat or condensation, making them ideal for outdoor activities. Contact lens users can also wear sunglasses; goggles while swimming or other activities and change the appearance of their eyes.
Although people use contact lenses for several purposes as discussed above, their primary function remains correcting vision. Different types of lenses provide remedies to different eye disorders. Some of the different types of lenses include:
Corrective Contact Lenses
Mainly used to treat myopia, corrective contact lenses serve the same function as spectacles. Without the hassles accompanied by spectacles, corrective contact lenses provide several benefits, such as sleeping with the lenses on for overnight flattening of the corneal to reduce myopia.
For people with certain color deficiencies, ChromaGen lenses are used. Although these lenses do not perfect the color vision, color blind individuals are able to distinguish colors better with these lenses. Due to some problems at night and during darkness, limited use of ChromaGen lenses is made.
The main function served by these lenses is to change the appearance of the eye. They may also reduce refractive error. Also known as decorative contact lenses, they carry the risks of mild and serious complications including irritation and infection.
Soft lenses are used to treat non-refractive disorders of eyes. These contact lenses are bandaged to protect diseased cornea from the constant rubbing of blinking eyelids allowing it heal.
Advantages of Wearing Contact Lenses
• Contact lenses can correct almost all eyesight disorders including myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia.
• Unlike spectacles, contact lenses move with the eye and have no frames to obstruct view.
• Don’t fog up, no moisture problems.
• People who lack confidence to wear spectacles, feel they look better with lenses.
• Compared to spectacles, lenses generally offer better sight.
• Durable with a relatively long life.
• Can usually be worn up to 7 days
• Can participate in sports and outdoor activities without trouble.
• Provide better color.
Disadvantages of Wearing Contact Lenses
• Require longer examinations by eye care professionals.
• More check-ups to maintain eye health
• Lens care is time consuming
• Have to clean and store them properly for future use.
• Can slip off the center of the eye.
• Burning, itching and infections may be caused.
• Sensitive to light.
• May cause dry eyes.
• Allergens, such as dust may stick on the lens and cause severe irritation problems for the individual.
• Eyes have a greater risk of getting infected severely if contact lenses are used during swimming.