Contact Lens Options - What Should I Get?
Soft contact lenses: first introduced over 20 years ago, are made from flexible, water-absorbent plastics. These contacts are anywhere from 30 to 80 percent water. Some soft lenses are designed to be thrown away daily, weekly, or every other week depending on your eye care professional's instructions.
Disposable contact lens options have increased dramatically. Even one day disposable contact lenses are now available. Other types of lenses can be used for up to a year. Many people enjoy the comfort of soft contact lenses. They're easy to insert and fit comfortably and securely.
Another popular trend is the colored contact lens option. Recent developments have allowed users to change their eye color simply by changing their contact lens.
Although the standard "hard lens" introduced in the 1950's are still around, technology and materials developed have made these lenses virtually obsolete. Fewer than 0.5 percent of lens wearers own them. Two types of contacts are fitted today - soft and rigid gas permeable, also known as RGP's. RGP lenses are made of special, firmer plastics that are suited for the passage of oxygen and other gases. These lenses are very durable and typically last longer than soft lenses. RGP lenses offer crisp vision and are often preferred by people with high degrees of astigmatism. While they make take a little longer to get used to, regular wearers find them to be comfortable and the visual acuity outstanding.
DISPOSABLE CONTACTS - THE ULTIMATE WAY TO SEE
Disposable contact lenses are usually prescribed in multi-packs, providing several weeks supply at a time. The most common and popular brands are Acuvue , Focus and Biomedics.
A growing number of people now use these products, which can be worn for either a single day, or up to seven, depending on the wearing schedule prescribed by your eye care professional. Even bifocal wearers can now get discount prices when ordering.
Six per box is the average number per supplier. They are usually used for anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks on a daily wear basis and approximately 1 week if used as extended wear. Replacing frequently usually means better eye health. Other obvious advantages are having spare ones immediately available should one get torn or lost.
Be sure you wear your back up eyeglasses at least once a week to give your eyes and cornea a chance to reoxygenate. Symptoms of overwear include burning eyes, dryness, blurred vision and seeing halos around lights. This can lead to serious corneal problems and infections. Consult your eye doctor regularly for eye examinations and follow up care.
Frequent and Planned Replacement contact lenses are replaced on a planned schedule, most often every two weeks, monthly or quarterly. These items usually come 4 to 6 per box. Eye care professionals may recommend enzyming them if they are used longer than one month. A popular brand is the Focus Monthly from Ciba Vision.
COLORED CONTACTS - THE LATEST TREND
Colored contact lenses are a growing trend among contact lens wearers, they change the natural eye appearance to a different color. The leading manufacturers continue to increase the number of options available to consumers.
In addition, colored contact lenses are also now available in disposable form. The originator of the changing eyes fad, Wessley Jessen now make a two week disposable, called Freshlook. It is available in Blue, Green, Violet or Hazel. The latest addition to the collection is the Freshlook Colorblends available in Blue, Brown, Green or Gray. Some users have reported that these have a more natural appearance when used on darker eyes.
BIFOCAL CONTACT LENS - BOOMERS BATTLING BIFOCALS
A bifocal contact lens may be an option for you if you are on the far side of 40. Should you find that reading the phone book or newspaper is suddenly a chore, welcome to middle age, and presbyopia.
Presbyopia, the farsightedness that is inevitable with aging, is caused by the gradual hardening of the lens of the eye. It becomes less able to change shape, preventing us from focusing on close objects. Most people become aware of deteriorating lose vision in their mid-40s.
Many people turn to inexpensive reading glasses, but it's important to have regular eye exams. Prescription lenses and bifocals allow a close-up correction giving the best possible vision for both close and far. If you are bothered by the telltale line that marks the bifocal, you may opt for bifocal contact lens.
Should your doctor decide that these are not an option, another increasingly popular alternative is called monovision. You wear a contact with a close-up correction in one eye and if necessary, a contact for distance correction in the other. Your brain gradually learns to adapt, and you see reasonably well thought out your range of vision.
The close-up contact generally goes in the non-dominant eye. Most people adapt to this type of len correction in a week or 10 days even if they have never worn contacts before. Even people with astigmatism can be successful with monovision, often using rigid gas-permeable contacts instead of soft contacts for more reliable correction.
While true bifocal contact lenses are available, most people adapt to them less successfully than to monovision Bifocal contacts are difficult to fit, and they don't work for everyone. However, the latest disposable bifocal contact lenses from Acuvue have been very successful.
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Dr. Dhavid Cooper and Dr. Guy Hodgson are the founders of FramesDirect.com that has been recognized for outstanding customer service and satisfaction. Frames Direct is fast becoming the global leader of prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and sunglasses sales online.