Services > Contact Lens

What Are Contact Lenses?

Contact Lenses (CL) are small, thin, curved transparent discs that are designed to rest on the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. Contacts cling to the film of tears over the cornea because of surface tension, the same force that causes a drop of water to cling to the side of a glass. Contact lenses are mostly used to correct near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. Contacts provide a safe and effective way to correct vision when used with care and proper supervision. They can offer a good alternative to eyeglasses, depending on your eyes and your lifestyle. However, one must remember, they are health devices, not commodities or beauty aids, and not everyone can wear them. Also, their use can affect the well being of your eyes and only an optometrist or an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) is qualified to assess the health of your eye. Your healthy vision is the first priority.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of contact lens?

RGP (Semi-soft) lenses: RGP lenses are made of special, firm plastics combined with other materials, such as silicone and fluoropolymers, which allow oxygen in the air to pass directly through the lens. These lenses are very durable and typically last longer than soft lenses. RGP lenses provide excellent quality of vision, have a long life, and can correct astigmatism as well as uneven curvature of the cornea. The disadvantages are that these may take a little longer to get used to, it is easier for dust to get behind RGP lenses, causing irritation and discomfort, and one can't switch back and forth with glasses as easily. However, regular wearers find them comfortable and the visual acuity outstanding.

Soft lenses are made of flexible water-absorbent (hydrophilic) material having water content between 30-80%. These lenses are comfortable the moment they are inserted in the eye. They are less likely to dislodge and can be worn for longer periods. However, their biggest disadvantage is that they cannot correct higher degrees of astigmatism. They also need to be changed more frequently.
Which type of contact lens is best for me?

Each individual is different, although there are some broad guidelines that may be followed. If you are interested in initial comfort, soft contact lenses may suit you better than rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses. On the other hand, RGP lenses tend to last longer. A soft (hydrophilic) lens is more appropriate for occasional wear (at most once or twice a week).

Not everyone can wear both types. Only after thoroughly examining your eyes and vision, can one advise whether you can wear RGP lenses, soft lenses or both. In your initial consultation, a number of tests and measurements will be performed, usually following a full, general visual examination. This evaluation will determine the optimum contact lenses for your specific needs. Additionally any other factors that determine your ability to wear lenses successfully will be explained to you.

Various general health factors, including medication, ocular, medical and family history will be assessed. A number of prescription medications, drugs and allergic factors can influence the ability to wear contact lenses successfully. Additionally your work and social environments can affect lens choice for example air-conditioning, computer use, dusty environments and so forth will affect the lens choice.

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