Contact lenses are worn over the cornea (the front clear structure or top of the eye) and are used for a variety of eye disorders. These days, special contact and cosmetic lenses are helpful in eye conditions beyond just number (vision) correction. Since contact lenses are worn over the eye, it is important to clean and maintain them to be able to see properly. You should also ensure that eye infections do not occur due to improper use.
There are many types of contact lenses available in the market.Here is a brief overview of contact lenses currently available:
Soft contact lenses: Soft contact lenses, as the name suggests, are soft and pliable in nature. They are more comfortable and are less likely to fall off on their own. They can be used to correct vision in a number of correction disorders, including myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism.
Hard or Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses: These lenses are harder and more rigid as compared to soft lenses, and therefore take more time getting used to. They are durable, and if the power does not change, they can be worn for a period of up to two to three years. Since they allow the eye to breathe better, corneal damage is less likely to occur. They are useful in correcting numbers that have a high astigmatism. However, due to their hard nature, they can slip off easily from the cornea.
Daily wear lenses: They can be worn every day, but should be removed in the night . They are also needed to be cleaned regularly.
Single use lenses or disposable lenses: These are meant for single day use only, and are not to be used the next day. One should always remove any kind of contact lens prior to sleeping.
Extended wear lenses: These kind of lenses can be worn continuously, both day and night, for a certain number of weeks. It is still recommended to take lenses off at night to prevent infections and also so that the eye can breathe.
Specialised contact lenses: Monovision lenses are used when one of the eyes is being corrected for distance, and the other non-dominant eye for near vision. For presbyopia or near vision related problems due to age after forty years, usually one is recommended to use bifocal contact lenses. These lenses may take some time getting used to. Cosmetic lenses are tinted, and therapeutic coloured lenses help colour a certain part of the eye to attain normality in cosmesis.
You should contact your ophthalmologist immediately if you have any unusual problems with contact lenses, such as pain, redness or watering, or even reduced vision. An early visit to your eye doctor can save you from a lot problems.