I can remember way back, when my contact lens patients would arrive into my consulting room, having had the same pair of contact lenses for the past 12~18 months and wondered why the lenses felt ‘gritty’, ‘dry’ and ‘misty’. My reply would often be that the lenses had reached the end of or in some cases exceeded their natural ‘life’. Of course, the lenses don’t actually ‘live’ as such, but an old contact lens would produce the previously mentioned problems due to deposition of proteins on the surface of the lens, which would also limit the amount of oxygen rich air to pass through to the cornea, causing unseen (to the naked eye) damage to the patients corneal health. Thankfully, times have changed, along with disposability and more importantly, manufacturer’s endeavors to create contact lenses that maintain comfort and health for longer daily wearing times.
This, my first of many articles, will highlight some areas that new and old contact lens wearers alike, can benefit from some very easy, yet invaluable advise on getting the most from their contact lenses, be it daily/two weekly or monthly disposables. So sit back and take in my 5 top tips on improving those lovely little bundles of clarity!
- First and foremost, make sure that at your initial visit to your Opticians, you give the Contact Lens Optician as much lifestyle information as possible, for example, if you work in a warm/air conditioned environment, let the professional know, as this will dictate the type of contact lens that will be provided for your trial. If your visit is for a routine aftercare appointment and your wearing times/environment or medication(if you’re taking any) have changed in any way, then the specialist will be able to use a more suitable material to help combat any comfort problems that you might be experiencing.
- Never overwear your brand of contact lens. By this I mean not just daily wearing times(or overnight wear if your using an extended wear contact lens), but the use for time, i.e don’t wear 隱形眼鏡推介 a daily disposable more than once or try to get that extra day out of your monthly disposables. They’re called these names for a reason you know!
- If your contact lenses are reusable, then use the solution that your eyecare professional has recommended and don’t swap/mix brands before seeking your optician’s advise as some solutions may not be suitable for your type of contact lens or even for you, especially if you have a history of allergies.
- Have you considered using supplementary comfort drops to help maintain your contact lens moisture for the duration of your wearing times? This is a great way to help keep your contact lenses comfy, clear and a joy to wear! Such brands as Alcon’s ‘Optifree rewetting drops’ or AMO’s ‘Blink’ are great BUT make sure that the drops say in the instructions that they are suitable for soft contact lens use.
- Finally, you may have worn a particular brand of contact lens for some time without experiencing one of the new breed of Silicone Hydrogel materials. “What’s that?” you’re probably thinking. Well, Silicone has been around for quite some time, originally in the 1970’s, but there were problems with those early prototypes and they were dropped in favour of Hydrogel (waterbound polymer) materials. Hydrogels of high water content were seen as the saviour of long wearing times but we eventually realised that they too had there own set of problems,not least the fact that they made the wearer’s eyes very dry,so after years of research Bausch&Lomb released the first Silicone Hydrogel lens called ‘Purevision’. It was great, we had a lens which breathed nearly 4 times as much air through to the cornea than that of a standard Hydrogel lens, without the factor of drying, due to the silicone element.Nowadays, all the major manufacturers have adopted Silicone Hydrogel as the material to use, so my final tip is to try one of these new breed of lens, such as Cibavision’s Airoptix Aqua range, Coopervision’s range of Biofinity, Bausch&Lomb’s Purevision or Johnson&Johnson’s Advance/Oasys/Trueye. They’re really comfortable, they reduce dry eye symptoms, wearing times are higher and in some cases can even be worn over night(check that you are suitable with your eyecare professional first). You should be able to get a free trial from your optician as a way of allowing you to try them before you switch over. So, there we have it, some top tips to help with making your contact lens wearing a bit more enjoyable, because they are there to be enjoyed. Remember though, if you do have any problems that you’re worried about regarding your contact lenses, seek out the advise from your eyecare professional and get them to check everything over.