Know Your Contact Lens!
We all wear contact lenses to improve our poor vision. Contact lenses can improve the quality of vision for those who wear high power glasses, and also cosmesis. Even those who are not suitable for LASIK surgery can wear contact lenses and can have good vision without wearing glasses.
There are various types of contact lenses available based on the materials used. These can be either soft lenses or rigid lenses. As the name suggests, soft lenses are very comfortable for the patient to wear. These lenses are indicated in patients who have nearsightedness, farsightedness and the ones with low cylindrical power. A special type of soft contact lenses (multifocal lenses) is available for those who need to wear glasses for both, distance and near i.e. after forty.
On the other hand, rigid lenses are usually indicated when the cylindrical power of the glasses is very high (which is not corrected by the soft lenses) such as patients who have keratoconus. These lenses are also indicated in patients who have had corneal scars either due to infection or injury so that the vision can be improved along with cosmesis (if required).
Regular contact lenses may not fit everyone, therefore, specialty contact lenses are required. Usually, lenses are dispensed to patients only after a trial of the lens on the eye is done to check for comfort and vision. Various specialty lenses are available such as kerasoft (a soft lens which can be used for patients with keratoconus of mild to moderate variety), Rose K lenses (rigid lenses which can be fitted possible in all varieties of keratoconus, except may be very advanced keratoconus or when the patient is intolerant for contact lens wear), and various other customized lenses.
When the disease is severe, other specialty lenses, such as Boston Scleral contact lenses can be tried. These scleral lenses can improve vision in most cases of keratoconus, including advanced disease; those with scars i.e. white opacities in the cornea. The scleral lenses are also useful in patients who have severe dry eyes, Stevens Johnson syndrome, allergic conjunctivitis, in patients who had prior surgery of corneal transplants.
The other soft lenses which people can use are for enhancing or changing the eye color, known as cosmetic contact lenses. The other use of cosmetic lens are for disfigured white eyes where there is no vision and in those patients who haveailments of the eye and the doctor fits the lenses as medicinal device.
The important point to note with any contact lenses is not to share the lenses with friends as this can increase the risk of infections in the eye. Serious sight threatening infections can occur with contact lens wear and one should be aware of these. All these lenses, whether soft, rigid or specialty lenses should be worn by the patients only when a contact lens specialist does a trial and recommends. One should not buy lenses from over the counter without undergoing the trial first.One should follow the specialist advice, keep the visits as scheduled, visit them if you have any problem so that one is comfortable with lens wear with good vision.