Thursday, May 07, 2009

Briefly on Contact Lenses Care

Things you should have been told before wearing contact lenses... Why this entry? Well, I dropped by to visit the optometrist and learned a few new jargon: ghost vessel and neovascularization. The visit itself warrants an entry itself but that'll be another time.

Change Your Contact lenses Casing
When I started using contact lenses in 2000, I was not told that I had to change my contact lenses casing. Serious – the optometrist or sales lady who fitting my contact lenses didn’t mention about it. She only taught me how to wear my lenses.

With the health care scare during the last few years of eye infection from overusing contact lenses cases, everyone is now fully aware of this fact.

Hence, it is advisable to change the contact lenses case at least every 3 months. In most cases of bacterial infection caused by contact lens use, the bacteria can be traced back to the contact lens case.

Choose the right Contact lenses Solution

The rub and rinse method was always recommended despite the multipurpose solution saying otherwise. I used to use saline and multipurpose solution. But I got lazy and only used the latter. Remember to discard any unused solution within the date of opening! (You have only one pair of eyes!)

Did you know that the simple act of mixing the wrong solution combination can cause red and itchy eyes? In fact, using solutions or rewetting drops which are not compatible with your contacts may degrade the quality; affecting the visual and comfort quality.

The difference is within the cleaning and disinfection agent to keep your contact lenses clean, and the preservative used to keep your solution fresh. Each type of solution will have it's own unique combination of sometimes proprietary cleaning agents. All to keep your contact lenses clean and safe to wear.

In fact, with the scare from the discontinued RenuMoisture Loc (which I was using for many years... sighhh) because of high infection of fungal keratisis by the users, I was forced to try many different types of solution to find a replacement. Some were too strong, some were just not right, etc.

Ironically, after all the wasted bottles I bought to try, now I am back to using Renu's solution but the newer version: Renu Moistureplus.

Contact lenses power is lower than your eye glasses’s power
I only knew this after complaining headaches to another optometrist who recommended I reduce the power for my contact lenses. Then –tadaaa!! No more headache.

This is because contact lenses sit on the eye, whereas glasses sit in the spae in front of the eye. This is call the vertex distance. The closer a lens sits to the eye, the less strength is needed to focus light on the retina.

Why weren't I told of this? In fact, last year I bought a year's supply of contact lens from an optical shop in 1Utama and the lady adamantly disallowed me to buy a lower powered contact lens.

Now I'm reluctantly stuck with over-prescription contact lens power... which made me stop using contact lenses for many months. Silly me!! (I can't change it either because it was on sale.... stingy!)

This is very clearly explained in this link.

Overwear of Contact Lenses
When we wear contact lenses for a prolonged period, this might affect the oxygen to your eyes causing blood vessels to grow into your eye (look at the picture below of a straved cornea). These vessels are not supposed to be there but it grows to obtain more oxygen for your cornea.
To remedy it, optometrist would recommend using a contact lens with higher oxygen permeability and within a few weeks, the blood inside the limbal vessels will recede and leave behind the ghost vessels.

Hence, remember to take out your contact lenses after a day of usage to allow your eyes to breath.

Hence, this is briefly the highlights of the main problems when I used contact lenses. Interesting facts to share with you:

Q1: Can I swim with my soft contacts in? How will chlorine affect my contacts? — N.H., Virginia

A: I highly recommend you wear goggles if you swim with soft contacts on your eyes. Although not usually a problem, there are all kinds of nasty bugs living in swimming pools (and hot tubs as well). One of these creatures, called acanthameba, can cause horrible pain and damage to your eye, very often necessitating a corneal transplant. And the water can change the way your lenses fit, making them too tight and causing severe eye health problems.

So, either take them out for swimming or wear goggles. Better safe than sorry. — Dr. Dubow

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