Myths and Facts About Contact Lenses

Perhaps you’re interested in contact lenses because they provide vision correction without affecting the way you look. Or, maybe you’re considering contacts because you don’t want the inconvenience of wearing glasses when exercising or playing sports. Whatever your reason for considering contact lenses, you’ve probably found conflicting information about the convenience and effectiveness of using them for daily vision correction. The fact is, about 45 million Americans wear contact lenses to correct a wide range of vision problems. 

With the proper fit and care, contact lenses can provide comfortable and convenient vision correction. Optometrist Jacob West, OD, of West Vision in Tyler, Texas, provides expert contact lens prescriptions and fittings to help his patients find the right contacts for their vision problems. He provides soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable contact lenses, and specialty and scleral contact lenses

Learn the truth about contact lenses to understand how they can solve your vision problems and give you the appearance you desire. Read on as we debunk the myths and give you the facts. 

Myth No. 1: Contact lenses aren’t for everyone

Contact lenses can help many types of vision problems, including farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), blurred vision (astigmatism), and loss of close vision due to age (presbyopia). Multifocal contact lenses can simultaneously correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, and presbyopia. 

Even people with special eye problems can achieve normal vision with contact lenses. While macular degeneration, which is an eye disease that causes vision loss, and astigmatism may prevent you from wearing traditional contact lenses, customized contact lenses can address your unique situation. For specialty contact lenses, Dr. West uses a map of your cornea to determine the right prescription, size, and curvature for your condition. 

You can even benefit from contact lenses if you suffer with keratoconus, corneal scarring, or an irregularly shaped cornea. For these conditions, you may benefit from scleral contacts. These larger contacts cover the distorted areas of your eye and fit under your eyelid to prevent movement. Each lens is designed for your individual eye structure. 

Myth No. 2: Wearing contact lenses causes eye problems

You can avoid eye problems with contact lenses if you follow recommended care and cleaning instructions. Generally, you’ll need to practice good hygiene when handling contacts to avoid introducing dirt or other matter to your eyes when placing them. Your specific lens care routine will depend on the type of contact lenses you use. 

Patients who clean and store their lenses properly will reduce the likelihood of experiencing infections. While the cleaning routine for reusable daily contacts is relatively quick and simple, you can cut down on cleaning by wearing extended-wear lenses. With these lenses, you can keep them in your eyes continuously for periods of up to 30 days, depending on the lenses.

And if you don’t want to have to do any cleaning at all, you can use daily wear lenses. These lenses are made for one-day wear. At the end of the day, you throw them away and put on a new pair in the morning. 

Myth No. 3: Contact lenses aren’t comfortable

Some types of contact lenses require a longer period of adjustment than others. However, all contacts can provide a more natural vision than glasses, because they move with your eye without blocking parts of what you see. 

Soft contact lenses, the most popular type of contacts, are also considered the most comfortable. Their material consists of soft, flexible plastic that’s combined with water. This porous material lets oxygen pass through to the eyes. 

The most common type of hard contact lenses are called rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses. These lenses are much different from the traditional hard lenses, which are no longer available. Rigid gas-permeable lenses use a slightly rigid plastic that holds its shape more firmly than soft contact lenses, but they still allow oxygen to flow through the lens to your eye. You may prefer RGP lenses if you have allergies, because they provide more deposit resistance than soft contact lenses, so you can get more protection from allergens. 

Myth No. 4: Contact lenses can get lost behind your eyes

It’s not possible for a contact lens to get lost behind your eyes. The anatomy of your eye includes a membrane that covers your eyeball and connects inside your eyelid. Called the conjunctiva, this thin, moist lining creates a continuous barrier that prevents anything from getting behind the eye and becoming trapped there.  

When a contact lens becomes dislodged, it may disappear under your eyelid. It’s not typical for contact lenses to move around the surfaces of your eyes or get trapped under your eyelids. When this occurs, it typically indicates a poor fit and the need for a new prescription. 

To find out more about contact lenses and see if they’re right for you, book an appointment online or over the phone with West Vision today.

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