Advantages and Disadvantages of Contact Lenses: From style statement to correcting eyesight, the use of contact lenses has sped up in the last few years. From students to professionals or even celebrities, most prefer wearing contact lenses instead of burdening glasses. How good are the contact lenses? From hygiene and care to style and customized colours, let's throw some light on the facts that you need to be familiarized with about the pros and cons of contact lenses.
You can have any reason (American Optometric Association reports that around 46 million Americans wear contact lenses) to put on lenses from vision correction to change your eye colour. Different types of contact lenses are available according to individual needs. They all have certain types of advantages. Here are some pros of contact lenses to enlighten you further.
Putting on a contact lens is easier as compared to glasses. Unlike glasses, contact lens provides you with a wider field of view leading to fewer vision distortions. A contact lens gets adjusted according to the curvature of your eye with almost a negligible difference as it is way lighter than glasses.
If you fear to undergo eye surgery, contact lenses are the best and painless cure to your vision problem. Contact lenses will eliminate the problems you might face during post-surgical precautions. Though, giving a thought to consulting your ophthalmologist always gets you on the safer side.
Needless to say that you can avail of a wide range of contacts according to what type or colour that suits you. These lenses also come in a varied price range and the category of “daily wear" or daily disposable." Thus, contact lenses benefit you as per your need and affordability.
According to the Center for Disease Control, kids and teens have reported feeling more confident about their appearance while wearing contact lenses as compared to glasses. As there are several colours you can choose, it is hard for you to resist this fashionable vision enhancer.
Now let’s switch to the darker side of using contact lenses that may turn your viewpoint the other way around. Although contact lenses are a great alternative to glasses and even straining surgeries, there are some concerning things you need to watch out as a wearer. You must take precautions while wearing your contact lenses from morning till evening.
According to a study conducted by the CDC, about 80 per cent of contact lens wearers report about risks associated with the contact that have also affected their eyes. Eye infections being one of the most common risks of contact lenses, where adolescents are at the highest risk (85%) of eye infections followed by young adults (81%) and older adults (88%). They all have one common cause to relate to that is the unsafe practice of use.
As convenient as they may be, contact lenses can land you into serious trouble as people who wear contact lenses are at a hyped risk of developing Keratitis (a serious infection that affects cornea). The corneal layer is covered with corneal ulcers that are visible when you start experiencing discomfort. Keratitis may also be caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungi, or a rare parasite that evolves because of the removing and placing contact lenses every once in a while. The disease known as Acanthamoeba keratitis can damage your eyes’ frontal layer leading you totally into darkness.
No, one would have wondered that our eyes also rely on oxygen. Contact lenses hinder an ample supply of oxygen to your eyes required to keep your eyes healthy as the entire corneal layer is covered by contact lens. This may also cause dryness and itchiness in your eyes. This is why most doctors prefer patients to switch to soft or silicone hydrogel lenses rather than conventional lenses. The gel supports eyes with proper oxygen flow and is capable to keep your eyes healthy for a long time.
If you have a knack of trying glistening eyes like a cat, this one of the biggest disadvantages of contact lens will make you think twice. Colourful contact lenses are in trend no doubt, do mind taking pills and reactive compositions (contraceptive pills) that may adversely damage your eyes’ tear film. As a result, you may start feeling a burning sensation, and irritation at times.
If you often forget to remove your contact lenses before bed, this next fact might turn your more aware. Those who wear contact lenses for long hours are easily at the risk of developing viruses and bacteria which ultimately leads to Giant papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC), the most common type of conjunctivitis that contact lens wearers who are a little careless about wearing those.
If your eyes have been experiencing more drool than usual, then it’s time to pay a visit to your doctor. If you have a problem with opening your eyelids normally or completely, you are most likely affected by Ptosis.
The concept of contact lenses was put forth by the great Italian mathematician Leonardo Da Vinci in 1508. In 1887, the first glass contact lens was made by the Swiss Physician A.E. Fick. It covered the entire front of the eye including sclera which was also heavy and uncomfortable to wear.
The first plastic contact lens was invented by Theodore E. Obrig in 1938 using Lucite (a form of Methylmethacrylate plastic) that could be moulded into adjustable shape. The major problem with this plastic lens was hygiene and the wearer had to place a solution between the lens and the cornea to let the tears circulate beneath the lens. This had to be done every few hours.
The first Corneal Contact lens was invented in 1948 which was easy to wear, gave no trouble to the wearer and could be worn all day long without any extra care. With timespan and technological improvements, different types of lenses can be found to fit your needs and don’t need to be removed each day.
According to the recent and earlier findings from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) USA, here are the best types of contact lenses you can opt for your eyes and vision correction. The list has been arranged in a descending order from most to least recommended.
Soft lenses: These lenses are made of soft gel-like plastic (hydrogels) which is flexible and allows an ample amount of oxygen to flow through to the cornea. These are most comfortable to wear and by far, allow the maximum amount of oxygen to reach your cornea.
These are a little more advanced types of contact lenses that allow more oxygen flow through to the corneal layer. This also suffices, you might have to pay a little more for these. Fetching mote attention from the customers these days, silicone hydrogel contact lenses are pricier as well as a safer option for vision correction.
Gas permeable lenses:
Also called GP or Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses (RGP), these are rigid contact lenses that were introduced in the 1960s. RGP lenses were initially used to correct the shape of the eye and correct astigmatism. As compared to soft lenses, RGP lenses are a bit difficult on the wearer's eye that can also cause scratches on the cornea. Since the glass used in RGP is rigid, they are more susceptible to breakage. RGP lenses are made of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) which also go by the common names Acrylic or Acrylic Glass, Plexiglas, Lucite, Perspex, and others.
Hybrid contact lenses: Hybrid contact lenses consist of a rigid gas permeable central zone, surrounded by a "shell" of hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material. They are designed to provide the wearer a comfort somewhat similar to silicone hydrogel lenses, often paired with the sheer optics of GP lenses.
PMMA lenses: Not to be confused with GP lenses, PMMA lenses are lookalike of GP lenses though. These lenses came to use years ago and now are replaced by soft gel and Gas Permeable contact lenses given they are soft on the cornea and are adaptable to a wearer’s needs.
Worry not, you can check all the available colours and get what you like the most. here.
According to the research and studies-based findings by the American Optometric Association, Nearly all (97%) optometrists surveyed currently fit contact lens patients under the age of 18. Children up to the age of 17 accounts for about 41% of respondents’ total contact lens patient population. On average, optometrists say that about 59% of their contact lens patients are 18 years of age and older and report less than 1% of their contact lens patients are younger than eight-years-old, less than 2% are 8-9 years old, 7% are between 10-12, 13% are 13-14-year-olds, and 19% of contact lens patients are between 15 and 17 years old.
For your kid, you should opt for soft contact lenses; the appropriate age to introduce a child to soft contact lenses should be between the ages of 10 and 12 years old. The same opinions differ among some optometrists who suggest kids to start wearing contact lenses after turning 13. One in every ten optometrists surveyed by AOA, suggests introducing 8-9-year-olds (12%) or children younger than 8 (11%) to soft contact lenses only.
According to Professor John Dart, the lead researcher at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, using contaminated water or poor hygiene may lead to the development of Acanthamoeba keratitis (a preventable infection) which may also cause blindness.
According to AOA, Daily disposable contact lenses are the most frequently prescribed lenses for children 12 years old and under. For children 13-14 and 15-17, doctors tend to prescribe reusable contact lenses (i.e., two-week and monthly replacement) more often than daily disposables.
Around 73% of doctors believe that cosmetic (non-therapeutic) contact lenses are appropriate for children under the age of 18. Of these respondents, 69% say they would fit children ages 15-17; 40% say they would fit children ages 13-14, and 16% say theywould fit 10 to 12-year-olds in these lenses.
There are plenty of reasons why kids prefer to put on contact lenses instead of glasses. Poor vision affects kids' performance in sports, glasses may not be the right answer to solve this problem, while contact lenses come handy as they provide wider vision and need no adjustments once you wear them.