Thinking about buying some inexpensive colored contact lenses from the pharmacy, beauty salon or 99 Cent store? You might want to re-think that idea. Sure, they’re cheap, but the sale of contact lenses (even colored lenses) without a valid prescription is prohibited by federal law. Plus, most of these stores don’t have the training or knowledge to provide instruct you on how to care for your new lenses.
So what’s the risk? Improper care can lead to infection of the cornea. The condition, called keratitis, is very common. And contacts that aren’t fitted correctly can cause abrasions of the cornea. The abrasion can get infected and could lead to ulcers. If these ulcers go untreated, they can cause scarring on the cornea, which is irreversible and permanently affects vision. If you’re a first-time contact lens wearer, complications increase.
But it’s just for one night, right? Even just one night of wearing these ill-fitted contacts can put you at risk. And if you’re drinking, the dehydration increases the risks. Please, save yourself the risks and potentially serious consequences, and consult a licensed optometrist to get fitted for your colored contacts, whether for regular use or Halloween.
For more information, read this article on ABCnews.com.
Hiking, running, tennis, work: We have specific shoes for each activity, why should our eyes be any different? Using the computer, working, driving and playing sports each call for their own eyeglasses. For instance, distance glasses are needed for driving, but when intense focus is required in activities like reading or needlepoint, reading glasses may be essential.
Computer glasses reduce eyestrain by focusing at the intermediate range (shorter than driving distance, but farther than reading distance). Occupational lenses are specially designed for work-related tasks, placing the reading segment higher in bifocals and trifocals. For driving, polarized lenses or an anti-reflective coating are essential to reduce glare. Sports and protective eyewear should have polycarbonate lenses for safety. Sports contact lenses are another option which give better peripheral vision, an unobstructed field of view and better compatibility with goggles or head gear.
Give your eyes the care they deserve; eyeglasses made to fit your lifestyle and specific visual needs are important in maintaining healthy eyes.
Contact lenses are divided into two main categories: soft and rigid gas permeable. Soft contact lenses (SCLs) are made of a polymer-plastic combined with water, which allows oxygen to pass through the lenses. The newer line of SCLs is made with a silicone hydrogel material that allows greater oxygen to pass through, promoting better corneal health and the option for extended-wear (overnight) use. Unlike older versions of hard lenses, rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are made with silicone polymers that allow abundant oxygen transmission to the cornea as well.
SCL designs can vary from being spherical (nearsighted or farsighted prescription that is uniform) to toric (more than one prescription on the lens for patients with astigmatism), multifocal (having far and near prescriptions), or multifocal toric. Like SCLs, RGP lens designs can be spherical, toric, and bifocal but specialty designs like scleral (large diameter RGPs that may help with corneal irregularities), keratoconic (for patients with keratoconus, a thinning corneal disorder), or corneal refractive therapy (CRT) lenses (used overnight to correct your vision) are also available.
The customary annual replacement of RGP lenses offers simplicity, but many patients prefer disposing their SCLs more frequently on either a daily, bi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly replacement schedule. Frequent lens replacement with disposable SCLs improves health, comfort, and can be very convenient when patients inadvertently lose or tear their lens.
Colored SCLs give the unique option to change your eye color completely with an opaque color tint or enhance the existing color of your eyes with an enhancement or translucent tint. A visibility tint of light blue or green is aimed to improve handling and is available in both SCLs and RGPs.
Contact lenses can be worn on a daily basis or occasionally for social events or recreation. Have an eye exam to discuss if you are a good candidate for contact lens wear. Based on your prescription and the health of your eyes, your optometrist will prescribe the most appropriate contact lenses for you.