Contact lenses are thin plastic lenses that are placed on the film of tears on the front of your eye. It provides a safe and effective way to correct vision when used carefully with proper lens wear habits.
Contact lenses are used to correct similar conditions that spectacles can to correct myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), astigmatism (distorted vision) and presbyopia (old-age vision). Contact lenses may also be used in eye diseases where an uneven cornea blurs vision, such as in patients with keratoconus.
There are various types of contact lenses:
Soft Contact Lenses
Majority of contact lens wearers in Singapore use soft lenses, which are made of plastic materials with high water content. As a result, these lenses are soft and flexible.
Different lenses with varying lens replacement schedules are available. Disposable soft contact lenses are discarded and replaced. They are convenient and reduce the chance of allergic reactions and accumulation of deposits on the lens surface.
Users should replace their contact lens according to manufacturers’ recommendations. Non-disposable (conventional) soft contact lens options also exist.
Toric Contact Lenses
Toric lenses correct astigmatism. They are available in both rigid and soft materials.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
Newer rigid plastic lenses are combined with gas permeable materials to allow oxygen in the air to pass directly through the lens. These lenses allow more oxygen to reach the cornea compared with soft lenses.
Contact lenses can cause a variety of problems ranging from mild to sight-threatening complications. These include:
- Dry Eyes
- Allergic eye disease
- Distortion of the cornea
- Changes to corneal structure due to a lack of oxygen
- Scratches (abrasions) on the cornea
- Corneal infections
Stop wearing your contact lenses if you experience discomfort and see an eye specialist if you experience eye redness, a drop in vision or pain in the eyes.