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Special Uses of Contact Lenses

1) Safety factor of wearing contact lenses while asleep

Ever since the advent of silicone hydrogel lenses which allow for increased oxygen levels to reach the cornea, extended wear contact lenses have become more popular. Although these lenses can be worn overnight, one has to remain cautious of risking infection while sleeping with the lenses. While there are some contact lenses which are approved for 30 day wear, many eye care practitioners recommend a shorter wearing schedule.

2) Removal of contact lenses after a short sleep

It is not uncommon or hazardous to fall asleep for a short period of time with your lenses on. In such cases, it is possible that the lenses may dry up and thus, care should be taken while removing them upon awakening. The use of rewetting drops may become necessary before trying to remove the contact lenses so as to prevent tearing and excessive dryness. There are some special day and night lenses for those who have a tendency to fall asleep while wearing them.

3) Bifocal Contact Lenses

There are some people who require prescription lenses for both near and distant vision. This condition is called presbyopia. The lenses often have one prescription on half of the lens and the other prescription on the other half of the lens. Sometimes it is seen that the prescription tends to switch abruptly or have a transitional section where the two prescriptions blend. In such a case of bifocal contact lenses the eye must learn to determine which prescription is required for seeing an object that is either near or far.

4) Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses

These types of lenses have increased gas permeability than other plastic lenses allowing a better flow of oxygen to the cornea. While the traditional lenses transmit oxygen via the water present in the plastic, silicone hydrogel allows oxygen to pass through both, water as well as the silicone. As a result, contact lenses can be worn for longer periods of time as well.

5) Types of Contact Lenses

There are a wide types of lenses available which include different materials such as soft, rigid gas permeable and hard. There are contact lenses to correct different vision problems like astigmatism, prebyopia etc, for cosmetic uses like changing color, shape and appearance of the eye as well as for extended wear and replacement schedules.

6) Swimming with Contact Lenses

Typically, swimming with contact lenses is not recommended. The two main reasons are that chlorine in a pool can damage the surface of the contact lenses and contact lenses can shift and come out while swimming or splashing. The chlorine used in a pool can be damaging to the surface of contact lenses.

7) Wearing contact lenses while working with Chemicals

Although, once considered hazardous, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) allows people wearing contact lenses to work with chemicals as long as proper eye protection such as goggles is used.

8) Co-relation between hygiene eye-health

Good hygiene is very essential to the condition of contact lenses as well as the overall health of the eye as germs spread rapidly and contaminants may damage the eye. Wash hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses and keep all cleaning instruments sterile.

9) Contact lenses and dust

Dusty environments are not conducive to wearing contact lenses. Dust can adhere to the lenses and damage the health of the eye.

10) Cleaning recommendations for contact lenses

The cleaning methods for contact lenses vary with different types of contact lenses. It is important to follow the cleaning recommendations provided by an eye care provider. These will include specific brands of cleaning solution based on several factors including the overall health of the eye, lifestyle of the patient and type of contact lens.

11) Purchasing novelty contact lenses

Many retailers offer a variety of theatrical and cosmetic contact lenses which serve to change the color, shape and appearance of the eye. Novelty contact lenses can be a lot of fun but they can damage the eye if not used incorrectly. Ensure that you have an appropriate prescription and fit from a licensed eye care provider. Read more on Special Effects Contact Lenses.

12) Reshaping the eye through Orthokeratology

The shape of the eye can be changed temporarily through the use of flat hard contact lenses from a process called orthokeratology. Once the desired shape is achieved the wearer switches to a maintenance contact lens which keeps the cornea in that same shape. The effects of orthokeratology are only temporary and if the user does not wear the contacts for a few days the cornea may return to the original shape.

13) Duration recommendations for contact lenses

Contact lens wearers should follow their eye care provider's instructions on how long they can wear their contact lenses so as not to overuse and damage the eyes.

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