Sunday, 2 December 2012

Disposable Contact Lens 101 - What you should know (at least) from the personal life of user [INFO]

Alright, I for one have to say that I'm visually challenged. What do I mean by that you say? Well.. it means that I'm nearly blind as a bat (though I can see at least one meter ahead of me) and I need contact lens or spectacles/glasses to see. 

You know once upon a time ago... when I was a kid I used to think that it was awesome to wear glasses and always wished I could get a pair. And you know what? I got my wish. But really? Awesome?! I mean really? Now I wish I had a time machine so I can go back in time and slap myself silly for every entertaining the thought much less wish it. 

But alas it is not to be. Now, as I said there are two non surgical ways to correct vision which is to use contact lens or spectacles/glasses to see. However today's topic is going to be focused on disposable contact lens. 

Choosing the right pair of disposable contact lens
Right now in the market there disposable contact lens in the form of daily's - which you use and dispose of within the day, biweekly - which you use and dispose of within 2 weeks, monthly - which you use and dispose of within a month and trimonthly - which you use and dispose of within 3 months.
**When I mention a "time period" e.g. 1 day, 2 weeks, etc I mean the DAY you OPEN the contact lens packet/bottle NOT the box.

Did you know that not all contact lens are not created equally? 

There is no such thing as one size fits all [eyeballs that is (>_<)] as everyone's eyes has a different curvature and you need to find the right pair that fits nearly as close as possible or you could be at a high risk of complication. 

Why do I say this? Because I have gone through it, I have experienced it. I had to go through several brands and types before I could find the right pair with the right curvature.

What personally happened to me when the curvature is not right? 

1. The contact lens moves around on your eye when you blink.


2. The contact lens popped out of my eye. No warning and it was not even dry at the time and yes unfortunately it fell to the floor. What a waste... p/s It was brand new... **Sob**

3. The contact lens moved all the way up into the eyelid, this take some time and patience to get out.

4. And scariest of all? When it moved into the back of your eye socket... or close to it. Believe me, it was the one time the fear of the contact lens remaining there (in the back of my eye) overcame the fear of causing myself wrinkles and fine lines because I needed to stretch my eyelids and undereye area to look for it on my eyeball and coax it out. **Shudder**  P.s: I did not sleep in them, it happened when I blinked.

Pss: I'm not trying to scare you but I though you should know.

What about thickness of the disposable contact lens?
This may or may not be a factor but should be considered and would only become an issue for person with really tight eyelids. 

What do I mean by this? It means your eyelid is stretched tightly or just fittingly over your eyes. While you won't feel anything while wearing glasses because it fits on your nose, it could be a problem when you're wearing contact lens.

I have a tighter eyelid on my left eye compared to my right. So if the disposable contact lens is just a little bit too thick it would affect my left eye but not my right. There are different degrees to this. One particular brand of contact lens that I tried once was a little bit too thick for me and cut my left eyelid in or about 3-4 hours after putting them on for the first time. By the end of the 3-4 hours my left eyelid was red, swollen and tearing. Mind you at that point in time I was already using contact lens, but I had just decided to try out a new brand. 

Another side effect of wearing contact lens that if it is a little bit too thick (but not terribly) you might experience of the sensation of something scraping your eyelid everytime you blink. 

What about coloured contact lens? Are they safe?
Coloured contact lens such as Freshlook, Freshcon, Blinkcon, etc are just like ordinary clear contact lens. 

However I would like to add that for me it took some adjusting to get used to as it seems as if something was impairing my vision when I used coloured contact lens for the first time. It took me a few days to get used to it and I would not recommend driving with them on until you get used to it.

How long can you wear contact lens?
Well the recommended length of time to use contact lens in a day is 8-10 hours with limit of maximum of 12 hours. 

I've heard from a doctor that if you consistently use contact lens for more than 12 hours or sleep in them that you reduce the life span that your eyes can use contact lens. I don't know how much of this is true or accurate but its always best to err on the side of caution. 

Will there be side effects from using contact lens?
They are generally safe if you follow and adhere to proper care, cleaning and hygene, wear it in recommended usage times and  have regular assessment done by qualified eye care professionals. Improper use and care of the contact lens and usage could lead to eye inflammation, infections, loss of sight and even blindness. 

Can you buy contact lens supply, say.. for the whole year?
Sure why not? In fact in some cases it is cheaper in Malaysia to buy for the whole year than buying 1 or 2 boxes of lens every few months. Just make sure the contact lens are sealed and have a valid expiry date that lasts for the whole year or more.

Why? This is because the usage cycles only begins when you break the seal of the contact lens packet/bottle. 

How to CLEAN and STORE contact lens? Do's and Don'ts
A. Wash your hand and make sure they're clean (no traces of greese, make up, food, etc) and dry them on a towel, tissue or anything lint free. 

This is important coz otherwise the lint would transfer from your hands to the contact lens when you touch them.

B. Put the contact lens on the centre of your palm and rub both sides of the contact lens carefully with some multi-purpose solution with the pad of your finger (NOT your nail).     

C. After rubbing the contact lens, rinse it with more multi-purpose solution to disinfect and remove all substance that you dislodged from the lens in STEP B.

D. Put the contact lens in a your contact lens case and fill 5/6 of the case with multi-purpose   solution and let it soak as per recommendation on the multi-purpose solution bottle. NEVER USE TAP WATER!


DO:
1. Change your contact lens case every month if you can. 
Preferred: Wash your contact lens case every week with multi purpose solution NOT water. 
At Least: Every other week (forthnight)

2. Do check the power of your eyes at least every 6 months to see if your power is maintaining, decreasing or increasing as you might need new prescription for your eyes. 

3. Do take out your contact lens from your eyes if a bug, dust, eyelash, etc happened to fall into your eyes. Rinse the contact lens with multi-purpose solution before popping them back into your eyes. 

4. You could also try out specially made eye drops for contact lens if you find that your lens is too dry or if a speck of mascara/dust is on the top of the lens. However if it does not dislodge, please take the contact lens out and clean them as in Step 2 3 before popping the contact lens back into your eyesppies.

DO NOT:

1. Be stingy or scrimp when you are using contact lens soluiolution.

2. Use water, mineral water or anything other than multi purpose solution with your contact lens.

3.Use expired lens or multi purpose solutions.

4. U Use or wear your contact lens to sleep unless unrec recommended by your eye care professional.

5. Go for swimming in a poopool or sea while wearing your contact len lens UNLESS you're wearing goggles.

6. Never store your contact lens case in your bathroom because storing it there carries a high possibility and risk of air borne contamination.  

7. Cook in high flame or heat areas such as BBQ or or your head near an open heatedted oven while wearing contact lens they could possibly melt from the heat.

8. Touch the tip of your multi purpose solution bottle or eye drop bottle to your fingers, eyes, lens, or basically into contact with any surface. 

That's about it. I hope you find this article and my experience helpful and that you enjoyed it. Until next time. 

XOXO!

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