Colour Contact Lenses
A contact lens (also called a contact) is a corrective, cosmetic, or therapeutic lens placed on the cornea of the eye. Contact lenses usually serve the same corrective purpose as conventional glasses, but are lightweight and virtually invisible. Cosmetic lenses are deliberately colored to alter the appearance or color of the eye. Contact lesnses offer wearers many benefits and freedom from wearing glasses.
Types of Contact Lenses
There are two main types of contact lenses. Soft Contact Lenses and Rigid Contact Lenses.
SOFT CONTACT LENSES
Soft lenses are the most common. Around 90% of all the contact lenses prescribed are soft lenses. Soft contact lenses are made from soft, flexible plastics, known as hydrogels, which contain water. The water allows oxygen to pass through the lens to the eye. This is important, as the cornea obtains its oxygen supply directly from the air.
RIGID CONTACT LENSES
Rigid lenses are made from plastics that are less flexible than those used for soft lenses. These lenses are most commonly referred to as "rigid gas permeable" or "RGP" lenses and are "permeable to oxygen", meaning they allow oxygen to pass through to the eye. Some of the newer materials allow almost as much oxygen to reach the eye as if no lens was being worn.
Rigid lenses provide better vision than soft lenses, as the optics can be better controlled, and are suitable for a wider range of refractive errors. In some conditions in which the front surface of the eye becomes distorted, such as keratoconus, rigid lenses are the only way to satisfactorily correct vision. Rigid lenses require some adaptation on the part of the wearer. Typically they are less comfortable than soft lenses for the first week or two of wear, but after that they do not cause any discomfort.
Rigid lenses are more durable than soft lenses, so they do not need to be replaced as often.
Corrective contact lenses
A corrective contact lens is designed to improve vision. In many people, there is a mismatch between the refractive power of the eye and the length of the eye, leading to a refraction error. A contact lens neutralizes this mismatch and allows for correct focusing of light onto the retina. Conditions correctable with contact lenses include near (or short) sightedness (myopia), far (or long) sightedness (hypermetropia), astigmatism and presbyopia. Contact wearers must usually take their contacts out every night or every few days, depending on the brand and style of the contact.
Cosmetic contact lenses
A cosmetic contact lens are designed to change the appearance or color of the eye. These lenses may also correct vision, but some blurring or obstruction of vision may occur as a result of the color or design. In the United States, the FDA frequently calls non-corrective cosmetic contact lenses "decorative contact lenses".
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Therapeutic contact lenses
Soft lenses are often used in the treatment and management of non-refractive disorders of the eye. A bandage contact lens protects an injured or diseased cornea from the constant rubbing of blinking eyelids thereby allowing it to heal. They are used in the treatment of conditions including bullous keratopathy, dry eyes, corneal ulcers and erosion, keratitis, corneal edema, descemetocele, corneal ectasis, Mooren's ulcer, anterior corneal dystrophy, and neurotrophic keratoconjunctivitis. Contact lenses that deliver drugs to the eye have also been developed.
Benefits of wearing contact Lenses
Contact lenses offer many benefits and allow people from all walks of life to lead a fully active lifestyle. Contact lenses can make wearing safety glass and helmets more
Contact lenses offer many benefits such as:
- Easily change your eye colour
- Enhance your existing eye color
- Close to natural vision
- No side effects when fitted and worn correctly
- Excellent peripheral vision
- Ideal for physical sports
- Driving (motor sports)
- Water sports (not for swimming)
- Performing artists and actors
- Ideal for environments where glasses and spectacles are not an option
- Can benefit computer users (help dry and irritated eyes)