New Advances in Contact Lens Technology
Did you know you blink an average of 14,000 times a day? If you wear contact lenses, that’s a lot of opportunity for unwanted discomfort and distraction. Recently, many advances in contact lens technology have been made to improve the comfort of wearing contacts. Some contacts even provide added benefits such as UV protection. Even if you tried contact lenses in the past with no success, you could have a different experience today.
There is a wide selection of contacts to choose from, with varying options in moisture coatings and materials. Making sure you’re wearing the right lens can be the difference between your eyes feeling dry and irritated, or not even noticing you’re wearing contacts.
Contact Lens Materials
Choosing the right material means finding a lens that is both comfortable and also provides the prescription you need. Most modern contact lenses are made from silicone, hydrogel, or a combination of the two. Silicone hydrogel lenses were introduced in 2002, and are now one of the most popular lenses prescribed. These lenses are an advanced type of soft lens that is more porous than regular hydrogel lenses. They provide excellent comfort and breathability by allowing more oxygen to reach the cornea.
Soft lenses are typically the most comfortable, but they’re not always right depending on your prescription. Sometimes a harder or rigid gas permeable lens is required. Feel free to talk to us at Sun Valley Optometry about finding a lens with the right material for your eye. We’ll work with you to find a lens that is specially fit to your eye.
As mentioned previously, we blink an average of 14,000 times a day. When your contacts don’t have the right moisture coatings for your eyes, it can create unwanted friction and discomfort every time you blink. To reduce this friction and\or discomfort while wearing contacts, new moisture coatings have been developed to improve contact lens wettability and lubricity. The lubricity of a contact lens determines how the eyelids feel/move over the surface of the lens. The wettability measures how well the contact lens allows water to spread over the surface. Both lubricity and wettability relate to friction when you’re blinking. Making sure your contact lenses have the right moisture coating for your eye will ensure contact wear is comfortable and unnoticeable.
Do you hate putting your contact lenses in and taking them out every day? Do you only wear contacts occasionally – such as when playing sports or for special occasions? There are a variety of lenses that have been created to work best with a variety of wear schedules.
For the occasional contact wearer, there are daily disposable contacts. These contacts must be removed nightly. Some are only single use, while others may last up to two weeks.
For the individual who wears contacts 5-6 days a week, extended wear contacts may be the best option. Extended wear contacts are usually made of silicone hydrogel, as mentioned above. These lenses are usually thicker than disposable contacts and are more porous. This allows more oxygen to reach the cornea, and ultimately, provide more comfort. If you struggle with waking up with blurry vision in the morning, you may want to talk to your optometrist about extended wear contacts you can sleep in.
If you wear your lenses for longer than the manufacturer recommends, you’re in the majority of contact lens wearers. But what’s so bad about wearing your contacts longer than recommended?
Contact lenses have tiny pores inside that fill with protein and other debris over time. This clogs the pores and reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches your cornea. Ultimately, this will affect the comfort of your lenses and may increase chances of irritation. This is especially true for daily disposable lenses. These lenses are usually thinner than extended wear contacts and so they are not as porous.
Regardless of the type of contacts you wear, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions of when to dispose of them to ensure optimal comfort and reduce the chances of eye irritation.
You’ve likely heard how the sun can damage your skin, but did you know how the sun can damage your eyes? UV Exposure ads up over time on our skin and our eyes are no different. Too much UV exposure in your eyes may cause cataracts. To help protect your eyes, UV protection contact lenses are available. These lenses absorb UV rays and reduce the amount of sun damage that reaches the eye. However, sunglasses are still recommended as contacts don’t cover your entire eye. Making sure your eyes are protected from the sun’s harsh rays will ensure better long-term health for your eyes.
Many people, especially as they get older, may think they aren’t good candidates for contact lenses because they only need reading glasses or bifocals. But if you have a prescription for multifocal or bifocal glasses, you can still wear contact lenses. Recent advancements in this contact lens technology have made bifocal contact lens and multifocal contact lens prescriptions incredible.
Which contacts are right for you?
As you probably know, there are many types of contact lenses. Where do you start when choosing the right one? First, you need to make sure that your lenses are addressing the problem that is prompting you to wear lenses in the first place. You want to choose the one that fits your eye right and is suitable for when you’ll be wearing them. We recommend you get a professional fitting from your optometrist.
If you need help choosing the right contacts for your eyes, contact us at Sun Valley Optometry. We’re conveniently located in the Orchard Park Mall and can help you determine if your eyes are suitable for contact use, and help you discuss the right lens for your eyes.