Contact lenses, also known as simply lenses, are tiny translucent lenses placed directly onto the cornea (the transparent covering of the eye) in order to view through it. Contact lenses were invented in the late 19th century by German doctors and are now very popular worldwide. These tiny lenses are then held in place with the help of a special reusable plastic handpiece called a lens case. Contacts come in two basic types – the full contact, which cover the entire eyelid, and the intermittent contact which are used for either specific parts of the eye or for both.
One of the most common reasons that people wear contact lenses is to correct certain vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. These problems are either corrected by the natural refraction of the eye, or by introducing contact lenses. For many, they wish to have a near-normal life and do not want to wear glasses. There are other people, however, who suffer from serious eye conditions and would otherwise not be able to wear glasses. For these patients, the obvious choice is contact lenses. However, there are also some patients who wear glasses and wish to have a better vision without needing to wear corrective glasses.
Some examples of vision correction using contact lenses are astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. For people who suffer from one or more of these vision problems, there are three options available to them. They can wear regular glasses, but with weaker lenses that give the vision blurred appearances, or they can wear hybrid contact lenses. Hybrid contact lenses combine the advantages of glasses with the improvements of hybrid lenses. They can offer better vision, as well as being much easier to care for and wear.
The choice of which kind of contact lenses is made is based on your own personal situation and requirements. The most important factor in this is what you can afford. You will also need to decide how often you will need a replacement schedule. If you frequently go to the eye doctor, you may choose to opt for the most expensive option – which is the most comfortable and beneficial for you. However, if you spend less time at the eye doctor and are more comfortable to wear glasses, you can opt for a cheaper alternative.
Two of the most popular varieties of contact lenses are rigid gas permeable, or RGP, and soft contact lenses. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are the cheapest option available and provide improved vision. They are made of plastic or polycarbonate and are opaque, meaning that only a very small area of the lens is visible to others. The soft variety, on the other hand, are made of the protein gel and are much easier to clean.
Eye infections are a major risk for contact lens wearers. If you wear rigid gas permeable lenses, there is the chance that you could develop Keratitis. This is an inflammation of the eyelids and it can be quite painful. If you choose soft contact lenses, you have a much lesser risk of developing Keratitis as the proteins and the lens material are unlikely to cause inflammation.