Contact lenses, or just contacts, are cosmetic, corrective or therapeutic lenses that are applied on the cornea of the eye. Corrective lenses (transparent ones or colored) are meant to replace conventional eye glasses, are easy to wear and lightweight and can be invisible or you can even change your eye color every day if you want to. On the other hand, cosmetic lenses have the sole purpose to change eye color and are used only for fashion and beauty purposes.
Moreover, more and more eye glass wearers tend to start using contact lenses instead of glasses due to the fact that they are not affected by weather, they provide a wider field of vision and they are more suitable for sport activities. Also, some eye problems can not be corrected properly with glasses (for eg: aniseikonia or keratoconus).
Despite the fact that people think contact lenses are a new trend, the first contacts were made in 1938-1940 in the US. Of course, they were rigid and made of plastic. Soft contact lenses were first manufactured in 1971. They have brought with them a series of benefits that changes glass wearers lives, such as the ones mentioned above, but due to people negligence, they have also brought risks. Therefore, no matter if you are wearing contacts for eye problem reasons of just for fun, you should know how to do this correctly.
- Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them comprehensively
- Remove lenses before swimming, showering or entering a hot tub
- Clean your lenses with special saline solution after every use
- Change the saline solution you keep them in after every use
- Dispose them after the period of time the manufacturer / retailer say they expire (usually One or Three Months)
- Also clean you contact lens case and replace it every 3 months
- Do not expose your lenses to water as it can carry microbes and bacteria that can cause infection. Water can also alter the shape of the lens that can lead to damaging the cornea.
- Do not sleep with your contact lenses on (unless your doctor prescribed this)
- Do not leave them without special solution as they will dry out and become unwearable
- Do not wear them more than they period of expiration, even though you have not worn them daily in the 30 or 90 days since you opened them
- Never add new solution over the old one when storing your lenses, always replace it!
Nevertheless, contact lenses or not, you should go see an eye care specialist at least twice a year to make sure that your eyes are in perfect shape and health. Moreover, if you wear contact lenses for corrective or cosmetic purposes, having your eyes checked is mandatory. You can also read more on contact lens care here.