Who can where contact lenses?

by Dr. Robert Benza, MD 5. July 2013 10:06

Can anyone wear contact lenses?   Actually,  many patients who need correction for improvement in their distance vision can wear contacts.  However,  some patients may not be eligible to wear them depending on the shape or condition of their eyes.
Most physicians like their contact patients to be 11 years or older and responsible.  There are generally gas permeable (harder) lenses or soft lenses.  Soft lenses have the advantages of being disposable,  typically more comfortable and convenient.  Gas perm lenses have the advantage of giving the sharpest vision since they correct astigmatism better than most soft lenses. We educate are young patients about care of the lenses since they are more prone to get infections.   I like to see my younger patients only wear the contacts 10-12 hours per day.   In my opinion,  sleeping in contact lenses increases your risk for infection.  I typically do not instruct any of my patients to sleep in their contacts even if the contact has been approved for overnight wear. Also,  I instruct all patients to wash their hands before inserting or removing the contacts from their eyes.  Some of the more popular soft lenses are daily disposables or two week disposable lenses. 
Patients with astigmatism (abnormal curvature of their cornea)  may be limited to the type of contacts they can wear. If there is an excessive amount of astigmatism,  they might not be eligible for contact lenses or limited to the gas permeable variety. There are soft lenses,  called toric lenses,  which can correct a mild to moderate amount of astigmatism.  They are typically monthly disposable lenses and usually don't come in the daily disposable format. Patients have many options and types of contact lenses available to them.  See your eye care professional if you are considering contact lenses and they can determine if you are a good candidate.




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