Many people are choosing to wear disposable contact lenses, simply because they dislike wearing spectacles. They find them not only convenient, but also more aesthetic. If they fit right, you are barely aware that you have a pair on. Maintaining them is easy, and sometimes they can even be cheaper than some of the high-end, good quality glasses.
What are Disposable Contact Lenses?
Disposable contact lenses are meant to be worn for a short period of time and then thrown away. This makes them very convenient because there is very little disinfection and cleaning involved in order to maintain them. The replacement schedule can be from a single day to up to 3 months, being contingent on aspects like how well they are maintained, as well as the environmental factors involved. The usual schedule for replacing them is around 14 days or 2 weeks of wear.
Disposable contact lenses that are meant for daily wear, should be removed and cleaned everyday, until the time they are supposed to be discarded. Although the ones meant for extended wear can be kept on overnight, they need to be cleaned and disinfected as a preventive measure against problems of the eyes like blurred vision, redness and irritation, infections of the eyes, giant papillary conjunctivitis, and other general discomfort.
According to estimations, it has been found that about 1.8 million Americans wore contact lenses to correct their vision in 1960. Now, that figure has grown to up to 19.5 million. Therefore, it is expected that in a few decades, almost half of the Americans that require correction of their vision, will opt for contacts.
Before their advent, contact lenses, which were made of glass, were not only expensive, but were delicate as well. For instance, once they were scratched, there was no other option for the wearer, but to replace them. Another major disadvantage was that they did not allow the healthy and natural exchange of oxygen and water to take place through them to the eye, which sometimes resulted in irritation of the eye and even damage.
One of the greatest advantages of these lenses is that there is minimal accumulation of deposits compared to conventional ones worn for extended periods. Apart from being more comfortable to wear, there are also less chances of developing infectious keratitis and giant papillary conjunctivitis with lenses that are devoid of deposits.
Another advantageous factor of disposable contact lenses is that they do not require costly disinfecting and cleaning solutions, which are needed for conventional ones. Thus, the toxic and allergic reactions and ocular irritation that these solutions usually cause, can be avoided, plus, the risk of the solution getting contaminated, is eliminated.
According to a research conducted on 700 patients who wore disposable contact lenses for up to 8 months, it was found that patient satisfaction, visual acuity, and patient comfort, were high compared to conventional extended wear contact lenses. There was also no evidence of complications of the cornea, like infectious keratitis.
These days, the dispensable lenses that are available are of high quality, relatively inexpensive, and are highly reliable. They are also available in various types and styles. However, before buying a pair, you need to take the advice of an eye care physician to determine the type of disposable lenses most suitable for you, and also to familiarize yourself on not only how to use them, but also how they need to be taken care of.
As mentioned above, some of these disposable lenses can be worn only for a single day, while others can be worn for a much longer period of time.
One of the questions often asked is if disposable contact lenses are reusable, if they are cleaned and disinfected routinely. In fact, it is quite a controversial matter amongst eye doctors. Physicians can put themselves at a medicolegal risk if they approve the continued use of these lenses. Nevertheless, they do not differ significantly from other soft types, and are regularly reused without any adverse effects. Some manufacturers label their products as 'disposable-cum-frequent replacement', leaving it to the physician to decide whether they can be reused.
Always keep in mind that disposable lenses are highly sophisticated pieces of equipment. Hence, by using them the way they are meant to be, will provide you with great results. It is always advisable not to compromise with the care of your eyes, for after all they are the only pair you have, and they are never going to be dispensable.