How Contact Lenses Correct Vision
Contact lenses are optical medical devices, primarily used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. In these conditions, light is not focused properly on the retina, the layer of nerve endings in the back of the eye that converts light to electrochemical impulses. When light is not focused properly on the retina, the result is blurred or imperfect vision.
When in place on the cornea, the contact lens functions as the initial optical element of the eye. The optics of the contact lens combine with the optics of the eye to properly focus light on the retina. The result is clear vision.
Are Contacts For You?
The vast majority of people requiring vision correction can wear contact lenses without any problems. New materials and lens care technologies have made today's contacts more comfortable, safer and easier to wear. Consider the questions and answers below to help assess whether they're a choice you should consider.
10 Myths About Contact Lenses
1. I can't wear contact lenses.
Yes, you can! Thanks to advances in contact lens technology in recent years, just about everyone can wear contacts. For example, there are now bifocal contact lenses for people with presbyopia, and toric soft lenses that correct astigmatism. You may be a better candidate for contact lens wear than you think!
2. A contact lens will get lost behind my eye.
Nope! A thin membrane called the conjunctiva covers the white of your eye and connects to the inside of your eyelids, making it impossible for a contact lens to get lost behind your eye.
3. Contact lenses are uncomfortable.
Not true. After a brief adaptation period, most people don't even notice they're wearing contact lenses. For those who do experience contact lens discomfort, several remedies are available once the cause is pinpointed.
4. Contact lenses can get permanently stuck to my eye.
While it's true that a soft contact lens can stick to the surface of your eye if it dries out, remoistening the lens by applying sterile saline or a multipurpose contact lens solution will get it moving again.
5. Contact lenses are too much trouble to take care of.
Wrong! One-bottle contact lens care systems make cleaning and disinfecting your lenses easy. Or you can choose to eliminate contact lens care altogether by wearing daily disposables.
6. Wearing contact lenses causes eye problems.
It's true that contact lens wear can increase your risk of certain eye problems. But if you follow your eye doctor's instructions regarding how to care for your lenses, how long to wear them and how frequently you should replace them, wearing contact lenses is very safe.
7. I'll never be able to get them in my eyes.
Sure you will. It might seem difficult at first, but your eye care professional will make sure you learn how to apply and remove your contacts before you leave their office. Most people become adept at handling contact lenses much faster than they expect to!
8. Contacts can pop out of my eye.
Years ago, old-fashioned hard contact lenses could sometimes pop out of a wearer's eyes during sports or other activities. But today's contacts — including rigid gas permeable (GP) contacts — fit closer to the eye so it's very rare for a contact lens to dislodge from a wearer's eye unexpectedly.
9. Contact lenses are too expensive.
Not true. Contact lenses can sometimes be less expensive than a good pair of eyeglasses. Even daily disposable contact lenses, once considered a luxury, can cost only about a dollar a day.
10. I'm too old to wear contact lenses.
Who says? With the advent of bifocal contact lenses, and contacts that are specially designed for dry eyes, advancing age is no longer the barrier to successful contact lens wear it once was. Ask your eye doctor if you're a good candidate for contacts — the answer might surprise you.