Contact lense

Contact lenses are a popular alternative to eyeglasses. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an estimated 45 million Americans rely on contact lenses.

Like eyeglasses, contact lenses correct refractive error, which refers to a change in eye shape that causes blurry vision. Contact lenses have evolved over the years, and now offer improved comfort, wearability and safety. Consumers can review the following pros and cons to figure out if contacts are right for them.

Advantages to contact lensesThe biggest perk of contact lenses is they provide unobstructed vision. Contacts move with the eye to provide a natural field of vision without the distortions or blind spots that pop up when wearing eyeglasses. Contact lens wearers also do not need to worry about contacts getting in the way, breaking or falling off during activities.

Contacts come in two main materials: soft and rigid gas permeable lenses. Contacts now can correct most vision problems, including astigmatism, age-related loss of close-up vision, and irregular corneal curvature. Multifocal lenses can correct multiple problems in the same lens. Some contacts also have UV protection built in to protect the eyes from the sun.

Wide availability and affordability can make contacts attainable for just about anyone.

Aesthetics is a driving force behind the popularity of contact lenses. They do not change one’s appearance (unless desired) and are virtually undetectable in the eye.

Once contact lenses are in, wearers do not have to worry about them clouding up when wearing masks or when walking from the cold outdoors into a warm home.

Disadvantages to contact lensesContact lenses need to be changed frequently and over time will cost more than eyeglasses, which only need to be replaced if prescriptions change or frames break.

Frequent computer users may find that contacts dry out more quickly when staring at screens, so eyeglasses can be more comfortable in these instances. The same can be said for people with naturally dry eyes or those who suffer from allergies or other eye irritations.

Contacts require contact with the eye, which increases the risk of infections due to poor hygiene. Improper cleaning of contact lenses and cases also has been linked to eye health issues.

Health professionals warn against overuse of contact lenses. They should not be left in the eyes past recommended durations; otherwise, they may cause corneal hypoxia, which is the suffocation of the corneas. The University of Michigan Health says hypoxia occurs when the cornea does not get enough oxygen, which can be a risk with extended contact use.

Contact lenses effectively correct vision. People can decide if they’re the right visual aides for them.

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