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The Appropriate Wearing and Caring for Contact Lenses

Posted on: March 15th, 2024 by Our Team

The Appropriate Wearing and Caring for Contact Lenses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 45 million people in the United States wear contact lenses and two-thirds of contact lens wearers are female. The average age of contact lenses worldwide is 31 years old with an estimated 8% under 18 years old, 17% between ages 18-24 and 75% of adults aged 25 and older (MMWR & Contact Lens Spectrum).

The variety and enhancements to the quality of contact lenses have evolved over the years. Rigid or hard contact lenses were made from plastic and were first produced in the U.S. between 1938-1940. Soft contact lenses were first introduced in the U.S. in 1971 and it is estimated that 90% of contact lens wearers now use soft contact lenses.

Different Types of Contact Lenses

While most individuals prefer to wear soft contact lenses, there are different types of including:

  • Daily wear contacts
  • Extended wear contacts
  • Toric contacts (for Astigmatism)
  • Colored (tinted) contacts
  • Decorative (cosmetic) contacts

There are other types of contact lenses for specific vision conditions. These include:

  • Contacts for presbyopia
  • Hybrid contact lenses
  • Scleral contact lenses
  • Bandage lenses

Proper Use of Contact Lenses

Since different contact lenses have different durations in wear and schedules for replacement, proper guidance is essential to avoid injury and damage to the eyes. Soft disposable contacts are available in daily, biweekly, and monthly varieties. Extended wear contacts have also been approved by the FDA for longer wear times compared to other disposable contacts. Sleeping with contact lenses, however, is never recommended since it can pose a risk for infection and other complications. Non-disposable contacts can be reused for multiple months if cared for properly.

The physicians at Union Square Eye Care are skilled at assessing your vision and determining the most appropriate contact lenses for your use if recommended as an option to glasses. It is important to understand that contact lenses are not fashion accessories or used for cosmetic reasons. They are medical devices requiring a prescription from an eye care professional. Our physicians will provide proper instruction on how to wear and when to replace your contact lenses.

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