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  FAQ

1. What are Contact Lenses? Can they break / harm our Eyes?

Contact Lenses are thin, small, delicate, precisely manufactured Plastic like ( not glass ) membranes. All Contact Lenses raw materials are very safe for use on delicate surface of our Eyes. Soft Contact Lenses, which are most commonly used these days, are very thin delicate membranes, which can be crushed like a cloth, and still can jump back to original shape like a rubber. Sharp object can tear or cut Soft lenses, usually when rubbed while cleaning in palm of hand. Soft Lenses cannot break into pieces like spectacle lenses. Hard and Rigid Gas permeable Contact Lenses are like rigid plastic buttons which, under unusual pressure, can break into pieces. Under normal conditions they will never break while worn in the eye, so they cannot directly cause harm to our eyes.

2. Can Contact Lenses “cure” Eye power?
No, Eye power is not a disease like any eye infection, so it cannot be “cured” but needs to be optically corrected. It is an imperfection of the optical system where the image of the object seen is not clearly focused in the screen of the eye. This is corrected by placing optical lenses in form of spectacles or contact lenses.

3. Can Contact Lenses “reduce” Eye power?
No, Eye power is not a disease like any eye infection, so it cannot be “cured” but needs to be optically corrected. It is an imperfection of the optical system where the image of the object seen is not clearly focused in the screen of the eye. This is corrected by placing optical lenses in form of spectacles or contact lenses.

4. Can Contact Lenses “reduce” Eye power?
No, Contact lenses cannot reduce eye power. The power required in CL's can be less than in spectacles, since Contact Lenses are worn on the surface of the eye, the power required to focus them on the screen of the eye is less as compared to spectacles, eg. A patient with prescription of – 20.00 in spectacles will require about – 17.00 in Contact Lenses.

5. Can Contact Lenses “control” increasing Eye power?
When the shape of the eye is bigger than normal, we have Myopia (shortsightedness). In the age group of 13 to 20 years, the Myopic (minus) power increases because the shape of the eye is increasing. Contact Lenses, which are fitted as per the shape of eye, stay on the front surface of the eye. Logically they do prevent the change in shape of the front surface of the eye=Cornea. It has been observed in many research studies that when Contact Lenses are worn for longer period of time, they tend to reduce the rate of increase or even prevent any further increase in eye power.

6. What are advantages of Contact Lenses over Spectacles?
It is important to remember that Contact Lenses and Spectacles are both optical aids. The main difference is – Spectacles are worn on the face – not in contact with the eye, while Contact Lenses are worn directly on the surface of the eye. Given this “nearness”-contact lenses provide far superior optical benefits – like perfect image size, less distortion, good peripheral visual field. Apart from these and other technical advantages, the most important factor is Cosmetic look – the natural look which every person is always (Carving for) comfortable with.

7. Till what age can we wear Contact Lenses?
Contact Lenses can be worn at any age – till patient themselves can comfortably handle and take care of Contact Lenses. When absolutely essential, Contact Lenses are being prescribed for a child as young as 6 years and the mother is taught about lens handling and care. In most cases, Contact Lenses are worn from 12 years of age onwards. With availability of Bifocal Contact Lenses, which correct distance and near powers, patients in the age group of 40 plus can also wear Contact Lenses. With regular checkups by Eye Care Practitioners, Contact Lenses can be worn as long as patients are happy and comfortable with handling, care and maintenance which is key for successful long term lens wear.

8. If I have astigmatism, can I wear Contact Lenses?
Yes, today even soft Contact Lenses are made with spherical and cylindrical powers to correct astigmatism. So it is very much possible for most of the astigmatic patients to wear. Toric Contact Lenses with comfortable and clear vision. Toric Lenses are available in Rigid Gas Permeable and Soft variety.

9. What are different types of Contact Lenses?
Contact Lenses are grouped into two categories – Rigid and Soft . The Rigid group has two types-Non-oexygen permeable (conventional Hard ) and Gas permeable lenses. The most commonly used lenses today are Soft Contact Lenses are used for over one year and thrown away when the patient starts having problems.
Disposable lenses are all those soft lenses, which are changed at regular intgervals. They are usually changed every day (Daily disposable), every week, 2 weeks, one month (monthly) or every three months (quarterly).
10. How long can Contact Lenses last? What is the Life Span of Contact Lenses?
Conventional Soft Contact Lenses are recommended for use about a year. When soft Contact Lenses are used daily, they undergo lot of wear and tear. This degrades the surface qualities and eventually reduces the lens performance to unacceptable levels. When the patient starts having problems like discomfort, redness, reduced vision and wearing time, it is bet to replace the lenses irrespective of the time. Even if the lens is in good condition, it is not medically fit for use, as it can cause harm to the eyes.

11. What are Disposable Contact Lenses? Why are they most important?
Disposables are Soft Contact Lenses, which are changed at regular, predetermined intervals – daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly. This is done to avoid any complications like allergic response to deposits on the lens surface resulting into redness, discomfort, blurred vision and reduced wearing time. Daily disposable lens modality is the most healthiest option since it avoids any used Contact Lense surface to be worn again on the eye! It also does not require any chemicals for cleaning and storage!

12. Can I use Disposable Lenses for more than suggested period?
Disposable lenses are recommended basically to prevent any complications of using the same Contact Lens over and over again. At some point of time, every lens surface definitely shows considerable wear and tear, which is not medically acceptable. Such as spoiled lens can cause eye complications of allergic response, infections eventually leading to patient having to stop wearing Contact Lenses!
Apart from the manufacturer, leading research Institutes and authorities like the American FDA, recommend the period of disposability for a particular contact lens product. It simply means that within that stipulated period, it is safe to use that particular Contact Lens product.
As the eye response to any external factor like using Contact Lenses for longer period of time significantly varies from patient to patient, it is difficult to predict which patient can wear Contact Lenses for more than a specific time frame and still not have problems.
It is possible that for a monthly disposable Contact Lenses pair for a patient, one lens may not cause problems for even 35 or 40 days while the other lens starts giving discomfort within 28 to 30 days! And even this does not happen for every pair from the packet for that patient.!
Since “Prevention is better than cure”, it is best to change the lens at specific recommended intervals.
The manufacturers recommend intervals like one week, two weeks, one month which are easier to remember than suggesting to change lenses after every 20 / 25 / 35 / 50 days!

13. How long during the day can we wear Contact Lenses?
Usually all Daily wear contact lenses are worn during the waking hours – for about 12 to 14 hours a day. It is best recommended to wear lenses one hour after you wake up and remove them one hour before you sleep.

14. Can I wear Contact Lenses during sleep?
When lenses are worn during sleep (6 nights and 7 days of continuous wear) they are called Extended (permanent) wear contact lenses. Given Indian conditions of high pollution levels and low hygiene awareness, it is not very advisable to wear contact lenses on extended wear basis.

15. Can Contact Lenses cause Ulcers / Cancer / blindness?
Contact Lenses as medical devices prescribed by Eye Care professionals to correct vision disorders. They will not cause infections, ulcers, Cancer, etc. if they are used as per correct guidelines of the Eye Care Practitioner and the product manufacturer.
After a detailed eye examination to verify the suitability of a particular contact lens product for that patient, the Eye Care Practitioner takes all necessary steps to educate the patient in proper lens care and maintenance. The practitioner gives the patient instructions about regular follow-up checkup schedules.
If the patient fails to comply with the instructions of the eye care practitioner and the contact lens manufacturer, and abuses the contact lens usage, the patient will start with discomfort, redness, watering. If corrective steps are not implemented at this stage, these problems will increase to cause eye complications, which can be treated using medical therapy.
In few cases, where there is a delay in correct medical treatment, complications can lead to ulcers and other serious problems – rarely resulting into blindness. This mainly would occur not because of Contact lens, but because of non-compliance by the patient to the lens care instructions, improper and delayed treatment.
16. Contact Lenses are not suitable for Indian conditions?
Contact Lenses can be successfully worn in all climatic conditions in all parts of the world. And even within India , the climatic conditions vary a lot a lot; so it would not be good to generalize a statement from one city and apply it to the whole country.
The “Indian” factors to be considered are – poor health care awareness and high environment pollution levels. Also due to economic reasons, many patients tend to prolong / stretch the use of contact lenses and even lens care solutions. Such non-compliance leads to increased contact lens deposits, spoilage and eventually discomfort. Most patients without realizing these factors – simply blame the lens not being suitable for “Indian” conditions.

17. Contact Lenses are very expensive!
The total cost of contact lenses includes – the consultation fees of the practitioner, actual cost of the lenses and the recurring costs of lens care and maintenance – solutions, etc. The consultation fees of the practitioner will definitely vary from one place to another depending in the expertise, skills and services involved. The actual cost of the contact lenses and the lens care solutions vary with the product but is usually marked as “Maximum Retail Price” which is printed by the manufacturer. This is uniform throughout the country. The recurring cost also should not significantly vary from one patient to another, considering the similar steps in lens care. Contact Lenses provide superior comfort and quality of vision, which justifies the expenses involved.
 
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