Contact Lenses: What you need to know
The Health Science Authority (HAS) of Singapore classifies contact lenses as medical devices. Only optometrists ad contact lens practitioners registered under the Optometrists & Opticians Board (OOB) are allowed to fit and dispense contact lenses.
There are two main types of contact lenses, namely soft contact lenses and semi-hard contact lenses. They can be further categorized into single use or re-usable modalities.
Before contact lenses can be prescribed, a thorough eye examination should be conducted in order for your optometrist to advise on your suitability for contact lens wear, as well as the most suitable type of lenses to suit your needs.
After the contact lens fitting, it is important to go for regular follow-ups with your optometrist.
Do not purchase contact lenses online or from dubious sources as the contact lenses may be of poor quality. In addition, online sources will not be able to monitor the health of your eye.
IMPORTANCE OF CONTACT LENS CARE
To ensure your eyes stay healthy during contact lens wear, it is of utmost importance to practice good lens care habits
Reusable lenses require the wearer to follow a lens care regimen that includes cleaning, rinsing and disinfecting in order to maintain lens hygiene. The two main types of disinfecting solutions are multipurpose solutions (MPS) as well as hydrogen peroxide solutions (H2O2).
Multipurpose solutions are all-in-one solutions used for cleaning, rinsing and disinfection, while hydrogen peroxide solutions are used only for disinfection. Multipurpose solutions are more convenient to use, while H2O2 is indicated for patients with allergies, as they do not contain preservatives.
It is important that a particular lens is compatible with the type of disinfecting solution used in order for it to be effective and promote safe and comfortable lens wear.
Improper usage of solutions can cause complications, which may lead to lens intolerance and less comfortable lens wear.
There are also different types of eye lubricants available. However, some of these are not suitable for use with contact lenses, as they may be absorbed into the lenses.
Consult your optometrist to find out more about the lens care regime most suited for your needs.
NO SYMPTOMS DOES NOT MEAN NO PROBLEMS
Poor quality, improperly fitted and dirty contact lenses may result in complications which may range from mild to very severe. Do not wear contact lenses if you experience symptoms such as redness, discomfort, itchiness, lens awareness and pain as they may be warning signs of unhealthy eyes.
In addition, some complications may even be asymptomatic. This is why it is imperative to have regular follow-ups with your optometrist, who will be able to detect and arrest the problems early on.
Contact Lens-inducted Papillary Conjuctivitis
Remember the 3 Golden Rules:
‘look good’ – no eye redness
‘see good’ – good vision
‘feel good’ – no discomfort
Cease lens wear immediately and see your optometrist should any of the three be compromised.
Wash your hands before handling your lenses
Replace your lenses, solutions and cases as recommended by your optometrist
Keep lenses, solutions and cases in a clean and dry environment
Visit your optometrist regularly for aftercare sessions
Do not reuse your contact lenses after water activities
Do not clean your contact lenses with tap water
Do not wear your contact lenses when your eyes are red or experiencing discomfort
Do not purchase your contact lenses online or from dubious sources
Cover photo and contact lens solutions: Jerome Lee
Photo of eye check: Juanne Lee
Eye photos: Dr Koh Liang Hwee, Chui Wen Juan