Health

Determining A Patient’s Ability to Wear Contact Lenses

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the concept of the contact lens, amongst his many innovations. In the 16th century, it was not possible to implement into reality. Building on his idea, it would not be until the early 19th century that the first lenses were fitted for correction.

We have come a long way since fluid filled wax rings. The contact lens has evolved through many materials and purposes. For much of their existence, they were made from glass. Once plexiglass and plastic became available, the lighter weight material was then ground to the shape of the cornea. Plastic lenses still did not solve the problem of oxygen obstruction. 

It would not be until the 1970s that the gas permeable lenses became available, which were still rigid. Thanks to the chemists Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lím the comfort of soft lenses was finally approved for a patent in the United States. Contact lenses have been evolving ever since. 

Even with all the advancements in eye correction, there are still people who do not think contact lenses are for them. A diagnosis of astigmatism, active athletes, allergies, or presbyopia sufferers may sound like disqualifiers. They are not. 

To find out simply see an optometrist for eye contacts leawood ks. That sounds simple, right? That’s because it is. Make sure to request a contact lens examination, since this type of exam takes a bit longer than a regular one. Within the exam, the Optometrist will determine the type, fit, and corrective needs of the patient. 

The process is straightforward. A typical eye exam will be performed first to determine the overall health of the eye, and the need for correction. Next, there will be certain aspects to consider. The Optometrist will ask some of the following questions. 

Have you worn contact lenses before? How long ago did you stop wearing them? Why did you stop wearing them? Are you on any medications that are known to dry the eyes (like antihistamines, hormone replacement therapy, or acne medications)? What is your occupation? Do you have a hobby? Does your vision fluctuate with different activities like using a computer, reading a book, or driving? 

There are a few reasons not to prescribe contact lenses. For example, the patient appears to have poor hygiene. Dirty fingernails can prevent the ability to apply and remove contacts safely. The patient has abused contact lenses in the past. (like falling asleep with non-extended wear lenses, wearing lenses longer than designed, or using saliva or tap water to clean them). Regular exposure to toxic or hazardous chemicals that can be absorbed into the lenses, which would concentrate them against the eye. 

The goal of every optometrist is to improve the health of the eyes. If there are concerns or questions it is a great idea to write them down for the optometrist to answer. Allowing the professional to prescribe the best fit based on all the factors in the exam is imperative for success. Visual acuity is one of the most prominent ways we take in the world around us.

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Ross Cameron

Ross Cameron

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