Options, awareness provide clarity of vision for new contact lens users

The contact lens market is growing in Malaysia. More people choose them over spectacles due to awareness and confidence in their safety and effectiveness.

According to optometrist Ryan Ban, owner and founder of Ban UK Optometrist in Kuala Lumpur, contact lenses can be worn by all. The adoption rate, however, is the highest among teenagers and young adults.

“The adoption of contact lenses among consumers aged 16 and above is high. They prefer contact lenses over spectacles because it offers better comfort and is aesthetically pleasing,” said Ban.

“Consumers aged 60 and above tend to be apprehensive of contact lenses due to the misinformation, and fear of eye and vision complications.

“However, older consumers are now aware of contact lens safety and effectiveness, and I’ve observed an increasing trend in contact lens adoption among older consumers,” he added.

Ban said various contact lenses are available in the market. He advised new users to consult eye care professionals to identify the best option for them.

“The optometrist can assess the individual’s eyes and determine if contact lenses are suitable, based on their eye health, lifestyle, and vision correction needs.

“During the consultation, the eye care professional will also provide information on the different types of contact lenses available and recommend the best solution for the individual’s eyes and lifestyle.

“They will also provide instructions on the proper way of inserting, removing, cleaning, and caring for the contact lenses to prevent eye infections or complications.”

The types of contact lenses available in the market are:

• Soft contact lenses – these are made from a flexible, water-containing material that allows oxygen to pass through to the cornea, making them more comfortable for extended use.

• Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses – they are made from a firmer, oxygen-permeable material that provides clearer vision than soft lenses, but may require a longer adaptation period.

• Hybrid contact lenses – these lenses combine a rigid centre with a soft outer skirt, combining the comfort of soft lenses with the clarity of RGP lenses.

• Speciality contact lenses – designed for specific eye conditions, such as astigmatism, presbyopia or keratoconus.

“The most popular lenses for new contact lens users are soft contact lenses, as they are generally easier to adapt to and more comfortable than RGP lenses,” said Ban.

“Within the category of soft lenses, daily disposable lenses are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience and hygiene. They are worn for a single day and disposed of, thus eliminating the need for cleaning and storage.

“Other popular options for new contact lens users include weekly or monthly disposable soft lenses, which are replaced regularly and require less maintenance than conventional soft lenses.”

The time it takes for new users to get used to them may vary.

“Some may adjust to wearing contact lenses almost immediately, while others may take several days or weeks to get used to them,” said Ban.

“Factors such as the type of contact lenses, the individual’s eyes, and their previous experience with wearing lenses can all impact on how quickly someone adapts to wearing contact lenses.

“New contact lens users need to be patient and give themselves time to adjust to wearing the lenses. If new users experience discomfort or difficulty with their lenses after several weeks, they should consult their eye care professionals for advice and guidance.” The Health