If you are a first-time user of contact lenses, be assured that they are safe. However, they must be recommended by a qualified eye care professional to suit your eye and vision condition.
Optometrist Sim Wei Kiat said contact lenses are safe, but there are various caveats, as experts will need to look at the overall eye condition, personal hygiene, lifestyle, and visual demands of the user.
“We strongly advise those new to contact lenses to consult registered and qualified eye care professionals, such as optometrists or contact lens opticians trained in the field,” said Sim, the founder of My Optometry in Cyberjaya, Selangor.
“Eye care professionals are trained to examine the eyes, and to fit contact lenses. They can identify and determine if the person is suited for contact lenses, and advise on the lens materials and wearing modalities.”
Sim said the correct process of getting contact lenses is to have a comprehensive eye examination. This will give eye care professionals a better understanding of the eyes’ condition, including prescriptions and ocular history, such as allergies.
“For example, if the patient has dry eyes and corneal involvements, we will treat the dry eye condition first, before fitting contact lenses.
“Based on the eye examination, we can better advise on the type of contact lenses and wear modality.
“We will discuss the various types of contact lenses, such as hard lenses, semi-hard or soft lenses. After that, the modalities of the contact lenses, such as daily, bi-weekly, monthly, or extended wear, are recommended.”
Sim added that after the contact lenses are selected, a fitting process will be carried out by looking at the performance of the lenses on the eyes under a microscope. Comfort and vision will also be assessed.
Besides selecting and fitting the contact lenses, eye care professionals will educate and advise wearers on the proper contact lens application and removal methods. A proper contact lens-care regime and good habits will also be taught so that the wearer can enjoy the benefits over an extended period.
“The care regime includes contact lens cleaning, hand and lid hygiene, and being aware of the replacement, and follow-up schedule.
“After they can apply and remove the contact lenses in our practice, we will dispense the lenses. They are advised to reach out to us if they experience any discomfort, redness, watering, visual disturbance, or other problems,” Sim explained.
He emphasised the importance of contact lens users having regular eye assessments to reduce the risks of microbial keratitis and vision impairment.
“Eye care professionals will be able to detect contact lens-related abnormalities or other eye conditions during follow-ups, such as allergies to new multipurpose solutions, dry eyes, and retinopathy.
“Recommendations can then be made, depending on the eye condition, by either changing the type and modality of contact lenses, changing new multipurpose disinfecting solutions, cease contact lens use, or make a referral to our ophthalmologist colleagues for medical management,” he added. – The Health