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Finding the Perfect Contact Lenses For You - Nurse's Guide

Aug 17, 2007
Before you buy contact lenses from anyone other than your eye care professional, it pays to be a wise consumer. Contact lens sales are regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission.) There are 75 million contact lens wearers worldwide and 31 million in the U.S. alone.

Always buy from a reputable company; you can buy discount contact lenses without a prescription, but the company is selling you a prescription device as if it were an over-the-counter device, in violation of FTC regulations - selling you lenses without having a prescription from you. Contact lens wearers are usually surprised and happy with the level of comfort that lenses provide.

Soft lenses are easier to adjust and are much more comfortable than rigid lenses, because they conform to the eye and absorb and hold water. If you plan to wear lenses for more than 18 hours for the purpose of eye color change, then buy colored soft lenses. Extra-thin soft lenses are on the market for very sensitive people.

Although easier to handle and less likely to tear, rigid gas permeable lenses are not as comfortable initially as soft contacts and it may take a few weeks to get used to wearing the RGPs, compared to just a few days for soft contacts. Disposable lenses don't come with instructions for cleaning and disinfecting, while those labeled specifically for planned replacement do. Rigid lenses generally give you more clear vision.

Bifocal correction is possible with both soft and rigid lenses. Contacts provide for excellent peripheral vision for sports, driving, safety, and performing. There are differences in the water content and shape of the lens between different brands.

Extended wear lenses are usually soft contact lenses; made of flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. Soft lenses have the added benefit in that soft lenses aren't as likely as rigid lenses to pop out or get foreign material like dust underneath.

When you place your order make sure your lenses are available and not out of stock, because you'll need them now. Always ask what rebates are available. Before you buy online, check to see if there are any testimonials at the online supplier's website.

Buy your contact lenses from a supplier you're familiar with and know is reliable or has name familiarity When you receive your order, if you think you've received an incorrect contact lens, check with your doctor or eye care professional right away; don't accept any substitution unless your eye care professional approves it. Check out how long the online supplier has been in business before you buy.

Make sure you have a current, valid prescription when you order contact lenses. There are many good contact lens retailers now on the Internet making their lenses available at a good discount for prescription and non-prescription lenses. Wherever you buy, shop for quality and value and don't forget you want to do what's best for your eye health.

Getting a proper fit is essential; contact lenses that are poorly fitted can lead to eyesores, eye inflammation, and eye abrasions. Replace your contacts as recommended by your eye doctor because they wear out as time goes by. The risk of corneal ulcers for people who keep extended-wear lenses in overnight is 10 to 15 times greater than for those who use daily-wear lenses only while they are awake.

Under the binding down of a rigid contact lens during sleep, the flow of tears and oxygen to the cornea is reduced; lack of oxygen leaves the eye vulnerable to infection. Don't wear lenses any longer than they're prescribed for, nor when sleeping unless you are otherwise directed. Basic rule: never swap your contact lenses with anyone else.

No matter which lenses your doctor prescribes, be sure to ask for written instructions and follow them carefully. Make sure you've done your homework before you buy any pair of contact lenses. If you're looking for cheap contact lenses, you may find that cheap materials or other ways of cutting costs will affect the quality you'll want for your precious eyes.
About the Author
For more information on color contact lenses and where to buy discount contact lenses visit http://www.VisionNurse.com Helen Hecker R.N.'s popular website which offers tips, advice and resources, including information on LASIK eye surgery, sunglasses, eyeglasses and affordable quality contact lenses
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