How to Get Used to Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
You may not have heard of gas permeable contact lenses, but they are a more recent technology than soft contact lenses, reports All About Vision 1. Introduced in the 1970s, gas permeable lenses offer the benefit of allowing more oxygen to get to your eye than soft lenses. This is useful in preventing irritation and possible eye infection. Gas permeable lenses also provide sharper vision, and can be useful if you have astigmatism, says All About Vision 1. However, you may find them to be uncomfortable at first.
Wear your lenses for increasing amounts of time each day. All About Contact Lenses recommends an initial wear time of three hours per day, increasing your time wearing them by one hour every day for the first week 1. You will notice some discomfort at first, but continue to add wear time until you are wearing the lenses for most of the day. To ease dryness, the Cornea & Contact Lens Society of New Zealand Inc. recommends applying lubricating drops 4.
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Wear your lenses every day in the beginning. MayoClinic.com reports that if you stop wearing the lenses altogether in the beginning, you will need to go through the entire adjustment process again 2. This isn't the case with soft contacts, which don't require additional adaptation after a hiatus. Give yourself time to adjust.
Go to scheduled for follow-up visits with your doctor. Wear the lenses to your appointment so your doctor can see how your eyes are adjusting to the lenses. The CCLS suggests wearing them for three hours before the appointment and bringing your glasses with you.
Consider gas permeable lenses if you tend to tear lenses easily. Gas permeable lenses are durable and can last for years, says All About Vision. Be prepared for "spectacle blur" with gas permeable lenses, cautions All About Vision. This temporary occurrence, common with gas permeable lenses, involves blurriness upon removing the contacts, even after putting your glasses on. This will pass, but some patients find it frustrating.
Notify your doctor about any persistent discomfort, redness, soreness or discharge while wearing the lenses. These could be signs of contact lens complications or infections, reports the CCLS. Avoid swimming in gas permeable lenses, the CCLS suggests.
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- All About Vision: Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
- MayoClinic.com: Contact Lenses: What To Know Before You Buy
- All About Contact Lenses: How Long Do RGP Lenses Take to Get Used To?
- Cornea & Contact Lens Society of New Zealand Inc.: Handling Rigid Gas Permeable (Hard) Contact Lenses
- American Academy of Ophthalmology News Release. Statement from the American Academy of Ophthalmology regarding Circle Lenses July 2010.
- Fogel J. Contact lenses purchased over the internet place individuals potentially at risk for harmful eye care practices. Optometry - 01-JAN-2008; 79(1): 23-35
- The New York Times. What Big Eyes You Have, Dear, but Are Those Contacts Risky?
- Walline JJ. Benefits of contact lens wear for children and teens. Eye Contact Lens - 01-NOV-2007; 33(6 Pt 1): 317-21
- Walline JJ. Daily disposable contact lens wear in myopic children. Optom Vis Sci - 01-APR-2004; 81(4): 255-9
Jennifer Byrne is a freelance writer and editor specializing in topics related to health care, fitness, science and more. She attended Rutgers University. Her writing has been published by KidsHealth.org, DietBlogTalk.com, Primary Care Optometry News, and EyeWorld Magazine. She was awarded the Gold Award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE), 2007, and the Apex Award for Publication Excellence.