Seeing Clearly Now

Even though contact lens has proven to be convenient and fashionable than wearing glasses, it actually requires much more care and maintenance.

There are also certain myths and horror stories circulating about contact lenses that have given pause for thought among those contemplating switching to contacts.

According to Murphy Chan, the president of the Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO), there is nothing to worry about. Chan was speaking at the recent launch of Alcon Air Optix Colors which features the new silicone hydro-gel technology.

On the popular belief that contact lens can get stuck behind an eyeball, Chan laughed and said such an incident is not possible because “[the lens] just cannot go through [to the back].”

However, he said the cornea may be swollen from the excessive friction between the contact lens and the eye due to the lack of oxygen. The swelling might then cause the lens to be stuck on top of the eyeball.

Another bad habit among contact lens users is to wear the lenses longer than the prescribed duration.

This is because when you put on the contact lens, there is a build-up of deposits which creates a layer of that blocks oxygen from passing through the lens.

Worse still, some users do not use the recommended solution to rinse their lenses.

“It is not advisable to use tap water in place of contact lens solution,” advised Chan. “You don’t know how clean the tap water is and it will make things worse…

“Using the wrong solution on any type of contact lens is equally bad.

“And you should always clean then immediately after removing them, not wait till the next time when you want to put them on.”

Chan suggested rubbing the lenses to clean them properly even if you are using a ‘No Rub’ solution.

Should you insist on having little contact with the lenses individually in one direction in the solution.

Chan also encouraged buying contact lenses from a proper channel instead of online or at the night market. That way, you can get a rundown of what to and not to do for better eyecare.

Chan said: “There are a lot of dos and don’ts. Each case is different but the general rule is that you have to keep the lenses clean.

“Even when you keep the monthlies away after one use, you have to change the solution regularly because efficacy of the disinfectant in the solution to kill the germs will diminish in a few days’ time.

“I always tell my patients to follow three simple checks: see well (you can see clearly), look well (there’s no redness in the eye), and feel well (you don’t feel any pain).
“That’s your self-check in a nutshell.”

Article by Norman Hiu. Seeing clearly now, pg. 23, Lifestyle, theSun, 23 December, 2014.