After we were given a good overview about the various types of contact lenses available (See Bizness Magazine, January 2016), we asked Dr. Hillel Cohen, an Einit optometrist, some questions relevant for anyone considering getting contact lenses for the first time.
What is the earliest age that you would recommend for a child to start using) lenses?
There is no real age requirement. What’s important is responsibility. I think that from bar mitzvah age you can rely on a child to take proper care of contact lenses.
Someone told me to change from monthly lenses to daily lenses. This involves a considerable expense. Why would I consider making this change?
Daily lenses are specifically good for people who don’t want to spend lots of time caring for their contacts and buying the necessary related products. However, the reasons for preferring daily contacts are not only convenience. The danger of infection with daily lenses is much smaller because they are changed so frequently. Often deposits and film builds up on lenses that are intended for long term use, in spite of using solution and caring for them properly. These deposits can cause eye damage such as eye infections, corneal edema, vision changes, corneal ulcers, and in extreme cases, G-d forbid, even blindness, can be caused by improper contact usage.
Proper Methods of Buying and Caring for Contact Lenses
- Fitting of contact lenses should only be done by a professional optometrist.
- Before wearing lenses for the first time, you must get instructions from a professional on how to insert the lenses and care for them.
- Do not buy contact lenses at private (home) sales. These unauthorized dealers may sell you lenses that don’t fit your eye properly or have not been properly stored.
- Before handling contacts you must wash your hands with soap and make sure the contact case is clean.
- When relevant, lenses should be inserted into the eye before makeup is applied so that there will not be any particle of makeup between the lens and the eye. Lenses should also be removed before makeup removal.
- Don’t rinse contact lenses with water. Water may contain germs which can penetrate the eye.
- Do not wet the contacts with saliva or any other substance.
- Contact lens solutions should be stored in a cool, dark place.
- Your contact case should be changed every three months, so that dirt and germs don’t accumulate.
- It is important to see your optometrist for regular check-ups to ensure that your eyes are healthy and to check if your prescription has changed.
- Under no circumstances should contact lenses be worn longer than the recommended time.
- Do not sleep with your lenses in your eyes. When your eyes are closed there is not enough oxygen in the eyes. Additionally, during sleep there is friction between the contact lens and the cornea which could cause infection or corneal abrasion. If you accidentally fall asleep without removing your contacts, you should remove them when you wake up and give your eyes a rest and a chance to recuperate. In the event of eye pain – contact a doctor immediately.
Einit’s optometrists often come across children suffering from vision problems that were not detected in time. Some of these children may have been called “problematic.” Others felt uncomfortable and didn’t even know why. Some had difficulty learning to read and write.
Dr. Hillel Cohen stresses the importance of eye examinations for children under three to prevent the problem of lazy eye. “When lazy eye is identified under the age of three, the problem can be solved. After this age it is more difficult to treat.” He recommends being examined by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist and not to settle for the examinations conducted by Tipat Chalav.
An additional examination should take place before beginning school. “Before beginning first grade it is important to take a vision test again, even if the vision was previously normal; this is to make sure that no vison problems will disturb the child during the school year.”
DID YOU KNOW?
When wearing contacts on a daily basis, it is very important to remove them and wear glasses for an hour or two every day both to air out your eyes and to maintain their ability to see with glasses.
You can contact Einit for further information:
Jerusalem | Yeshayahu 2 | 02-5002050
Ramat Bet Shemesh | Nachal Zohar 10 | 02-991811