How to Control Myopia Using Soft Lenses?
Did you know half of the adult population will be nearsightedness by 2050? Myopia is soon becoming a global health problem and if left untreated, it could lead to eye complications such as retinal tears, cataracts, and glaucoma. A variety of treatment options are available like eyeglasses, but contact lenses specifically soft lenses work perfectly.
What is Myopia?
Myopia or nearsightedness is vision impairment that occurs when the shape of your eyes affects the light entering the eye causing it to bend incorrectly. When you are nearsighted, you will see objects near you clearly, while those that are farther away appear blurry. Nearsightedness is both due to genes and the environment. Furthermore, the condition occurs rapidly or gradually and worsens during childhood.
Apart from blurry objects, nearsightedness can also cause squinting, headaches, or night myopia (difficulty seeing while driving at night). When you notice any of these myopia symptoms, you need to come to see our Vaughan optometrist for assessment.
What are Soft Lenses?
Soft lenses are gel-like water containing hydrogels or plastics. The lenses are thin and conform to the surface of the eye. Unlike most contact lenses, soft lenses are comfortable and easy to adapt to.
How Soft Lenses Improve Myopia
Soft lenses work similar to eyeglasses, that is, they alter the direction of light rays so that the light can focus properly on the retina for improved vision.
In myopia, light rays focus too early thus forming a focal point in front of the retina rather than directly on it. Wearing contact lenses diverge light rays and reduce the focus power.
What are the Benefits and Disadvantages of Using Soft Lenses?
Soft lenses offer great benefits such as:
- Increased comfort
- Stable because they are bigger and don’t shift compared to the other contact types
- You need less time to get used to them
- The lenses will not deform the cornea
- They are ideal for high-impact sports
- Protects the cornea from particles
Despite their effectiveness, soft contact lenses have their share of disadvantages that include:
- Not all optical prescription or powers are available
- They have increased risk of contamination
- The contact lenses can cause eye dryness
- They can easily break so don’t pinch
- Some people can be allergic
- The lenses are difficult to manipulate
How to Care for Your Soft Contact Lenses
Not caring for your soft lenses can lead to contamination and eye infections. Contact solutions are available, but before you choose any it is important to visit your optometrist for advice. But here are general tips to follow:
- Wash your hands carefully, but avoid moisturizing soaps because they are not good for your lenses
- Use a multipurpose solution and cleanse the lens to remove buildup
- Place the contact lenses in a clean lens holder. Ensure that the solution is fresh before storing the lenses.
- Use contact eye drops to lubricate the eyes and prevent dry eyes.
Other Myopia Treatments Options
The primary goal of myopia treatment is to improve vision by either using contact lenses to focus the light or refractive surgery.
Refractive surgery reduces your need for contact lenses and eyeglasses. The surgery is done to reshape the cornea and improve the light focus to the retina. The surgery is not ideal for everyone, so it is important to speak to our Vaughan optometrist about your eligibility and the side effects.
You can also use topical medicine which helps the eyes to dilate. The eye drops help to slow the progression of myopia. Other myopia management tips include:
- Spend more time outdoors
- Orthokeratology. This is a procedure that involves wearing rigid contact lenses for a few hours every day until the eye curve evens out.
- Peripheral defocus contact lenses
Myopia is not curable, but with contact lenses and prescription eyeglasses, you can reduce the progression of the condition. When your prescription has stabilized (occurs around 18 and 25 years), you can use LASIK and eye surgery. Before you seek myopia management near you, it is important to speak to the optometrist for an assessment and treatment.