Overview of contact lenses
- Michael J Lipson, OD, FAAO
Michael J Lipson, OD, FAAO
- Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
- University of Michigan
An estimated 40.9 million people aged 18 and older in the United States (one in six adults) wear contact lenses, with 93 percent wearing soft lenses and the remainder rigid gas-permeable lenses .
The types of available contact lenses, indications for their use, and appropriate care to decrease the risk of infection or trauma will be reviewed here. The complications with contact lens use are discussed separately. (See "Complications of contact lenses".)
Contact lenses may be categorized by their compositional material, wearing schedule, disposal schedule, permeability, water content, and type of correction (figure 1 and figure 2). With many new lens types available, there are alternatives to help most patients achieve comfortable lens wear with clear vision. New types of contact lenses are continually being introduced with the intent to decrease risks of infection, inflammation, and conjunctival trauma while maximizing vision correction and convenience of use .
Soft lenses are used to correct a variety of refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism (toric lenses), and presbyopia (multifocal lenses). Not every prescription is available in every material or brand. Certain refractive errors, caused by keratoconus or other corneal distortions, may not be correctable with soft lenses.To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- LENS TYPES
- Hydrophilic/soft lenses
- - Composition
- - Length of wear
- Special use soft lenses
- - Tinted soft lenses
- - Bandage lenses
- - Piggyback fitting
- Rigid gas-permeable lenses
- Scleral lenses
- Hybrid contact lenses
- Overnight corneal reshaping (OCR)
- - Efficacy
- - Reversibility and safety
- - Candidates for OCR
- Multifocal lenses
- Future developments
- CONTACT LENS FITTING AND FOLLOW-UP
- LENS CARE
- Potential complications
- Guidelines for prevention of infectious keratitis
- Soft lens solutions
- - Multipurpose solutions
- - Peroxide systems
- Rigid gas-permeable solutions
- Lubricating drops
- Application and removal technique
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS