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Let Your Eyes Breathe
Thin contact lenses enable the eyes to breath by allowing the oxygen to reach the eyes.
Sick of rubbing your eyes every time you stare at the computer screen? Tired of the glare when you drive at night? Contemplating that lasik eye operation to get your eyes corrected? Looking ahead to a Saturday night when you can party without caring how many hours you wore the lenses for? The solution is here, well almost. Get rid of itchy contact lenses. Try their oxygen counterpart instead.

Contact lenses, which allow more oxygen to pass, protect your eyes from long-term damage. "Just like oxygen is essential to life, our eyes too need oxygen to breathe. Most contact lenses available in the market do not allow enough oxygen transmission to the eyes. The rigidity and hardness of these lenses create a barrier to the natural flow of oxygen between your eyes and the air around them," says Amod Gogate, head of School of Optometry, Pune. Since 1996, Amod has been the executive member of Indian Optometric Association and Indian Contact Lens Society.

So why oxygen? Replies Gogate, "Since the cornea, the transparent outer layer of the eye, doesn't contain blood vessels, it must obtain a certain amount of oxygen directly from the air. Further, if not fitted and worn properly, contact lenses can create corneal edema (swelling) and irritation because the amount of oxygen reaching the cornea reduces. Eye tissues need oxygen to maintain normal metabolism, and the tolerance level for oxygen deprivation varies widely among the population. Without enough oxygen your cornea becomes less transparent and in some cases can become foggy. In certain serious cases, one can develop what is known as Corneal Oxygen Deficiency that is marked with symptoms such as end-of-day discomfort, irritation, dryness, and redness.

To protect your eye from such probable dangers, you need to choose contact lenses having high levels of oxygen transmission (the amount of oxygen that can be transmitted through the lens)."

The technological advancements in eye care have enabled experts to develop lenses that allow healthy amount of oxygen transmission to the eyes. The oxygen transmission rate for a specific contact lens is often described as its 'Dk factor', The high-Dk lenses allow many daily-wear patients to reduce the irritation and redness they may experience with contact lenses.

The thin design of Acuvue by Johnson & Johnson are made mostly of water and hence work well with your natural eye fluids. The thinner the lens is, the more oxygen it will transmit.

For contact lens users, their options are not limited. As hard (non-gas permeable) contact lenses have become obsolete, disposable soft contact lens options continue to expand.

Soft lenses are more comfortable than rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, thanks to their ability to conform to the eye and absorb water. Moreover, soft lenses aren't likely to pop out or accumulate foreign material such as dust underneath, as hard lenses are. Soft contact lenses differ from RGPs because they are more comfortable, fall out less, are easier to insert, and require less break-in time. Break in time is the time required for a patient to get used to wearing contact lenses.

The good news is contact lens care is easier than ever. The advent of one-bottle care systems and disposable contact lenses spells the demise of the age-old tedious methods of lens care. In short, it means goodbye to eye problems due to improper maintenance and unhygienic use of contact lenses.
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Posted on : 3/2/2006
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