I have been wearing glasses since my late teens. I tried contact lenses when I was longer but had to stop years ago because it was very uncomfortable. I would like to try wearing some again because wearing glasses definitely have some disadvantages (always dirty too!), but wonder about the safety of having a piece of plastic in direct contact with my eyes for a big part of the day.
What do you think?
Anyone knows anything about that and if some brands are safer than others? Ingredients to look for? What about the cleansing solution? Could water do?
asked byAglaee_the_Paleo_RD (4002)
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on August 14, 2012
at 09:59 AM
I've worn contacts for over 20 years and totally share your concerns about ingredients, plastic in the eyes etc. However, using water instead of solutions is definitely not a good idea! Tap water can cause horrible eye infections and even sterile water would be pretty uncomfortable because it wouldn't be osmotically identical to tears. I know some folks make homemade saline from purified water and salt but I would personally be wary even of this. There probably isn't enough salt to prevent bacterial growth if it does get contaminated.
The compromise I've reached is to rinse lenses with commercial saline before inserting to get off at least some of the disinfecting chemicals. Not ideal because commercial saline still has some preservative, but still a way shorter ingredient list than disinfecting/storage solution. Single use saline vials would be an option as these are sometimes preservative free, but would get expensive to use every day...
For the having plastic on the cornea all day issue, I don't know what if any problems this could cause in terms of the plastic as such. I have read that wearing contacts long term does cause some proliferation of blood vessels in the cornea compared to non-wearers but I don't know whether this is problematic in and of itself. I do know that some types of lens let through more oxygen than others, as I understand it silicone hydrogels are the most permeable (that's what I wear).
I do wonder about this issue a lot actually. I've considered giving up on lenses, but apart from the vanity aspect (I look REALLY awful in glasses) I wonder whether wearing spectacles is ideal either, given that you don't get a complete field of vision which must affect eye movements, how the brain processes visual stimuli, etc. Although again, whether this would actually be harmful is another matter.
Myopia's fun, isn't it??
on August 14, 2012
at 01:32 PM
I have worn soft contacts for 17 years and have zero plans to give them up. I am too hard on plastic lenses in glasses and glass lenses give me sinus pain. I wear the two week lenses for months at a time and only change them when they become uncomfortable or tear. I take them out nightly and use a combo solution to clean and store them.
I've used water in a pinch, usually when I'm travelling and forgot to pack solution. To get them in my eyes, I have to add saliva to them. Plain water is not lubricating and causes the lenses to stick quite painfully.
I incorporate natural living into my lifestyle as much as possible. Contact lenses may not be Paleo, per se, but neither are glasses! Contacts allow me to move through my day without heavy glasses sitting on my sinuses. I am also able to wear sunglasses. I tried glasses that transition to sunglasses when exposed to bright light, but they were a joke. They didn't get dark enough and didn't transition back very quickly once back indoors.
on August 14, 2012
at 02:14 PM
Silicone is pretty inert, so it seems like silicone hydrogel lenses would be pretty non-reactive stable polymers as well... Although they add surface treatments/coatings to the lenses to increase their hydrophylic nature, reduce friction/protein buildup/etc... so it's hard to really know. I found this study on advanced silicone hydrogel lense microstructure which was pretty interesting.
Silicone is used in implants for cosmetic surgery as well, and from what I found the Silicone gel used hasn't been clinically linked to any metabolic, immune, or allergic disorders. Of course, this isn't the same silicone polymer used in contact lenses, but it's another data point.
I would also HIGHLY recommend using commercial contact lense solution. It may not be the best with regards to chemical content and preservatives, but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives... mainly avoiding an eye infection that could result in losing you sight! Disinfecting the lense and removal of protein and other buildup is essential, something pure saline solution doesn't accomplish, and tap water is even worse (could be contaminated).
The new hydrogel lenses out today are highly oxygen permeable, to the point where you may not need to take them out every day... maybe only once a week like I do. This reduces the amount of contaminants you could be putting in your eyes from taking the contacts in/out and the amount of solution you have to use and put into your eyes. win/win
on August 14, 2012
at 11:02 AM
I have worn gas-permeable hard contact lenses for thirty years. I always rinse with tap water and put a fresh drop of solution in them before sticking them in my eyes in the morning. It takes some time to get used to them but they are way easier to care for than the soft variety.
I could wear glasses but my astigmatism is bad enough that finding a tolerable prescription/frame combo is almost impossible. I also run a lot and glasses slip down your nose and are problematic in the rain...
I don't know if they're bad for you or not, but I can only say in my experience I have never had any issues with my eyes at all, so I doubt it.
on May 07, 2014
at 06:09 AM
Water is never a good idea for using as cleanser for contact lenses. Many others are available and you can easily buy them.
I understand your concern but contact lenses has many benefits over Glasses. I would recommend you to try for Acuvue Advance Hydraclear, which is made from advanced Hydraclear technology.
HYDRACLEAR technology in Acuvue Advance Hydraclear contact lenses brings together a moisture rich wetting agent with high performance materials to create clear, wettable lenses and a unique, silky, soft feel.
These contact lenses are made up of unique silicone hydrogel material called galyfilcon A, the lens allows excellent oxygen delivery to help keep eyes looking white and fresh.
Following are some of the benefits of using these contact lenses:
1. Exceptional long-lasting comfort.
2. Visibility Tint & Inside-Out mark so your lenses are easy to see and handle.
3. High UV protection, Excellent oxygen delivery for healthy looking eyes.
on May 06, 2014
at 12:09 PM
Well there is no harm in wearing contact lenses, but you should take doctor’s prescription before using them. They are quite lightweight and virtually an unnoticeable way to correct our vision. Today they are made with either a water-containing plastic or non-water-containing plastics. If you are looking for the best brand then you can try Acuvue contact lenses which are quite comfortable to use and provide good UV-A and UV-B protection. No, water can’t be effective to clean such lenses, as you have to go for good cleanser available easily on shops but with that doctor’s advice is must before using it.