Why it's important to have regular check ups
For millions worldwide contact lenses serve as a liberating alternative to glasses. They provide a convenient means to correct vision without the limitations of frames. However, as with any medical device, using contact lenses comes with responsibilities. Among the most crucial of these is the necessity of regular contact lens check-ups and below we explain why:
1. Ensuring Correct Prescription
Your eyes, much like the rest of your body are always changing. Factors like aging, health conditions or even pregnancy can lead to shifts in vision. A regular check-up ensures that your contact lens prescription is up-to-date, allowing for optimal vision correction. Wearing outdated prescriptions can lead to suffering from eyestrain, headaches, and a decrease in visual acuity.
2. Prevention of Infections
Contact lenses are essentially foreign objects placed on your eyes and if not maintained correctly, can become a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms. Regular check-ups allow optometrists to assess the cleanliness and condition of your lenses. They can offer you guidance on proper cleaning techniques and update you on the latest lens solutions that can help prevent infections.
3. Monitoring the Health of the Eye
Extended wear contact lenses can sometimes lead to complications like reduced oxygen supply to the cornea, making you susceptible to conditions such as neovascularisation (growth of new blood vessels into the cornea) or infections like keratitis. Regularly scheduled visits help in the early detection of such issues. In many cases, catching them early can make a world of difference, potentially between a minor treatment and a severe medical intervention.
4. Ensuring Proper Fit
The human eye is not uniformly shaped and subtle changes in its curvature over time can impact the fit of contact lenses. A lens that doesn’t fit properly can scratch your eye, cause discomfort, or even lead to more serious conditions like corneal ulcers. During check-ups, optometrists evaluate your lens fit and can make necessary adjustments and/or recommendations.
5. Education on New Advancements
The field of optometry like all areas of medicine is always evolving. There are innovations in lens materials, designs, and care solutions. Regular visits to an optometrist will ensure you stay informed about these advancements, potentially benefiting from greater comfort, clearer vision, or reduced maintenance.
6. Developing a Baseline
Frequent check-ups allow professionals to develop a baseline for your ocular health. Having this reference point makes it easier to spot potential deviations in future visits, enabling early intervention if something seems wrong.
7. Building a Relationship with the Optometrist
Establishing an ongoing relationship with an optometrist can provide you comfort. When issues spring up, having a medical professional familiar with your history can lead to quicker and more tailored solutions. This rapport can be especially comforting if you are new to contact lenses, or if you have apprehensions about their use.
While the freedom and convenience that contact lenses provide are undeniable, they must be used with care and vigilance. Regular contact lens check-ups are an integral part of ensuring the health and well-being of your eyes. Just as you wouldn’t neglect regular check-ups for your teeth or general health, your eyes, the windows to the world, deserve the same level of attention and care.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 12 Sep 2023, Last modified: 25 Sep 2023