Many people have doubts about wearing contacts on their work. The doubts are justified. There is the fear that dust might get in your eyes and cause irritation, or if you are working in office there is fear that your eyes might get dry because when you stare at a computer screen you don’t blink as much as you usually do.
Before we get into product reviews, I will try and resolve some misconceptions about wearing contact lenses to work. I will try and answer the questions about wearing contacts and protective headgear, are there any hazards when wearing soft contacts lenses or hard contacts lenses, and a few other questions.
So, without further ado, let’s jump in to clearing the misconceptions about contacts lenses and work.
Table of Contents
Controversy about wearing contact lenses at work.
To put it as simply as possible, the problem is that, according to some, contact lenses may complicate eye safety.
The arguments against wearing contact lenses in the work environment are based on the following:
- Dusts particles or harmful chemicals can be stuck behind the lens and cause irritation or damage to the cornea or both.
- Gases and vapors can cause irritation and excessive eye watering.
- Chemical splash can be more dangerous when contact lenses are worn. This increased risk is related to the removal of the lenses. If removal is delayed, first aid treatment may not be as effective and the eye’s exposure time to the chemical may be increased.
The opposite may be true as well. Contact lenses may prevent some harmful substances from reaching the eye, and in turn minimizing or even preventing an injury. Both situations have been documented.
As a result, a wide range of opinions about the safety of contact lenses in the workplace has formed. Unfortunately, complete information about contact lenses and work hazards is hard to find since occupational injury reporting systems do not usually include information about contact lens use.
The crucial point to remember is that contact lenses are NOT intended to be used as protective devices. They are not a substitute for personal protective equipment. If eye and face protection is required for certain work operations then all workers, including those who wear contact lenses, should wear the proper protective devices. Safe work conditions for all workers are only possible when basic occupational health and safety practices and procedures are followed.
Hazards specific to soft contact lens wearers
Soft lenses are made from hydrogel, a type of plastic that contains a significant proportion of water. Soft lenses adhere more tightly to the cornea and do not have as much fluid motion as the hard contact lens. For these reasons, some researchers think the soft lens offers some, but not total, protection against entrapment of foreign substances between the contact lens and the cornea.
The major risks for those who wear soft contact lenses are from chemical splashes and from hot, dry environments. Because of the high water content of the soft contact lens, some chemicals can pass through the lens and be held against the cornea by the lens itself.
Hot, dry environments can lead to problems because they can cause the tear layer (upon which the lens ‘sits’) to dehydrate. This situation results in eye irritation.
Wearing contact lenses at the office
When working in an office environment there are two minor dangers to your eyes. The first is air conditioning which can cause eye irritation because conditioned air is in most cases dry, which in most cases can cause dry eyes. The second danger is prolonged computer use. When we look at a monitor we tend to blink less, this causes the outer layer of the lenses to dry out making it hard to blink.
Fortunately there are a few exercises you can partake in to reduce the discomfort in your eyes.
Step 1: Keeping the back and neck straight and the head still, look as high as possible, and look down. Repeat this movement 10 times. Close and rest the eyes for about 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.
Step 2: Keeping the eyes wide open, look as far to the right as possible, and then to the left. Repeat this movement 10 times, close and rest the eyes for 30 seconds.
Step 3: Make wide circles with your eyes by rolling them clockwise. Perform at least 10 circles. Repeat the exercise counter-clockwise. Close and relax the eyes.
Remember, wearing your contact lenses in the office can be tricky. Your eyes should look clear and white, not red with lines. If you’re eyes just hurt a little bit, or your vision is only a little bit blurry take them out. You’ll thank yourself later.
Other possible concerns when wearing contact lenses
A contact lens wearer working alone or in a remote area may be at greater risk if hurt with an eye injury. The immediate removal of contacts may be important and the injured wearer, in some extreme cases, may be unable to do this. Also, equipment like eyewash stations and qualified staff may not be immediately available which, in turn, increases the risk of further damage.
Dislodgement or sudden loss of a contact lens is another problem. The first problem creates sudden changes in vision quality due to decreased visual acuity and blurring. This poses an obvious danger if dislodgement should occur at a moment when sight is essential for safety. The same problems could occur for wearers of glasses though contact lenses may be easier to lose and are more difficult to re-position.
Now let’s see what contact lenses are best for working enviroments
- Thanks to Laceron technology, these contacts provide a cushion of moisture between the eye and the contacts making them perfect for office work.
- Excellent price-to-quality ratio. Costing about $30 for a pack of 30, these contacts have an excellent price for their low cost
- In very rare cases you mayexperience blurry vision and eye irritation if the contacts slip off to the side.
Acuvue brand lenses (by Johnson & Johnson) are the leading brand of daily disposable lenses on the market. These contacts come in many different versions These contacts are available with correction for near and farsighted prescriptions.
These contact lenses utilize technology specific for Acuvue that helps eliminate the feeling of dry eyes by forming a cushion moisture. Also, they also help protect against transmission of harmful UV radiation to the cornea and into the eye making them perfect for anyone that spends a lot of time outside or for those who spend a lot of time in front of a computer monitor. Please note that this does not mean that you can use these contacts instead of eyeglasses because the contacts do not the cover the whole eyeball.
- They are comfortable to wear.
- These contacts are easy on your eyes, making them perfect for those who suffer from chronically dry eyes or for those who spend a lot of time outside or in air conditioned enviroments
- Because these contacts are very thin, they might be a bit difficult to put in and remove in the start.
Dailies Aquacomfort plus are high quality lenses from Alcon. Blink activated technology helps keep your eyes from drying out throughout the day, especially in air conditioned enviroments. Thanks to the ultra-thin design of each lens Aquacomfort plus contacts are comfortable and easy to wear.
Made by utilizing Lightstream technology, these contacts ensure peak performance throughout your working day. Thanks to moisturizing agents that are released over time, they also provide sustained comfort.
- These contacts are extremely comfortable to wear due to their high water
- Excellent price-to-quality ration. Costing around $22 there are very little other contacts that can match the price and quality.
- A bit difficult to put in.
- Prolonged wearing may cause some eye irritation.
Developed by CooperVision, Proclear 1-Day Compatibles contact lenses are made from a next generation, biocompatible soft contact lens material called PC Hydrogel. Thanks to PC Hydrogel technology, water molecules are actually part of the lenses, creating a natural resistance to dryness. They are perfect for those who spend a lot of time in air conditioned environment and for those who
Interestingly enough these contacts are the only contact lenses cleared by the U.S. FDA for the claim: “may provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience mild discomfort or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear.”
- Lenses do not shrink, tighten, or change shape on the eye.
- Crisp, clear vision is provided throughout the entire wearing period.
- Non-ionic material resists deposits, keeping lenses clear & free of unhealthy protein deposits.
- Prolonged wear may cause some eye irritation and dryness.
Studies have indicated that 27% of patients have an HVID (Horizontal Visible Iris Diameter) lesser than 11.3 or higher than 12.4 and would greatly benefit from a small or large diameter. If these patients are put in a standard 14.2 diameter, their lens will not fit them correctly resulting in a less comfortable wearing experience.
Developed by X-Cel Specialty Contacts, extremeH20 daily disposable contacts boast the feature that they come in three different sizes, ensuring the best fit for your eyes. Made of patented GMA/hydrogel copolymer hioxifilcon A has advanced hydration properties that allow it to retain 99% of its moisture. This ensures that the lenses have consistent level of moisture retained.
- Very comfortable to wear thanks to high water content.
- Easy to insert and remove
- Some patients have reported mild eye discomfort after prolonged wear (15+ hours)
If you’re a regular contact lens wearer there is a great chance you’re familiar with the way your eyes feel when they’re not getting enough oxygen. It’s that tight, choked-out sensation that makes you want to pull your contacts out at the first possible opportunity. Air Optix contacts were specifically designed with “breathability” in mind.
These contact lenses are made from an exclusive silicone hydrogel material that allows up to give times more oxygen to reach your cornea compared to other contac lens brands. Due to exceptional breathability these contacts maintain your eye health and reduce any irritation or discomfort.
The completely even surface of these lenses also allows tears to uniformly distribute over the contacts, keeping lenses and eyes lubricated and comfortable from insertion to removal. High water content of these contacts ensures you won’t feel any discomfort while working in air conditioned environments or in dusty environments. While other contact lenses collect protein deposits over time, the smooth surface of Air Optix Aqua contact lenses resists deposits as there is nowhere for residue to accumulate.
- Very comfortable to wear
- Excellent for first time contact lens users
- High water content ensures these contacts provide clear vision while removing any discomfort
- They are somewhat difficult to put in at the start
Many contact lens wearers have probably wished that their eyes could feel the same when they’re wearing contacts as they do when they’re not. Many contact lenses start out comfortable, but over the course of the day become dry and irritating. If the contacts are monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly, they probably also lose some comfort after multiple days of wear.
BiotrueONEday lenses are on the cutting edge of daily disposable contact lens technology. Manufactured with an exclusive material called HyperGel, BiotrueONEday are daily contact lenses that stand apart from other contact lens brands. Most hydrogel lenses are made out of either plastic or silicone material that, despite being somewhat breathable and moisture retaining, has ways to go when it comes to mimicking the layers of the eye itself. Biotrue contacts are so similar to the outer layers of the eye that it’s practically imperceptible. At 78 percent water content, BiotrueONEday lenses have the exact same water content as the cornea. In addition, this moisture is built right into the lenses