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Affinity Health Sheds Light on Contact Lens Health

Leading affordable medical insurance providers in SA, Affinity Health, encourage healthy vision for all South Africans considering Contact Lens Health Week.


Are Contact Lenses Better than Glasses?

19 – 23 August 2021 is Contact Lens Health Week. This year’s campaign emphasises the importance of healthy contact lens hygiene practices and protecting against serious eye infections and other illnesses.


A contact lens is a thin, curved lens that is worn over the tear film that covers your eye’s surface. The lens is inherently transparent, however it is typically tinted to make it easier to handle for wearers.

Contact lenses are an excellent choice for nearly anyone who needs vision correction and doesn’t want to wear eyeglasses full time or undergo LASIK surgery.


According to Glasses History, the concept of contact lenses is believed to have been first introduced by Leonardo da Vinci in 1508. Most researchers, however, agree it was German ophthalmologist Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick who fabricated the first successful afocal scleral contact lens in 1888.


Eugen’s design was based on resting a contact shell on the rim of tissue around the cornea. The lenses were large, heavy, and created from heavy blown glass 18-21mm in diameter. Added to that, these contact lenses could be worn only for few hours at a time.


Fortunately, over the decades that followed, the form, shape and design of contact lenses improved dramatically, and contact lenses continue improving. Today, about 125 million people worldwide wear contact lenses, as per Science Daily. While contact lenses are simple to use and safe for most people to wear, complications can develop. Without proper contact lens care, you might be putting your peepers in peril.


“Wearing contact lenses has numerous advantages,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“They’re great for sports and other physical activities because they don’t get dirty or foggy. This is a big plus with face masks right now. They’re comfortable to wear when applied correctly and properly cared for. However, improper wear and care of contact lenses can cause eye infections that sometimes lead to serious, long-term damage. This includes inflamed corneas, corneal scarring, corneal ulcers and impaired vision.”

How to Care for Contact Lenses

  • Don’t sleep with your contact lenses. According to CDC, those who wear contact lenses overnight are 20 times more to develop an eye infection.
  • Before handling your lenses, always cleanse your hands with soap and water.
  • To clean your contact lenses, rub and rinse them with contact lens disinfecting solution.
  • Never combine new contact lens solutions with old or used solutions.
  • Only use the contact lens solution that your eye doctor recommends.
  • After each usage, store your contacts upside down in a lens case.
  • If you experience eye pain, irritation, redness, or blurred vision, remove your contact lenses immediately and consult your eye care practitioner.
  • Carry a spare pair of glasses with you at all times just in case you need to remove your contact lenses.
  • Whether you use weekly, monthly or quarterly lenses, never push your lenses past their expiry date.
  • Remove your lenses immediately if your eyes get inflamed, sensitive to light, unfocused, or otherwise uncomfortable while wearing them, and seek professional guidance from your local optometrist.

Vision screenings have long been a part of Affinity Health’s offerings and, as the challenges we face from eye conditions are growing, awareness and education to preserve vision is critical. For more information on Affinity Health’s Optometry Benefits, click here.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

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