Contact Lenses are available for almost any prescription. Whether you are near sighted, far sighted, or even if you have astigmatism, contact lenses are a great way to have the perfect vision that comes with glasses, without having to wear frames. Though contacts are a perfect fit for millions of people around the world, you and your eye care professional need to decide together whether they are right for you. Here are a few things to consider about contacts before buying.
First it’s important to understand the process of getting contact lenses. When you order them from your optometrist for the first time they will schedule an appointment for you to come pick up your lenses and try them out. Don’t wear heavy makeup so that your doctor can see and access your eye quickly, and bring your frames with you to the appointment. The doctor will show you how to insert the lenses, and then make sure that you are comfortable and can see well once the lenses have settled in.
When deciding what lenses are right for you, there are a few different choices that you need to make, and you need to weigh all your options before deciding.
Soft or Hard
Soft lenses are the most popular type of lenses, and are used to treat many conditions such as shortsightedness, longsightedness, blurred vision, and age-related loss of close-up vision. Because soft lenses are flexible and conform to the shape of your eye, they are generally more comfortable and stay in place. They are the better option if you play sports or are active, and there are many choices within the soft lens category such as daily, disposable and extended.
Hard lenses do not offer as much choice, but are more breathable, hence they are less likely to cause infection. Since they do not form exactly to the eye like soft lenses do, they are more likely to slip out of place and cause discomfort. Usually hard lenses are worn daily and removed every night, and can be used for up to two years.
Daily, Disposable or Extended
First you can choose between daily lenses that are for daytime use and extended lenses that you would wear overnight as well. Daily lenses can be used for a number of days depending on the manufacturer, but are removed and cleaned every night. Extended lenses can be worn while you sleep and need to be removed for cleaning at least once a week. Another option is disposable lenses which are thrown out every night or week, and do not need to be cleaned. These are better for young people or those who don’t want to have to clean or maintain lenses, but they are also the most expensive option.
For the most part, contact lenses are very safe, but you have to remember that they are a medical device. You need to keep them clean, have them fitted properly, and treat them as you would any other medical item.
Most of the problems that occur in people’s eyes related to contact lenses come directly from the case and its improper cleaning. Contact lenses should be kept in a case that is routinely rinsed out, air dried, filled with clean lens solution, and replaced every few months.
Unless you have extended lenses, you should not sleep in your contacts, but rather take them out and either place them in their solution or dispose of them. But, most people will fall asleep with their lenses in at one point or another. The important thing is to let your eyes moisten again when you wake up before trying to take your contacts out. When you sleep your eyes get dryer since you are not blinking, and trying to take dry lenses out may cause abrasion. Use eyedrops or wait a while for your eyes to moisten before trying to remove lenses.
If you are having trouble removing your contact lenses, the most important thing is not to panic. Trying to get your contact out when you are upset and unable to do so can damage the eye. If you’re having trouble contact an eye care professional and they will have you in to safely remove your contact lens.
Studies have shown that children as young as eight years old can wear and properly maintain contacts, but that all depends on maturity and personal hygiene, and whether they want an alternative to wearing traditional frames. If your child decides to wear contact lenses make sure they understand how to maintain them.
In most cases, contact lenses are a great option to have along with your everyday frames. Even if you decide to wear contacts daily, you should have backup frames in case you need to take your contacts out for some reason, but you still need to see. If you are thinking about contacts, make sure you speak to your optometrist so they can recommend the best brand and type for you.