Let’s say you finally decide to make the jump to contact lenses. You can’t just go into a store and buy contacts. You’ll need to consult your eye care professional (ECP) and get an eye exam. But before obtaining your prescription, you and your ECP need to decide what kind of contacts are ideal for you.
To make the best possible decision, prepare yourself by answering these five questions first.
1. Do I need to wear contact lenses?
If you wear prescription eyeglasses and have no problems, you may not need to wear contact lenses. However, eyeglasses can interfere with many activities. For instance, you can’t wear eyeglasses when engaging in contact sports like boxing, ice hockey, or football.
If you have an active lifestyle, contact lenses will give you more freedom to engage in physical activities. You can also do more intense exercises while wearing contacts instead of eyeglasses.
2. How often will I wear contact lenses?
Do you plan on wearing contacts every day? Maybe you only want to wear contacts when playing certain sports? Perhaps you only want to wear contacts when you have to dress up for parties, formal events, and special occasions where wearing eyeglasses isn’t fashionable?
How often you want to wear contacts has a significant impact on the type of contacts you can wear.
Soft contacts are comfortable and can be worn full-time or on occasion. On the other hand, hard or rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses require a lengthy adjustment period, meaning you need to wear them every day to adjust and be comfortable with them. As such, RGP contacts may not be suitable for occasional wear.
3. Do I want comfort, or do I want the sharpest vision possible?
Soft contacts are comfortable to wear and can provide clear vision, but they don’t necessarily offer patients the sharpest vision possible. Meanwhile, RGP contacts are not as comfortable as soft contacts, but they provide sharper vision than soft contacts.
If comfort and convenience are your top priorities, soft contacts may be the better option for you. If you’re after the sharpest vision possible, you may fare better wearing RGP contacts.
RGP contacts are also a great option if you have severe astigmatism. Unlike soft contacts that conform to the shape of the cornea, RGP contacts retain their shape. The rigidity of RGP contacts enables them to replace the irregularly-shaped corneas of astigmatism patients, allowing the contacts to correct astigmatism without the need to control the rotation of the lens in soft contacts.
4. Do I want to sleep in my contact lenses?
Do you like the idea of inserting your contacts one morning and then forgetting about them and even sleeping in them for the next few days? Or are you ok with removing your contacts every night before you sleep?
Your answer to these questions will determine the best contact lens wearing schedule. If you want to be able to sleep in your contacts, then ask your ECP about contacts that are FDA-approved for overnight or extended wear.
If removing your contacts every night is okay with you, you can wear daily disposable contacts (dailies) or daily wear contacts. Dailies are single-use contacts that you remove and throw out at night before you sleep. You wear a brand new pair of contacts with dailies every day.
Daily wear contacts are reusable contacts that you remove, clean, and store in a contact lens case before you sleep at night. You can wear them again the next day. The replacement schedule differs from brand to brand, and some have a bi-weekly replacement schedule, while others have a monthly replacement schedule.
5. Am I willing to spend time and effort on a strict contact lens care regimen?
If you don’t mind spending a few minutes each night or several times on a care routine involving removing, cleaning, and storing your contacts, you can wear reusable contacts. Remember that not caring for your reusable contacts can lead to eye irritation, redness, and even severe eye infections.
If you’re the type of individual who is on the go and is always busy, then dailies are for you. Dailies are convenient because they don’t require a strict care regimen. You just wear them at the start of your day, remove and dispose of them before you sleep, and then start with brand new contacts the following day.
Contacts come in various materials, wearing and replacement schedules, and special properties. Consult your ECP to determine which one is for you. Once you have a valid prescription, shop for contacts on Lens.com. We carry all major contact lens brands available today.