To wear contacts or not to wear contacts? That is the question that glasses wearers grapple with sooner or later, and for good reason.
Contact lenses have a number of advantages over eyeglasses. They provide a wider field of view, they don’t get in the way of physical activities, and they typically aren’t affected by weather conditions. What’s more, most people can now wear contacts successfully, thanks to advances in contact lens technology.
But like anything else, contacts take some getting used to. We at Lens.com understand this, so we’ve provided some helpful tips for making the switch from glasses to contacts.
1. See Your Eye Doctor
Even if you want to wear contact lenses, you can’t actually do so without a valid contact lens prescription.
Eyeglasses and contact lens prescriptions are not the same, so you need to see your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting.
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will ask questions about your vision and general health history. They will also give you a series of tests to evaluate your vision. If they determine that contact lenses are a suitable solution for your vision problems, they will prescribe a type and brand of contact lenses. Only then can you buy and wear contacts.
2. Take It Easy
Wear your contacts for only a few hours every day for the first few weeks to get used to them.
Even the most comfortable contact lenses might require an adjustment period. This is normal, but it’s worth it.
Additionally, don’t wear your contacts longer than instructed.
If you wear daily disposable contacts, remove and replace them every day. If you wear reusable contacts indicated for daily wear only, remove them before bed and replace them accordingly.
3. Proper Hand Hygiene Is Key
Contact lenses are generally a safe and effective vision correction option. But there are many reasons why all contact lenses, even zero power ones, are classified as medical devices by the U.S. FDA. Sight-threatening infections are one of them.
Dirt, bacteria, and other debris on your hands can transfer onto your lenses or your eyes if you don’t wash your hands. As such, one of the best ways to minimize your risk of eye infections is to wash your hands before handling your contacts or touching your eyes.
4. Follow Best Practices for Contact Lens Care
Proper hand hygiene isn’t enough to keep contact lens-related complications at bay. You’ll need to properly care for your contacts as well, particularly if you wear reusable lenses.
Proteins, lipids, and other deposits can stick to the surface of your contacts and make them feel less comfortable than when they were new.
The following healthy habits are recommended by eye care experts to safely wear contact lenses:
- Don’t sleep in your contacts unless your eye doctor instructs you otherwise.
- Use only contact lens solution to clean your contacts. Never use tap water or saliva.
- Remove your contacts before showering or swimming.
- Avoid overwearing your contacts.
- Put in your contacts before you use makeup or apply hair products.
5. Prepare for Seasonal Challenges
In the spring, allergens in the air can latch onto your contact lenses and cause red, itchy, or watery eyes. Seasonal challenges like this can be especially difficult if you have allergies or are prone to dry eyes.
Prepare to relieve itchy, irritated eyes with artificial tears — over-the-counter eye drops that keep the surface of your eyes moist. You can apply artificial tears as much as once every two hours.
Note that artificial tears are typically made to be compatible with contacts. It’s better to err on the side of caution though, so always check the product label or instructions before using it with your contact lenses.
Whether you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses for vision correction mostly depends on your preferences.
But if you want to switch to contacts for convenience and comfort, knowing what to expect and following the tips above can help make your transition from glasses to contacts smoother.
Got a valid prescription? Shop your contacts today at Lens.com!