Are you considering getting contacts? Thanks to advances in contact lens technology, most people these days can wear contact lenses successfully, Contact lenses have some advantages over glasses. Contacts sit directly on your eye, so vision, particularly peripheral vision, is unobstructed. You can participate in sports and outdoor activities without fear of eyeglasses getting in the way, falling off or breaking. You can even change the color of your eyes with color contact lenses.
In some cases, contact lenses can provide better visual acuity than glasses. Not to mention, contact lenses move with your eyes, which means you’ll have your full range of vision while you are wearing them rather than just straight ahead vision.
Types of Contacts
When you go in for your contact lens exam, you’ll have a choice of lens types, including soft, hard, and hybrid.
The majority of individuals choose soft contacts because of their comfort and lack of an adjustment period. These lenses are made from a flexible material. Soft contacts can be used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and mild to moderate astigmatism. Individuals who need multifocal lenses may also be able to get their prescription in soft contacts. If you have an astigmatism, a toric lens may be needed, which is a type of soft contact that is weighted on one end to prevent rotation.
Hard contacts are also known as gas permeable lenses or RGPs. These lenses are rigid and can offer better visual clarity for individuals with severe nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, as well as individuals who need multifocal lenses. These lenses are also recommended for individuals with severely misshapen corneas due to surgery or conditions such as keratoconus. Hard contacts can require up to a two-week adjustment period before they become completely comfortable.
Hybrid contacts are a combination of soft and hard lenses. These contacts have a hard center surrounded by a soft ring. These lenses are similar to RGPs, but are more comfortable than hard contacts and may offer improved visual clarity over soft contacts for some people.
Know you options with soft contact lenses
Disposable Soft Lenses
By 1987 contact lens wearers were given a healthier and more convenient contact lens option - disposable soft contact lenses. Designed to be worn for a short time, disposable contact lenses are great for people with allergies and those who are concerned about getting eye infections from the build-up of bacteria and dirt under the lens. Disposable daily contact lenses do not require cleaning and are discarded daily. Other types may require minimal cleaning and disinfection. Today’s soft contact lenses are available as non-disposables, monthly or weekly disposables, and daily disposables.
Daily Wear & Extended Wear
Daily wear contacts are intended to be worn during the day and removed for nightly cleaning and disinfecting. Daily wear lenses can be reused until their intended discard date.
Extended wear soft contact lenses can be worn while sleeping. Overnight use may pose a risk of eye infections so caution should be used even with lenses that are designed for extended wear.
Frequently, contact lens exams require two appointments, one to determine your prescription and a second to make sure your lenses fit correctly and provide you with the desired vision correction. So, which contact lens option will you choose? Talk to your doctor about the best option for your eyes.