Contact lenses are straightforward to use, but if you don’t choose the appropriate ones for you, they can cause a slew of issues. There are numerous options available on the market today, and the variety may appear daunting. Learning the benefits, drawbacks, and optimal applications for each type of contact lens can help you make the best option for your eyes.
Part 1 Soft Contact Lens Evaluation
Discover the various soft lens options.
There are numerous types of soft lenses available to match your requirements. A soft lens is generally simpler to adjust to than a stiff gas-permeable lens. Soft lenses are also more comfortable, particularly when worn for extended periods of time
- Extended-wear lenses can be worn overnight and left in place for up to seven days without being removed. Furthermore, Air Optix Night and Days are FDA-approved for up to 30 days of nighttime use.
- Replacement lenses are not to be worn overnight. Replacement is required on a regular basis, commonly every two weeks, four weeks, or 12 weeks.
- Silicone-based lenses are extremely breathable and prevent deposits from forming. This can result in a more comfortable lens with a lower risk of discomfort, particularly if you have dry eyes.
- Colored soft lenses – These soft lenses have a hue to them. The tint could be practical (easier to discover a missing lens) without changing the colour of your eye, or it could be cosmetic, giving you a different eye colour than your natural hue.
Choose a lens duration.
Though soft lenses are normally preferred for extended usage, they lack the endurance of a rigid gas-permeable lens; nonetheless, there are several possibilities for how long a lens can be reused before it needs to be replaced.
- Daily disposable lenses – These lenses are more expensive since they are discarded more frequently; nevertheless, changing your lenses on a daily basis provides the lowest risk of infection. Because you get a new lens every day, deposits and allergens have less time to build up, making these lenses a suitable alternative for persons who have dry eyes or are prone to allergies.
- Two-week/monthly disposable lenses are slightly less expensive than daily disposables, but they still help limit the risk of infection by replacing lenses every few weeks. Some disposable soft lenses can even be updated every three months, though you should always follow the recommendations of your optometrist.
Determine the importance of UV protection.
Many people prefer contact lenses because they can be worn during sports without the risk of eyeglass breakage. If you participate in outdoor sports or spend a lot of time in the sun, you should chat with your optometrist about soft lenses with UV protection.
- It’s worth noting that not all soft lenses offer UV protection, though many do. If UV protection is important to you, talk to your optometrist about your alternatives.
- Complete eye protection is essential, yet UV protection in contact only covers a portion of the eye. Even though your contacts give UV protection, you should still wear sunglasses outside to protect the rest of your eyes.
- Single vision replacement lenses are great for longer distance, intermediate (such as computer glasses), or near (such as reading or close-up work) vision needs.
Understand the drawbacks of soft lenses.
Soft lenses are more comfortable than rigid gas permeable lenses for many people and better fit their needs; nevertheless, soft lenses typically do not correct eyesight as well as rigid lenses. There are some more downsides to consider.
Environmental contaminants are more easily absorbed by soft lenses than by stiff lenses. If you are frequently exposed to smoke or airborne particles, you should consult with your optometrist to see if soft lenses would be a problem.
Soft lenses absorb irritants from your hands, including lotion and hand soap, in addition to ambient toxins. Hand washing before touching lenses can help lessen this danger, but it will not remove the possibility of absorption.
These contact lenses are substantially more delicate than rigid lenses due to their soft, porous nature. As a result, they are more likely to rip or tear (though they are meant to be replaced more frequently).
Part 2: Thinking About Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses
Discover the benefits of RGP lenses.
RGP lenses are slightly less popular than soft lenses for a variety of reasons, although they excel in a variety of areas. Most contact lens wearers will benefit from an RGP lens in the following ways:
- The vision is sharper than that provided by soft lenses
- Improved visual clarity for some astigmatic users
- Preferable for some presbyopia patients who require bifocals or multifocal.
- Keratoconus wearers will benefit from improved fit and clarity (cone-shaped cornea)
- Individuals who require contact lenses following refractive surgery should choose this option.
- Can be used for ortho-k operations, which involve wearing lenses at night to reshape the cornea.
Understand the drawbacks of RGP lenses.
Though RGP lenses are preferable for some people with special needs, they do have significant drawbacks. According to some users, RGP lenses may have the following drawbacks:
- They are more difficult to adjust to and may be less comfortable.
- They must be worn on a frequent basis to become comfortable for the user (they can even become uncomfortable after a week of not wearing lenses).
- Because of their smaller size, RGP lenses are more likely to become dislodged during vigorous activity.
- Because of the increased likelihood of dust/debris becoming stuck under the lenses, there is a greater risk of pain or corneal abrasions.
- They demand more care and maintenance than soft lenses, but they last longer, which could save you money in the long term.
Take into account hybrid contact lenses.
If you’re undecided between soft and RGP lenses, you might wish to try hybrid contact lenses. Hybrid lenses have a hard, gas-permeable centre with a soft ring surrounding the RGP component. This provides the comfort of a soft lens while also satisfying the particular demands of some users who require a stiff lens.
- Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, age-related loss of close-up vision and keratoconus can all be corrected with hybrid lenses.
- Many stiff lens wearers believe that hybrid contact lenses are more comfortable and easier to wear.
Part 3: Evaluating Your Needs
Get your eyes examined and fitted.
It is critical to undergo a complete examination and fitting with an eye care specialist before selecting a contact lens or any sort of eyeglasses. To assess your lens strength and obtain a prescription for contact lenses, you must have an eye exam. A fitting is required to verify that your lenses fit the shape of your eye and can satisfy your demands comfortably.
After obtaining your lenses, you will most likely require one or more follow-up exams. These are often scheduled one week after receiving your lenses, then one month or six months afterward, and then annually.
Consider how frequently you’ll be wearing contacts.
If you intend to wear your contact lenses every day, you have some leeway in selecting soft or stiff lenses; however, if you intend to wear your contacts just on weekends or special occasions, soft lenses may be preferable.
- While soft lenses can be worn comfortably part-time or full-time, rigid lenses must be worn full-time to be comfortable for your eyes.
Determine the significance of eyesight sharpness.
Any contact lens will correct your vision, providing you superior clarity than no lens at all; nevertheless, rigid lenses are typically thought to provide the sharpest potential vision of any form of contact lens, particularly for astigmatic users.
- If you need a near-perfect vision for work, talk to an eye care doctor about if a rigid lens is right for you.
Determine how much care and effort you are willing to put in.
Improper lens maintenance can result in a variety of vision issues, such as fungal infections, bacterial infections, and corneal ulcers. Both soft and stiff lenses necessitate daily cleaning. Daily disposable contacts, which are discarded at the end of the day, are an exception.
Because soft lenses are frequently replaced on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, there is a lower chance of irritation or infection caused by lens buildup.
If you don’t mind the extra care and maintenance required to keep your contacts in good condition, stiff lenses may be appropriate for you; but, if you are concerned about your capacity to care for your lenses (including the danger of losing lenses), you may want to explore soft lenses.
Part 4: Taking Care of Your Contact Lenses
Clean/decontaminate your lenses.
It may go without saying, but regardless of the type, you will need to clean and care for your lenses. Cleaning and disinfecting your lenses will help remove dirt and irritants, such as germs and fungi, that could otherwise infect your eye.
- Rinse and store your lenses in an approved contact lens solution every time you remove them to clean and disinfect them.
- Pour some clean contact solution into the palm of your hand to rinse the lens. Gently rub the contact lens in the fluid on your palm with your index finger.
- Contact lens solutions should never be reused. Clean out your lens case on a daily basis, and use a fresh contact solution every time you remove your lenses.
- Do not make your own cleaning solutions. You should also avoid using saliva to wet or wipe your lenses before putting them in your eyes, as this introduces bacteria into your eyes.
- Do not wash your lenses with tap water. Microorganisms can exist in distilled water (even tap water), and while that water is safe to drink, trapping it against your eye with a contact lens could be deadly.
Replace your lens case after cleaning it.
Cleaning and maintaining your contact lens container is equally as vital as cleaning your contacts. Dirt, bacteria, and fungus can build up in your case, so you’ll need to understand how to clean it and how frequently you should replace it.
- Every day, clean your lens casing. Instead of soap, rinse it with hot water and spritz it with contact lens solution.
- Allow your lens case to air dry at all times. Leaving your lens case wet all day can increase fungal growth, which can lead to infections and eye damage.
- Every three months, replace your contact lens case.
- Replace your scratched, cracked, or outdated prescription lenses affordably online.
Wear your contact lenses correctly.
Though contact lenses are safe to wear, their long-term safety is dependent on how you wear and keep them. Whatever you expose your contacts to will eventually make its way into your eyes, causing irritation, inflammation, or even infection.
- Before handling your contact lenses, always wash your hands with a mild, unscented, non-cosmetic soap.
- Before handling your lenses, dry your hands with a clean, lint-free cloth
- Keep your fingernails short and smooth to avoid damaging your lenses or scratching your eye.
- If you use hair spray, apply it before putting it on your contacts. To avoid getting hair spray on your lenses, wash your hands after using/handling them.
- Put your contacts in before applying makeup if you wear them. Similarly, before washing off your makeup at the end of the day, make sure you remove your contact lenses.
- Wear your contact lenses only for the amount of time and for the long-term duration prescribed by your eye care provider.
- Do not sleep with your lenses in place unless your eye doctor has instructed you it is safe to do so. Never swim with your contacts in any body of water, including swimming pools. If you are having trouble, seek medical attention
Most contact lens users encounter no complications other than moderate discomfort when adjusting to wearing a lens; nevertheless, some persons experience unfavourable symptoms, which are usually connected with an infection or an underlying medical problem. Consult your eye doctor right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:
unexpected eyesight loss
recurring confused vision flashes of light intense or prolonged pain symptoms of infection, such as swelling, redness, or irritation