Some people prefer to wear contact lenses instead of glasses. Contacts have come a long way since they were invented, and now, there are many options for a variety of vision problems, including astigmatism. If you are considering contact lenses to correct your vision, it’s normal to have questions about their care and your eye health. Our eye team answered some of the most common questions from our patients:
No. Your optometrist will perform a comprehensive eye examination that evaluates your vision and overall eye health. Then, if you are interested in contact lenses as an alternative to glasses, there are additional tests necessary to determine whether you are a good candidate for contacts. Much like shirts and sandals, contacts are not one size fits all. The eye doctor will evaluate your corneal curvature, the size of your pupil and iris and assess your tear film — a protective coating of tears that spreads like a film over the front of your eyes. One of the most common problems with contact lens wearing is dry eyes, so we need to confirm your tear film is sufficient.
Contact lenses come in two forms: hard and soft. Hard lenses hold their shape while allowing oxygen through the lens. The most common hard lenses are rigid, gas permeable lenses (RPG). These may be preferable if you have allergies or for severe astigmatism. (Also talk to us about vision shaping, a way to wear contacts at night to change your vision.)
Soft lenses are by far the top choice of contact lens wearers; they are more comfortable to wear and easily stay in place. Soft contact lenses come in many varieties:
Frequency of Wear
Because contact lenses sit directly on your eye, your peripheral vision is unobstructed. Many contact lens wearers feel freer to participate in sports and outdoor activities without fear of breaking their glasses. People with contacts can also buy sunglasses from anywhere instead of ordering a pair with a prescription. This cuts down on the fear of losing your sunglasses, too!
And of course, some people prefer the look of their face without glasses, even with the fantastic frame selection available today.
If you and your optometrist decide contact lenses are a good option for you, your doctor will fit you with a trial pair. You probably will require a follow-up appointment or two to make sure you have adjusted to the new lenses.
Most people can safely wear contact lenses as long as they are properly cleaned and maintained. Talk to the team at The Eye Institute about your options for contacts.