Gone are the days when contacts were expensive, uncomfortable and unflattering. From colored lenses from Air Optix colors and corrective lenses from Core Lenses, contacts have come a long way. There is a lens for every vision problem, aesthetic reason and every age group.
Here is a quick guide for you to choose the right lenses for yourself:
If you like comfort, low-maintenance and fewer risk lenses:
Soft Contact Lenses
These lenses are made from a special type of plastic mixed with water. The water in the lens lets oxygen pass through the lens to your cornea. This helps in several different ways –
- Your lenses are much more comfortable
- Your eyes don’t get dry as often
- Your cornea stays healthy
If your cornea doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can swell, cause blurry vision and get cloudy leading to more serious problems.
Most soft lenses are disposable lenses. This means you can throw them away after using them for a day or a week. What this does is end up reducing the chance of infection, you don’t have to clean your lens as much and way more comfortable. Wearing lenses for a long time can lead to build-up.
There are some soft lenses that you can wear on an extended basis and clean them every night. These are usually custom designed.
As an added bonus, lenses also provide protection from harmful UV rays.
Are there any cons to soft lenses?
Yes. The material in the soft contact lenses can absorb chemicals, bacteria and mold easily compared to other types of lenses. This can irritate your eyes. From smoke and sprays to soap or lotion, these lenses can soak up almost anything, and this can cause your eye to get irritated.
They are also way more fragile. They can rip or tear easily.
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Different types of soft contact lenses
- Disposables: You get rid of these daily and reduce the risk of infections. These are highly recommended if you have dry eyes or allergies.
- Silicone-based: You can wear these for up to a month and can keep deposits from building up.
If you like colored lenses that are practical and aesthetic:
Soft color contacts
There are actually three types of colored contacts that you can wear.
Visibility, enhancement and opaque tint. Visibility tint merely helps you see your lenses better if you drop them whereas enhancement tints are good for you if you have light colored eyes. An opaque tint is the one that can really change the color of your eyes if you have dark colored eyes.
Please note that just like corrective lenses, colored contacts are a medical device and require a prescription and a certified doctor. Do not purchase them from online vendors that sell it to you without a prescription.
If you like better vision, have astigmatism and need something durable:
Rigid Gas-Permeable Lenses
These lenses are stiff compared to soft contacts. They are made from silicone allow oxygen to pass through.
If you have astigmatism, these lenses are for you. You can take care of them easily, and they are far more durable.
They may not feel as comfortable as soft contacts. It takes a while to get used to them.
If you have presbyopia:
Bifocal lenses are great for presbyopia. They come in both soft and gas-permeable options
If you different vision in both eyes:
It is entirely possible that you have a different prescription in both eyes. Choose lenses that allow each eye to see clearly with monovision lenses.
Apart from these lenses, you can even ask your doctor about Ortho-k Lenses that reshape your eyes while you sleep.
A quick guide to wearing contact lenses
- Get an eye exam: See a doctor before you purchase your lenses. The fit of your lenses is extremely important. Get regular check-ups once you start wearing contacts.
- Get a prescription: This prescription will include the right measurements, brand name and how to take care of your lenses.
- Follow lens care: Your lenses although decorative can cause serious infections. Follow lens care instructions religiously. If you are unsure about anything, ask your doctor.
- Seek medical attention when you need it: If your lenses are stuck or your eyes have become red, or your vision is blurred, seek a doctor’s opinion right away.
- Your contact lenses are inside out: If you put in a contact lens inside out, it is not the end of the world. You will immediately know something is wrong. All you have to do is keep you cool, remove the lens and clean them. You can reapply this again. If you are using daily disposables, you can simply apply a fresh pair.
- Don’t swap contacts: This is something you should not even consider doing. Even though you’re decorative lenses have no use except aesthetic, do not try to swap contacts with someone else. Lenses are custom designed to fit your eyes and can cause severe problems including infections if you do so.
- Don’t buy decorative lenses without a prescription: Anyone selling colored contacts without a prescription cannot be trusted. For the sake of your eyes, do not purchase something that can irreversibly damage them.
- Vision lapses: If you enter a brightly lit room or enter a dim room, the pupil in your eye gets dilated or constricted. Normally, this is not an issue. But, if you are wearing colored contacts, the center of the contact and the center of your eyes may not match when this happens. This can cause temporary vision impairment and let someone around know that you are wearing contacts.