Have you recently been prescribed contact lenses or are looking for a new pair to try out? We’ve put together this short guide on buying, wearing, and cleaning your contacts that everyone should have on hand. It will show you all the available options on the market, as well as how to properly wear and take care of your contacts for healthy eyes.
There are several different types of contact lenses on the market that you can purchase. We’ll show you a basic break down of the types of lenses and their primary considerations. But first, it’s important to mention that you should only purchase your lenses from an expert eyewear company and not a discount store, as the products that these sellers offer are often made of inferior materials that could damage your eyes. Be sure to ask your eye doctor for a referral or preferred location to purchase your contacts when they recommend a style that is best suited for your lifestyle.
Rigid gas-permeable lenses, known as RGP, are considered “hard contact lenses”. They are primarily used to correct a number of vision issues that other lenses do not, such as severe astigmatism and keratoconus. Unlike soft lenses, they are designed to hold their shape firmly which provides for a sharper vision. And, although these lenses last much longer than regular wear lenses, they often are more difficult to get used to than soft contacts.
These “soft lenses” are designed to be worn when awake and then removed and cleaned at night. One of the most popular types of daily wear lenses are “disposables” which are thrown out after each time they are worn. Disposables are considered to be the safest because they do not accumulate irritating deposits since you only wear them once. The only downfalls to disposable lenses are that they are often more expensive to purchase over time and are wasteful for the environment.
Extended Wear Contacts
If you’re looking for a contact lens that you can leave in for longer periods of time, extended wear contacts may be right for you. With extended wear contacts, you can wear them while you sleep up to a full week’s worth without cleaning. However, many eye doctors believe these are less safe than wearing other types of lenses since they restrict the flow of oxygen that can lead to serious eye infections and other conditions.
Those who are diagnosed with astigmatism will often be recommended Toric contacts if they cannot wear RGP. These come in both daily or extended wear form.
As people age and it becomes more difficult to see objects clearly, the doctor may recommend a presbyopia contact to correct your vision. There are a number of different options that can be purchased, depending on your condition, such as multifocal lenses, bifocal, as well as monovision.
There are also lenses on the market that have UV protection to help reduce eye exposure to the sun. Many people are switching to UV protection as they can also help to reduce the risk of getting cataracts.
This new technology is designed to enable oxygen to flow more freely to the eye. This can help your eyes to remain hydrated, feeling refreshed and less painful.
When you’re ready to put your lenses in, you should always wash your hands first with mild soap and then dry them using a lint-free towel to prevent any particles or bacteria from getting into your eyes. It might feel a little strange touching your eyes at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it after a few days. We recommend always starting with the same eye, so you don’t mix up the lenses. If your contact lenses are in correctly, you should not feel them. If you’re new to wearing contact lenses, it can feel a little odd at first handling and wearing them. It will take some time for your eyes to adjust, but it shouldn’t take too long. If you have any issues wearing your lenses after two weeks, you should talk to your doctor about trying a different pair. And if you experience any redness, blurry vision, pain or light sensitivity, stop wearing the lenses and talk to your eye doctor immediately. Delaying a visit to your doctor could permanently damage your vision.
When it comes to cleaning your lenses, we recommend only using a prescribed and unexpired cleaning solution. Never clean your contacts with two different solutions or with regular tap water as the organisms in these solutions could cause irritation and even blindness. Be sure to remove your lenses before you go to sleep each night unless you purchase an extended-wear lenses set. Even extended wear should be removed and cleaned often. Wearing lenses at night can deprive the eyes of oxygen and lead to a number of issues, such as dry eyes and even corneal ulcers.
When cleaning, always follow the instructions on the cleaning solution label and be sure to put the correct lens in the correct chamber of the storage case. To store lenses, disinfect and leave them in the closed case until ready to wear. After removing from the case, always empty and rinse the lens storage case with the recommended cleaning solution and then let the case dry out to avoid bacteria growth.
And there you have our short guide to buying, wearing, and cleaning your contacts. For further information, advice, or to try a new pair, come visit us at Laurier Optical and one of our eye specialists will be more than happy to help you!