First, ask your optometrist if contact lenses are a good solution for you. You will need to have a professional contact lens fitting. The fitting process includes discussing your visual and lifestyle requirements, an eye examination to measure any focusing error and make sure your eyes are healthy and suitable for contact lens wear, and measuring your eyes to ensure the best contact lens type, fit and vision. Your optometrist will recommend the most suitable trial lenses to best suit your needs.
Your optometrist will teach you to handle, apply, remove, clean and store your lenses and will recommend your replacement schedule. This depends on the contact lens material and design, as well as your lifestyle and the condition of your eyes.
Disposable contact lenses are the most commonly prescribed and are an excellent choice health-wise, because there is less opportunity for protein and bacteria to build up on them. Also, if you wear daily disposable contact lenses which are discarded at the end of the day, you won’t need to clean your contact lenses after each use.
Your optometrist will usually reassess the lenses after they have been worn for a week or two, in order to make sure they are fitting and performing properly, and that you aren’t having any difficulties. It is sometimes necessary to alter the lens prescription at this point to solve any problems which may have arisen.
Most optometrists encourage contact lens wearers to have eye examinations at least every 12 months to ensure your prescription and contact lens type are still appropriate and to detect and correct any problems early. Since a contact lens sits directly on the eye, it increases the risk of complications such as eye infections. While serious complications of contact lens wear are very rare, the effects can be long-lasting or permanent, so regular eye examinations are a good insurance policy. As technologies evolve every year, your optometrist may suggest you upgrade to the latest material or design.
Clearing Up the Myths
Contact lens are hard to apply and remove
Relax. It might sound difficult at first, but your optometrist can teach you how. You will be excited by how easy it is once properly shown.
Contact lenses are uncomfortable
False. When properly fitted to suit your eyes, contact lenses can provide comfortable vision correction, year in, year out.
Contact lenses can pop out of my eyes
False. Due to the surface tension of your tears, contact lenses are extremely stable and stay in place under normal conditions.
Contact lenses will get lost behind my eyes
Impossible. A thin membrane covers you eye and connects to the insides of your eyelids, so the lenses will always stay where they should be.
Contact lenses can cause eye problems
Rarely. Contact lens related problems are rare and usually result from improper wearing or caring for your lenses. With regular eye examinations and by following the advice from your optometrist, you can ensure your lenses are performing well and will be able to apply, remove and care for your lenses with ease.
Contacts are too much trouble to take care of
That was then. One step- contact lens care systems make cleaning your lenses easy. With single use or overnight contact lenses, there’s virtually no work for you at all.
Contact lenses are expensive
False. The cost of contact lenses can be comparable to vision correction with spectacles. Given the added benefits and flexibility of contact lenses, they certainly represent value for money.
Contacts are not suitable for children
False. Contact lenses are a great choice for many children, enabling free, comfortable vision for all classroom and sporting activities. As always, a professional fitting and training session is required.