Contact Lens Basics

"Is Contacts Right For Me?"- Some Basic Tips That Help You Decide


The decision to wear contacts is not one to take lightly. There are several factors you should take into consideration when trying to decide if contacts are right for you. These factors include lifestyle, finances, personal hygiene, health, corneal curvature, astigmatism, previous over-wear and frequency of use.

When you are considering contacts, you should first take a look at your lifestyle and how contact lenses will fit in it. Your sight correction requirements are often determined by your lifestyle. If you work in an office and sit in front of a computer all day, glasses may be the best choice for you. Frequent computer use causes eyestrain, which would not be conducive to wearing contacts. Flying in airplanes is another activity that can dry out contact lenses, so if you are a frequent flyer, you may want to wear glasses instead.

If you play sports often, you may find that contacts are beneficial since they won’t be in the way or get damaged like glasses would. Some sports require excellent peripheral vision, and contact lenses would fit the bill for that situation. Contacts cover the whole eye, thus giving an all around better visible field.

Some people prefer to wear contact lenses in social situations only. The best option here would be disposable lenses since they require less maintenance. Those who work with computers or who fly often may want to consider disposable lenses for social situations if they still would like to wear contacts at times.

Contacts are more expensive than glasses. On average, they need to be replaced more often than a pair of glasses. You should also consider the cost of the maintenance products, such as cleaning, soaking, and disinfecting solutions. If your personal finances are a bit stretched already, contact lenses may not be the best choice for you. You can also check with your employer to see if you can receive vision insurance. Vision insurance will greatly reduce your out of pocket spending on contacts.

Personal hygiene is important when considering contacts. If you work at a job that keeps your fingers and nails dirty, you may not be able to keep them clean enough for contacts. Smoking can also inhibit how clean you can keep your contacts. Contact lenses need to be handled with clean hands as this keeps them free from debris and also helps to prevent germs spreading to the eyes.

Your overall health is another point to think about. If you are a generally healthy person, then contacts may be right for you. Your eyes need to be in good health as well. It is necessary to maintain your good health once you start wearing contacts. If you suffer from frequent eye infections, chronic dry eye, or suffer from allergies, your eye care professional may not recommend contacts as the best choice for you. Contacts would only aggravate these conditions more and contacts tend to feel less comfortable to people with these conditions.

If you have previously over-worn contact lenses, that is to say, you have occasionally worn them overnight, your eye care professional may recommend a different type of contacts for you. Extended wear contact lenses entered the market in 1999 and are designed to be worn continuously for several days at a time. These contacts allow more oxygen to reach they eye than other contact types. It is important to remember to give your eyes a break occasionally and wear your glasses for a day.

How often you plan on wearing your contacts will determine which type of contacts your eye care professional will recommend for you. If you plan to wear them daily and do not mind taking them out at night to clean them, then you would be a candidate for rigid gas permeable contacts or soft contacts. If you want them only for social occasions, or for when you play sports, you will most likely need daily disposable lenses. Planning on going on a two week hiking trip in the mountains? You may want to consider extended wear contacts as these require the least amount of maintenance.

Every person and situation is unique, and only you can determine if contact lenses are right for you. Try talking to family or friends who wear, or who have previously worn, contacts and see what advice they give you. Your eye care professional will also help you decide what is right for you, and will have good advice on how to keep your eyes healthy if you do decide to wear contacts.