Five Steps to Choosing the Right Contact Lenses
1) Schedule an Eye Exam
The first step to choosing your contact lenses is to schedule an eye exam. You will not be able to get the right contacts until you know your prescription.
If it has been a while or several years since your last exam, there is a good chance your prescription will need to be adjusted. Comprehensive eye tests for health and visual concerns, including screenings for youngsters and the elderly, are included in our eye exams.
2) Understand Your Vision Prescription
Once you have your prescription, understanding it will be key to determining what contact lenses are best for you. Your vision concerns could include:
- Nearsightedness: Myopia (nearsightedness) means you can clear up close, but things can become hazy when they are far away.
- Farsightedness: Hyperopia (farsightedness) means you can see well far away, but things up close can be difficult to decipher.
- Astigmatism: can make what you see blurry at every distance. It can also bend images. It happens when your cornea creates more than one focal point.
- Presbyopia: Presbyopia is age-related loss of close-up vision, often resulting in the need for reading glasses.
- Corneal Irregularities: This is often used to describe what happens when a person begins to have changes on the front of the eye where the contact lenses sit that cause distorted vision.
Your specific vision issues will factor into what kind of contact lenses will work best for you.
3) Know the Difference Between Soft Lenses and Rigid Lenses
Your contact lenses will be either rigid or soft. Here are the key differences.
Hard or Rigid Contact Lenses
For most vision disorders, rigid or hard contact lenses provide clear, crisp vision. They are usually more breathable than soft contact lenses, lowering the risk of infection. The majority of hard contact lenses must be removed at night for cleaning and disinfection; however, others can be worn for an extended period of time.
Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are the most common type of contact lenses. They are more comfortable to use than stiff lenses, and it is easier to make the adjustment to them from glasses. The ultimate choice between these two types of lenses will come down to your preference and your optometrist’s recommendation.
4) Know the Differences Between Daily, Extended-Use, and Disposable Lenses
You need to know the differences between daily, extended, and disposable lenses.
- Daily Wear Soft Lenses: The least expensive choice is soft daily wear lenses. These lenses are worn during the day and then removed at night to be cleaned and disinfected. The length of time you can wear a single pair of daily wear lenses varies depending on the manufacturer.
- Extended Wear Soft Contact Lenses: You can wear extended wear soft contact lenses when sleeping; most must be removed at least once a week for cleaning and disinfecting but there are a few that are approved to leave in up to 30 days. It is important to note, however, that nighttime use raises the risk of eye infections, so many discourage their use.
- Disposable Lenses: Compared to other soft contact lenses, disposable lenses are the safest to wear. The lenses can be worn during the day and removed at night. You can use them for the recommended amount of time, such as daily, bi-weekly, or monthly, and then throw them away. The shorter the wearing cycle, the greater the safety and comfort level is.
5) Take Care of Your Eyes and Contacts
Once you have made your choice, you must commit to taking care of your contact lenses (unless you are using daily disposable lenses). For reusable lenses, it is vital to be vigilant about taking them out as prescribed, cleaning, and disinfecting them.
Additionally, it is important to take care of your eyes. If you have allergies or experience dry eyes, you may need to switch from contacts to glasses during some seasons.
Asheville Vision and Wellness Can Help
Asheville Vision and Wellness has the experience and expertise to help you make the right choice regarding your contact lenses. Our office is located in South Asheville, off I-26; exit 37 is designed to meet both your eye health and your prescription needs.
Our contact lens technicians and doctors can take the confusion out of buying contacts. To find out more about how you can get help choosing the right contacts, reach out to our team to schedule an appointment.