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I personally wear contacts every day so I’m happy to share this post by Diana Smith.
Regardless of the reason why you chose to wear contacts, it’s very important to be aware of your options. Today there are many different types of lenses, from disposable and extended-wear contacts to corrective and purely aesthetic lenses, and you might get overwhelmed when trying to make a decision, especially if you have no prior experience. Luckily, here’s a little guide on contact lenses that will help you choose the right contacts for your needs.
Soft or hard?
The first thing you should do is choose between the two main types of contacts: soft and hard. Most people (around 90% of contact wearers) opt for soft lenses. They are comfortable and allow your eye to “breathe”, which lowers the possibility of irritation. However, you can also opt for hard lenses (or rigid gas permeable lenses). They are a bit cheaper and last longer, but they can be uncomfortable during extended wear. The choice between soft and hard lenses usually depends on your preference, but if you have some medical conditions such as astigmatism, your best bet is hard lenses.
Choose your type
Now that you’ve made a decision between soft and hard lenses, it’s time to choose between other lens categories.
Daily wear type
Daily wear contacts have to be taken out every day, and regularly disinfected and replaced. They require daily disinfection and are replaced anywhere between two weeks and three months, depending on the brand. Many people opt for them because they are easy to find and are the cheapest kind.
Extended-wear contacts are designed to be suitable for extended and overnight wear, though, you still need to take them out occasionally for disinfection and cleaning. In addition, most professionals don’t advise overnight wear. Your eyes need to get oxygen in order to stay healthy, otherwise you’re risking infections, especially corneal infection. If you want to wear this kind of lenses, it’s best if you consult your optician for additional advice.
Disposable lenses require absolutely no maintenance and are replaced daily. However, since you need a new pair every day, they cost more. However, their convenience is worth their price. Disposable lenses, such as popular biomedics lenses, offer great performance, comfort, and are perfect for people with sensitive eyes and allergies. There are also lenses that can be replaced weekly or monthly, but they require regular care.
Lenses like toric contact lenses are used to correct astigmatism, or blurred vision because of an irregularly shaped lens inside your eye. They successfully correct this eye condition, but are quite expensive. There are also multifocal or bifocal contact lenses for people with presbyopia. Presbyopia is the inability of the eyes to bring objects that are close to you into focus, and it usually occurs in older people. Bifocal and multifocal lenses can sometimes correct this condition and provide the wearer with better vision.
You can use color contacts if you want to change your eye color. They can make brown eyes look blue or green, or further enhance your natural eye color. Some colored lenses are purely cosmetic, while others also correct your vision.
What else to consider?
You should also take your lifestyle into consideration when choosing your lenses. For instance, if you love to travel, you should opt for extended-wear or disposable contacts, while most athletes who spend a lot of time outside opt for soft lenses with added UV protection. Also, consider your budget, since not all types cost the same.
No matter what you do, don’t make a hasty decision. Take your time, shop around, try different types, and you’ll surely find the perfect contacts that fit your eye, your needs and your lifestyle.