There are many reasons a patient might want to make the switch from glasses to contact lenses. Vision usually gets progressively worse, forcing a patient to wear glasses full time when they previously wore them only when necessary.
Stronger prescriptions are often more cumbersome with thicker heavier lenses. As children grow older, they become more responsible and can consider wearing contacts for the first time. More active lifestyles can mean glasses are easily lost or broken. In the past, contacts were difficult to use, expensive, and easily destroyed. Today's advancements in the technology of contact lenses have eliminated many problems. There are a variety of styles and brands available to suit many different needs. Now, contacts are widely available to almost any person interested in wearing them.
Types of Contact Lenses
There are many different types of contact lenses. Contacts can vary in material, style, shape, and personal comfort. When a patient is fitted for contacts, the eye doctor usually asks several questions to help determine which contact lenses will best meet their needs. The main types of categories are hard lenses and soft lenses. These categories also have sub-sections.
Hard Lenses – The most common type of hard contact lenses are rigid gas-permeable lenses. Patients may choose them for the following reasons.
Soft Lenses- Most people choose to wear soft contact lenses. There are different types to choose from.
- Daily wear – Worn only when you are awake, daily wear contact lenses are disposable. Some are designed to be worn only once and thrown away. Others are used for longer periods of time.
- Extended wear- These contacts can be worn day and night for up to a week.
- Toric- These lenses can correct astigmatism and are available in daily and extended versions.
Benefits of Contact Lenses
There are many benefits to wearing contact lenses instead of glasses:
- They don't get in the way during play or exercise. Glasses can be knocked off or broken during sports or active play. Contacts are preferred for patients with active lifestyles.
- Contacts don't fog up in cold weather like glasses do. Glasses often fog up in the winter months. Contacts eliminate the problem.
- They curve to the shape of the eyeball, giving stronger peripheral vision. Getting the best vision from glasses requires the wearer to look directly at an object. The curved shape of contacts allows more natural vision.
- They'll never clash with clothes. Most patients can only afford glasses in one color. Contacts have no frames to clash with the color of clothing.
- Contacts are available in different shades to try out a new eye color. Patients who wish for a different eye color can try it with contacts.
- Contacts don't have frames to obstruct vision. Glasses wearers can always see frames at the edge of their vision. Contacts have no pesky frames or reflections.
- Contact wearers can wear sunglasses. Glasses wearers are restricted to prescription sunglasses. Contact wearers can wear any style of sunglasses.
- Applying makeup is easier. Glasses wearers must remove glasses to apply eye makeup. This can be difficult with limited vision.
Popular Brands of Contact Lenses
Patients choose different brands for many reasons. Often, the decision is based on comfort level. Some of the most popular brands eliminate common problems experienced by contact wearers.
- Acuvue- Acuvue is one of the most popular brands available. They are manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and are well known for all-day comfort. Acuvue has many popular styles including Acuvue Oasys and Acuvue Moist.
- Air Optix - Created by Ciba Vision, Air Optix contacts are widely known for the ability for oxygen to pass through the lens, increasing comfort and eye health.
- Dailies - Dailies contacts, manufactured by Ciba Vision, are known for many types of one-day wear styles. The Aqua Release technology improves eye moisture.
- Softlens - Softlens, manufactured by Bausch and Lomb, are designed with thin material for superior breathability and deposit resistance.
- Biofinity- Biofinity lenses, manufactured by Coopervision, are known for superior comfort. They are made for weekly wear and allow a natural resistance to dry eye.
Contact lens options should always be discussed with a doctor, but researching different choices helps to prepare for an appointment.
Contact lenses allow many different choices for every eye shape and vision problem. Costs are comparable to glasses and easy to keep in stock. There has never been a better time to give contacts a try.