Choosing Contacts

You’ve come to an important crossroads: should you get contacts or not? There are many factors to consider.

Types of Contacts

There are multiple types of contacts. Soft contact lenses are comfortable and easy to wear full time, or just occasionally. There is little to no adjustment period with these lenses. You can also get daily contacts, lenses that you throw away at the end of each day, in this form. This eliminates the need to clean your contacts. The downside to soft lenses is that they do not offer the sharpest vision.

Rigid gas permeable contact lenses, also called RGP or GP lenses, on the other hand, must be worn daily to be comfortable. They usually require a 1-2 week adjustment period before they feel completely comfortable on the eye, as they are rigid. They provide the sharpest vision you can achieve with contacts, and can help correct astigmatisms. They do not come in a daily disposable form.

If you want the clarity of the RGP lenses but the comfort of the soft lenses, you can get hybrid lenses, which have rigid centers for clear vision, but a “skirt” of soft lens to make the contact comfortable. The downside of hybrid lenses is the price, as they can be more expensive than both regular soft and RGP lenses.

Things to Consider

You need to consider what type of contacts you want, if you prefer the daily soft lenses that require no care, or the RGP or hybrid lenses, which require an adjustment period and more care but give you clearer vision. If you decide against daily lenses and decide to get lenses that you will be wearing daily for some interval of time, you must consider the cleaning process. You must clean and disinfect the lenses daily, or you run the risk of harming your eyes through the buildup of dust, allergens, and debris on the lenses. Cleaning is fairly straightforward, and usually all you need is the right cleaning solution and a case for the lenses. If your teen or child wants contacts, you must consider their responsibility, as caring for the lenses correctly is very important. It is also important to NEVER try on someone else’s contacts or let them use yours. Doing so can cause eye infections and spread of disease.

If you are interested in getting contacts for extended wear – that is, overnight wear, talk to your doctor. Only certain contacts are designed for extended wear, and most people’s eyes can’t handle them. Whether or not the lenses are meant for it, you shouldn’t always wear your contacts overnight or for extended periods of time, as it deprives your eyes of oxygen and cause serious damage to the cornea. Talk to your doctor about whether or not you are a good candidate for extended wear contact lenses.

Do you have dry eyes or allergies that affect your eyes? If so, contacts might not be a good idea, period. This is another issue to discuss with your doctor. He or she can give you a clearer idea of whether contact lenses are a good choice for you, and point you towards options that will fit your needs.

Contact lenses are a wonderful way to enjoy clearer vision without glasses. While they don’t completely eliminate of your need for glasses, they can give you a nice break from your frames. If you want to get contact lenses, consider the information above and talk to your doctor about your options. Good Looks Eyewear in Cranberry and Pittsburgh offers eye exams to assess your needs and many different contact options to fill them! Come by for a check up and fitting.