Making a decision isn’t always clear. Here’s what to consider.
Mar 30, 2018
What Contact Lenses Are Right For You?
When it comes to selecting which type of contact lenses will work best for you, the answer isn’t always as clear as the vision you hope to have! With so many options to consider, making a decision can be daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Ask These Questions
Before you review the many options available, ask yourself these questions:
How often will I wear contact lenses?
How sharp do I want my vision to be?
Would I want to wear my contact lenses overnight?
Do I want to change my eye color?
Do I have astigmatism?
Do I wear bifocals?
Do I have dry eye or allergies?
Am I disciplined enough to properly care for my contact lenses?
Understand Your Options
Next, take some time to learn about the different types of contact lenses and why you might consider one verses the other.
There are two basic types of contact lenses: hard or soft. Of the estimated 45 million Americans who wear contact lenses, 90% of adults wear soft lenses1, making them the more popular choice. Hard lenses are also known as “gas permeable contact lenses,” which are rigid lenses made of durable plastic that transmits oxygen.2 Because they are rigid, they retain their shape when you blink, and therefore can provide sharper vision than soft lenses.2 However, because they require an adjustment period to get used to, many people choose soft lenses for their comfort and convenice.2
After you’ve chosen between hard and soft lenses, there are many categories to consider:
Toric Contact Lenses The term "toric contact lenses" usually describes specially designed soft contact lenses that correct astigmatism.3
Bifocal or Multifocal Lenses These types of lenses can correct the normal age-related decline in near vision called presbyopia – a condition that often occurs after 40 years of age.4
Extended Wear Lenses These can be worn overnight for a few days or weeks at a time, between cleanings or replacement. However, these types of lenses are recommended less frequently, since there is a greater risk of infection with extended overnight wear of lenses.5
Daily Wear Daily wear contact lenses that must be removed nightly.
Disposable Wear Lenses These types of lenses are removed nightly and replaced on a daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. “Disposable” doesn't always mean single-use.
Daily Disposable Daily disposable contact lenses are contact lenses you only wear once. You put them on in the morning, and simply throw them away at night. Every day starts with a fresh, clean, new pair.
Weekly/Monthly Replacement Lenses Disposable lenses that are worn daily, then cleaned overnight, and replaced on a weekly or monthly basis, according to your eye care professional’s recommendation.
Colored Lenses These types of lenses can change the color of your eye, the appearance of your eye, or both. They can be a lot of fun, but use caution – contact lenses are prescription medical devices, so you shouldn’t use them without first consulting your eye care professional.6
Trust The Experts
Once you’re armed with this knowledge, perhaps the most important step in your quest to find the perfect contact lenses for you is to see your eye care professional for a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens consultation. Your eye care professional is the best resource to aid in making a decision.
1 American Optometric Association Facts and Stats [Accessed March 21, 2018]