Making the best possible choice regarding what contacts to purchase is not necessarily an easy process. What are the factors that go into the decision-making process when you need glasses and you choose to go with contacts?
Cost and your prescription will always be factors in this decision, but what we choose to use as the other determining factors will go a long way in deciding what contacts are best for you. This is not a decision you should make on your own. Your ophthalmologist or optometrist should be your partner in this process. He can help you choose the best contacts for you.
What are the considerations when you choose new contacts either for the first time or with a new prescription? First you must make an appointment with your local optometrist for a contact lens prescription.Your prescription will take into account the sharpness of your vision and your refractive error.
When Will You Wear Contacts?
How often will you wear your contacts and how much can your eyes tolerate. This varies from person to person. Are you planning to wear your contacts 24/7, or will you rotate them with eyeglasses? Some people only wear contacts to work or for special occasions, and then wear their eyeglasses at all other times.
How Often Will You Wear Contacts?
How often you wear your contacts impacts the type of contacts you can wear. Most people who like to wear them all the time need to choose soft contact lenses. This is especially true if you plan to sleep in your contacts. Contacts that you sleep in must allow a lot of oxygen to pass through the contact and are FDA approved to wear all night.
Do You Have Astigmatism or Other Eye Health Issues?
On the other hand, if you do have issues with the sharpness of vision or if you have astigmatism you will need rigid, gas permeable contact lenses. You have to wear the RGP lenses consistently every day to break them in and be comfortable wearing them. These types of contact lenses are not worn overnight or slept in. Not everyone’s eyes can tolerate overnight contact use.
Do You Want to Change Your Eye Color?
Are you getting contact lenses to change your eye color? Many people use contact lenses as accessories and change their eye color to match their outfits, situations or just a whim. These colored lenses are soft, special effect lenses and have been used in the movies for many years. Even these lenses are a medical device and require a prescription to purchase.
How Much Care Can You Offer?
How much care can you give to your contact lenses? This is a critical question and if you are not prepared to care for your lenses properly, you should stick with glasses. Some issues related to contact lenses not properly cared for include corneal ulcers, regular eye infections, fungal eye infections, and even blindness (although rare).
Do You Need Multifocal Contact Lenses?
Many people over the age of are both far and nearsighted and require bifocals. For many years, you could not wear contact lenses if you needed bifocals. Now there are multifocal contact lenses available today. You can also have two different types of contacts (a different one for each eye).
Do You Want Daily Disposable Contact Lenses?
There are also disposable contact lenses that are worn for one day at a time. This might eliminate the potential for infections and allergic reactions.
How Much Can You Afford?
Many people want contacts because they believe they are cheaper than eyeglasses. This depends on the type of contacts you want and whether you will also buy glasses. It also depends on whether you have vision coverage under your health insurance. Talk to your optometrist to discuss your financial options.
Choosing the best contacts for you is an individualized process. Why do you need them, why do want them, can you afford them, and can you take care of them?