With new advancements in medical science driving almost every sphere of our lives, we are spoilt for choice. The same is true for vision correction. If you are looking for a pair of contact lenses, chances are that you will be confused and unable to determine the right type of contact lenses for your needs. From daily wear to hard, soft, and multifocal and many more, there are plenty of choices to consider when looking for contacts that are best suited for your eyes.
The primary function of a contact lens is to correct vision. Therefore, the lens must fit your cornea perfectly and you must be able to wear it for a long duration of time without discomfort. Let’s try to make it easier for you to choose the right contact lenses by highlighting the different types to consider when shopping for contacts. However, remember to exercise caution and care when making the choice.
How to Choose The Right Contact Lenses
Nine out of ten Brits opt for soft contact lenses. Only one in ten opt for RGP or rigid gas-permeable lenses. However, if you have astigmatism or a known medical condition that leads to protein deposits on the lenses, you should opt for hard lenses. So, after you have decided between soft or hard lenses, you’ll need to choose lenses based on their vision correction ability and the frequency of replacement.
Daily Wear Lenses: Most common and the least expensive choice, daily contacts need to be worn every morning and removed every night, disinfected and replaced as per a pre-set schedule. Frequency of replacement depends on the type and brand and can range from 2 weeks to once every 3 months.
Extended Wear Lenses: As the name suggests, you can wear this type of contacts even at night. However, you will need to remove them at least once every week for a thorough cleaning and disinfection schedule. There has been some controversy regarding the use of extended wear contact lenses, as many eye professionals discourage their use. According to them, contact lenses must be removed at night, even if they are extended wear, as sleeping with contacts reduces the amount of oxygen available to the eyes, making them susceptible to corneal infection. You are advised to seek medical help, before purchasing extended wear lenses.
Daily Disposable Contact Lenses: These are lenses that belong to the ‘wear-and-throw’ category. You need to throw away daily disposables every day and that’s why there is no need of cleaning and disinfection. This is also the reason why these lenses are more expensive, though more convenient. You also have the option of weekly and monthly disposable lenses, which need to be replaced per week or month and thus, require regular care and maintenance. If you have allergies etc, that lead to protein deposits from your tear film, these lenses are the best bet.
Toric Contact Lenses: If you have astigmatism, an eye condition that causes blurred vision due to the irregular shape of the cornea or eye lens, then toric lenses are a must. Due to their special vision correction ability, these lenses are expensive than most other contacts.
Multifocal Contact Lenses: These lenses are used for vision correction in people suffering with ‘presbyopia,’ an age related condition that makes it difficult for people to focus on objects close to them. Multifocal lenses include bifocal, trifocal lenses etc. Also, monovision – a technique that uses one lens for distant correction in the main eye and near vision correction lens in the other eye – can also be used. However, speak with your eye professional before making any such decision.
Safety Tips When Buying Contact Lenses
Keep the following tips in mind when buying contact lenses:
1. Only buy lenses in properly sealed packages.
2. Exercise caution when ordering contacts online. Choose only reputable and credible eyewear stores like OneSpecs, who can confirm your doctor’s prescription as well offer the recommended brands.
3. Always match the information on your contact lens package to your prescription once your order is delivered.
4. Always use the latest eye prescription. Prescriptions older than a year are of no use.
5. If you want to buy cosmetic lenses, consult a good eye care professional before making the buy.
Finally, understand that while contact lenses are one of the best ways to correct your vision, choosing the right contact lenses requires careful consideration and precautions so that you can determine the contacts that are best suited for your eyes.
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