What Contact Lenses are Right for You?
Finding the right contact lenses depends on a number of factors, such as why you want new contact, the best types for your eyes, and your visual needs. Your optometrist can perform an exam and determine what will work best for you so that you can make an informed choice for your vision. However, it is good to be prepared for the appointment so you can effectively weigh your options.
Soft vs. Gas-Permeable Lenses
One decision that must be made is whether to go with soft or gas-permeable contacts. Soft lenses are made from a combination of oxygen and water. The percentage of water allows oxygen to pass through to the eye, which makes wearing the contact more comfortable.
Many soft lenses can be thrown away after a certain period and replaced with a new pair. Frequent replacement reduces the risk of eye infections, more comfort, and less maintenance. However, soft lenses that are thrown away daily, weekly, ever two weeks, or monthly can be costlier than soft lenses that are worn annually.
Annual soft lenses are typically custom made for the wearer. They are more comfortable than gas-permeable lenses that are made of silicone. Not as much oxygen is able to pass through silicone, but they are ideal for those suffering from astigmatism. Vision tends to be clearer through a gas-permeable lens than a soft lens. Toric lenses also work well for people with astigmatism.
Another type of lens is the bifocal lens that helps you when you can no longer focus up close. Bifocal lenses are available in gas-permeable and soft.
Last is the monovision lens. These lenses are needed when one eye can see up close and the other can see far away. Your optometrist can come up with a contact lens combination that will help your eyes work together better if you are suffering from monovision.
Situations that Warrant Contacts
When determining which contact lens type is right for you, it’s good to evaluate your lifestyle and needs to see how they coincide with different types. For instance:
- You may want to wear your lenses continuously, which will warrant the use of extended wear. These lenses don’t necessarily have to be removed before sleep but will have to be thrown away and replaced after a certain amount of time.
- If you need to see sharper with gas-permeable lenses but can’t wear them comfortably, there are hybrid lenses available to give better comfort and vision.
- If you only want to occasionally wear contact lenses for physical activity and wear eyeglasses the rest of the time, soft lenses will work best for you.
- If you’re 40 years of age or older, you may not want to have to wear reading glasses. In this case, bifocal or multifocal lenses may serve you well.
You can take this information and give yourself an idea of what you may or may not want for your eyes. However, your contact lens exam and fitting will determine what will work best for you.
This article is for reference only. Please consult with your optometrist for a professional recommendation.