First Time Wearing Contacts? Here's What to Expect
Glasses have been the traditional means to enhance vision, but contacts are becoming more popular. Approximately 3.5 million Canadians wear contacts for their vision correction needs.
There are many benefits to switching from glasses to contacts. Contact lenses give you freedom from bulky glasses that steal your peripheral vision. They are also ideal for sports enthusiasts and people on the go. Cool sunglasses, eye makeup and fun eye colour options will also be available to you.
It is important to know what to expect if this is your first time wearing contacts. We have you covered with some really helpful information!
There Is an Adjustment Period
You should expect that it will take between 10 to 12 days for your eyes to adjust to your contacts. After all, your eyes are very sensitive.
Contact lens technology has come a long way since the first contact lenses in 1887. Those early contacts were made of glass! Ouch! But today's silicone models are soft and painless.
You should expect to feel the edges of the lenses for the first few times that you put them in. But your eyes will soon become accustomed to the feeling of the contacts. Eventually you’ll be able to forget that they’re in place.
If you experience irritation, then it’s possible your lenses are inside-out or dirty. We’ll now consider how to put in your lenses properly so that you can avoid these problems.
You'll Need to Practice Putting Them In
Putting in contact lenses can seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Once you've practiced putting them in (and removing them) a few times, it should become second nature.
Here are some simple guidelines on the best way to put in contacts:
- Wash your hands well and dry them on a clean, lint-free towel. This will prevent you from transferring irritating dust or tiny particles to the lens.
- Remove the contact from the lens case with your index finger. Remember to be gentle. Contacts can tear easily.
- Make sure the contact is not inside-out. If the edges are flaring outwards, it's inside-out. Gently flip the lens into the correct position.
- Lubricate the lens with a drop of lens solution or eye drops.
- Hold open your eye with the index finger and thumb of your opposite hand.
- Stare straight ahead and insert the lens slowly and gently.
- Wait until you feel the lens rest against your eye. Then slowly blink a few times to make sure it's settled well on your eye.
- Repeat the previous steps for the other eye.
If the lens falls off your finger, or if you blink it out of your eye, use some solution to clean it again before the next attempt. It's okay if it takes you a few times to insert your lens. If it’s being especially troublesome, don’t get frustrated. Stop. Take a few breaths. Relax, and try again. After all, you’re practising to become perfect!
Wear Your Contacts as Recommended
You need to wear your contacts as instructed. Some are designed to be worn for a day, and then discarded. Others can be worn for several days with careful cleaning at daily intervals. Still others can be worn overnight.
Make sure you select your specific contacts based on what's healthiest for your eyes, and most convenient.
You should never wear your contact lenses for longer than their designed time frame or past their expiry dates.
Wearing your contacts for too long can have some dangerous side effects, such as:
- Red eyes: Wearing your contacts too long can reduce oxygen flow to your eyes. This makes your eyes red and irritated.
- Corneal abrasions: These can arise from dry eyes or irritations from contacts worn too long.
- Corneal ulcers: These are open sores on your corneas which occur when abrasions get infected with bacteria. If left untreated, corneal ulcers can require sight-saving corneal transplants.
You should give your eyes a break from your contacts each day. And pay attention to the instructions that will always come with your package of contact lenses.
Prices Will Vary
Contacts don't have to be expensive. The primary determinant in the cost of your contact lenses is the prescription. Some eye conditions are more unusual (or more progressed), so those contacts could be more expensive.
The prices of available contacts also vary based on brand, material, and special features. Your optometrist and lens provider will be able to guide you in selecting the best option for your eyes.
A Few Tips if This Is Your First Time Wearing Contacts
Here are our fail-safe tips to getting the most out of your contacts.
Keep Some Backups
Always have a spare pair of contacts, a carrying case, and a bottle of lens solution with you. That way, if you ever have an issue with your contacts, you can quickly resolve it.
If They Don't Feel Right, They Aren't Right!
Never ignore the feeling of irritating lenses. If they hurt, sting, or burn, that’s because something is wrong.
You need to take out the lenses, and inspect them. Check for rips or tears, and ensure that they are right-side-out. If there’s no damage, clean them thoroughly with fresh lens solution and re-insert them.
If you still experience any irritation, stop wearing your contacts and visit your optometrist.
Never Hesitate to Ask Questions
If you're not sure that you're wearing your contacts properly, or if you have any other questions, just ask.
You can contact your lens provider and your doctor to clear up any of your uncertainties.
There will be an adjustment period when it's your first time wearing contacts. But once you get past that initial adjustment, you will reap the full benefits of your contact lenses.
Don’t procrastinate. Say goodbye to bulky glasses, and hello to the freedom of contact lenses. Please feel free to contact us for more information today. We'll answer your questions and happily provide our recommendations.