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How to Choose Contact Lenses You’ll Love

5 people thinking of their choices between glasses and contact lenses

Choosing the best contact lenses for your needs depends on many factors. You don’t need to know how to choose contact lenses that fit. Your optometrist looks after the fitting. But you may still want some guidance.

The first step is talking to your eye doctor. They’ll be able to diagnose eye refractive errors and write the correct prescription. Let’s learn more about contact lenses and how they can improve your visual acuity.

Contact Lens Variations

To find the best brand of contact lenses, advice from professionals is paramount. One brand can feel uncomfortable while another can be the perfect fit. Your optometrist can point you in the right direction. They can prescribe the best type of lens for your daily needs. They can also instruct you on how to care for contact lenses and what to avoid.

But first things first. You'll need to understand the difference between the many types of lenses on the market today.

Your most basic choice is between hard or soft contact lenses. The soft variety is the most commonly worn type of contact lenses. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are mostly worn by people that suffer from astigmatism.

how to choose contact lenses based on different types of lens

Some of the most common contact lens variations include:

1. Day-to-Day Wear

Day-to-day lenses are the most inexpensive of all contact lens types. You can wear them all day long but you have to take them out and disinfect them each night. There is a lot more maintenance involved with this type of lenses. Also, you will need to always have contact lens solution and a case handy.

2. Extended Wear

You can wear these overnight. But, you must remove them at least once a week for cleaning and disinfecting. Extended wear contacts can be worn continuously for anything from 7 days to 30 days. Of course, you'll do well to take them out every few days, disinfect and clean their case.

3. Disposable

You can wear dailies. Daily contact lenses can be thrown out at the end of the day. These are a low maintenance form of lenses. Still, they can be more expensive as you will need a new pair each day. You’ll have to weigh convenience over price. Weekly or monthly disposables work much the same as day-to-day lenses. They’re the ideal option for people who suffer from severe allergies.

4. Toric

Toric lenses are hard contact lenses. They correct astigmatism, a condition which causes blurred vision or an irregular shaped cornea. Toric lenses are a bit more expensive because they are not for everyone.

5. Multifocal

types of eye conditions with eye and lens

These types of lenses are also very specific, reserved for people who suffer from farsightedness. In other words, they struggle to focus on objects close up, while they can see objects further away. Most people would use bifocal glasses to correct this issue. But, today multifocal contact lenses work well for this condition too. Still, multifocal lenses can be tricky. Some people cannot handle the blurriness or struggle to filter out visual distractions.

How to Choose Contact Lenses: What to Consider

woman shrugging shoulders and palms up in question

An eye doctor will generally ask you to consider some of the following before choosing contact lenses that suit you:

1. How Often Do You Plan on Wearing Contacts?

One of the most basic considerations is how often you plan on switching from glasses to contacts. Will you wear them only on weekends, every day or only on special occasions? The optometrist will most likely prescribe soft contact lenses. You can wear these as often as you please. By comparison, you’ll need to wear hard contacts daily to become comfortable with them.

2. How Sharp Do You Want Your Vision to Be?

Hard contact lenses, also known as rigid gas permeable contact lenses, can offer a sharper vision. They are best suited for people with astigmatism. Of course, people that do not have this condition can also wear them. Try out a variety of soft and hard lenses to see which ones fit best. Your optometrist may have samples you can try in their office.

3. Will You Be Able to Care for Your Contacts Properly?

It’s important to follow the care instructions associated with your lenses. This will help you avoid eye infections and corneal ulcers. Your doctor will suggest the right type of contact lens solution and cleaning schedule for you to follow.

Disposable contact lenses have a reduced risk for eye infections. You’ll still need to clean them and throw them out when the expiry date comes around. This is particularly important for people who have extended wear lenses.

4. Do You Prefer Overnight or Disposable Contact Lenses?

If the thought of having to remove your contact lenses every night puts you off, then extended wear contact lenses could be for you. Health Canada has approved some brands of contact lenses for overnight wear as they allow for improved amounts of oxygen to pass through them.

But, it's important to first consult with your eye doctor about whether your eyes can tolerate the use of extended wear contacts.

5. Do You Use Bifocal Glasses?

woman wearing glasses and computer in the background

Many people over the age of 40 require the use of glasses to assist with either near or far-sightedness. This is where bifocal glasses have played an important role for years now. Yet, multifocal contact lenses have made their way to market and are being used to replace bifocal glasses.

Another option is monovision contact lenses. This means that you use one contact lens for good vision and the other for nearsightedness. Many people use monovision contact lenses as an alternative to bifocal glasses or multifocal lenses.

6. Can You Afford the Cost of Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses can be expensive. This is largely dependent on the brand. You'll need to be able to afford regular contact lens replacement and the solution needed to keep them clean and disinfected.

7. Do You Suffer From Chronic Allergies?

Whether you suffer from dry eyes or persistent allergies, there's a type of contacts out there for you. You'll need to discuss these conditions with your eye doctor before buying a certain lens brand. Disposable daily contacts are well suited for those with dry eyes or allergies. These will limit irritants and help keep infections away from your eyes.

Find Your Perfect Lens

Looking for advice and guidance on how to choose contact lenses that won't irritate your eyes? Your eye care professional can help guide you to the right contacts based on your specific needs and lifestyle. It may take some trial and error but you should eventually find what works best for you with the help of your eye doctor.

Whether you're looking for daily, weekly or monthly lenses, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

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