Glasses are a time-tested solution for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, but they are cumbersome and limit your field of vision.
Contact lenses provide correction for refractive errors without compromising your peripheral vision or your lifestyle.
Why choose contact lenses?
Contact Lenses Provide Several Distinct Advantages over Glasses
Contacts give you a complete field of vision that is not confined to the boundaries of your glasses lenses.
No Fog, No Breaks
Unlike glasses, contacts do not become fogged or smudged. They allow you to play sports and participate in other activities without worrying about breaking your glasses.
If you do not like the way you look in glasses, contacts can allow you to look the way you want without sacrificing clear vision.
How Many People Wear Contact Lenses?
The Most Common Reason Patients Wear Contacts
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), most patients who wear contact lenses are nearsighted. The AOA also estimates that nearsightedness affects approximately 30 percent of Americans.
Factors That Could Undermine Your Ability to Wear Contact Lenses
Dry Eye SyndromeDry eye syndrome is an extremely common condition that causes insufficient or poor quality tears. Because healthy tears keep contact lenses moist, a lack of tears can make your eyes feel dry, scratchy, and uncomfortable, making it difficult to wear contact lenses for more than a few hours.
BlepharitisBlepharitis is an eyelid inflammation, common in patients with oily skin. Because inflammation can make contact lenses fit poorly, blepharitis should be treated by a doctor prior to wearing contact lenses.
AllergiesAllergies can also make wearing contact lenses difficult or uncomfortable. The resulting swelling of blood vessels in the eyes can make them feel itchy or red.
Young AgeBecause contact lenses require a high level of care and maintenance, they may not be well-suited for young patients or those who are unable to properly care for contact lenses.
The Cost of Contact Lenses Varies from Patient to Patient
Not counting the amount of coverage your insurance plan provides, an eye exam and fitting can cost from $50 to $300. Contact lenses and solution can cost from about $250 to more than $400 per year. While there are prescription eyeglasses that cost less, features such as progressive lenses, anti-glare protection, and designer frames can easily push the price to $800 and beyond. Meanwhile, LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery can cost more than $2,000 per eye, and touch-ups may be required as you age.
Advancements in Eye Exams and Contact Lens Technology Ensure the Best Fit
Screening: Eye doctors must accurately measure the curvature of your cornea with a keratometer. Some eye doctors may also use a corneal topographer to gather accurate, digital measurements of the cornea.
Materials: Manufacturers are constantly refining contact lenses to make them more comfortable. Each brand of contact lenses has designed their own unique materials to provide function and comfort in equal measure.
The Typical Timeline for Receiving Contact Lenses
Maintaining a Proper Routine
Contact lenses may take some getting used to. If you are wearing contact lenses for the first time, it can be especially difficult to insert them or take them out, but this should become easier over the next few weeks.
To prevent problems with your contact lenses, be sure to only wear them as prescribed and remove them every night before going to bed.
If you opt for daily contact lenses, throw them away every night. If you select extended wear contact lenses, you will need to store them in fresh contact solution every night and clean them as directed by your doctor.
Because they put your eyes in direct contact with your hands, contact lenses also increase the risk of bacterial infection. To reduce your risk of complications, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before inserting or removing your lenses.
When You Choose Contacts, The Results Can Be Life-Changing
One of the great benefits of contact lenses is that they can immediately improve your vision without any need for healing or recovery.
If you previously wore eyeglasses, contact lenses can dramatically improve your quality of life by allowing you to participate in sports and other activities without glasses getting in the way. You can also show off your natural features without frames blocking your eyes.
With Proper Care, Contact Lenses Are Safe and Effective
"Contact lenses prescribed by a licensed doctor of optometry are worn safely and comfortably by millions of people worldwide and have a long history of providing wearers with a safe and effective form of vision correction. While contact lenses provide many vision benefits, they are not risk-free. Your doctor of optometry can help you better understand how to get the full benefits of your contact lenses and reduce your chances of developing problems." American Optometric Association
Contacts Versus LASIK, PRK, and Glasses
Glasses are the most accessible alternative to contacts, but they are often prone to slipping, fogging, smudging, or breaking. Those who feel strongly about not having to wear glasses can also consider LASIK or PRK. However, it is important to remember that these procedures can carry a risk of over-correction or under-correction, dry eye syndrome, and the introduction of glare, halos, and compromised night vision.
If glasses are making it difficult to enjoy the activities you love, making you feel self-conscious, or affecting your day-to-day life due to a lack of peripheral vision, speak with your doctor today about contacts.