Contact lenses have come a long way over the years and remain an effective alternative to wearing eyeglasses. The thin plastic lens fits over the cornea to correct vision problems. You can even wear contacts if you have presbyopia or need bifocals. To ensure your lenses are up to date, be sure to schedule a yearly exam with your eye specialist.
Whether you’re new to contact lenses or simply looking at your options, here are some tips for choosing the right lenses. Keep in mind that there is no “best” contact lens. You must consider your options based on your visual needs and other factors.
Soft Contact Lenses
Soft lenses are made from plastic mixed with water. The water content lets oxygen pass through the lens to your cornea, making them less dry and more comfortable. If you struggle with having dry, irritated eyes, soft contact lenses will probably be most tolerable. Plus, most soft lenses are disposable, so you can throw them away after wearing them. Fresh lenses decrease the risk of infection.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
Gas permeable or hard contacts are not as soft as soft lenses, so they generally don’t feel as comfortable either. However, people do get used to them over time. These lenses are made from silicone instead of plastic, and they allow plenty of oxygen to pass through to the cornea. They’re durable and easy to take care of and generally recommended for those with astigmatism.
As you get older, your eyes lose the ability to focus from far to near. You’ll notice this when it becomes difficult to read up close. If you have trouble with seeing near and far, your eye doctor may recommend bifocal contacts. These lenses are available in gas permeable and soft options.
Another option is monovision lenses, which is what eye doctors recommend when you don’t have the same prescription in both eyes. One lens is for seeing up close and the other is for far away. This does take some time to get used to because the eyes have to work separately – not together.
Toric lenses are for people with astigmatism. They have two powers in one lens: one power corrects astigmatism and the other corrects nearsightedness or farsightedness. Torics are made from the same material as other contacts, but the difference is that they work with your eyeball. This allows them to rotate to the proper orientation on the lens.
Taking some time to discuss your options with your retinal specialist ensures you’ll be happy with your contact lenses. If you work long hours or have a messy job, be sure to ask about daily disposables and extended wear lenses as well. To discuss your options for improving your vision, contact Empire Retina Consultants today.