Contact Lenses: A Great Choice To Correct Your Vision
What Exactly Is A Contact Lens?
Contact lenses have been available since the early 1970's. They are small discs of plastic and water that float on a layer of tears on your eye. When they fist came out, they were not the most comfortable, nor were they as healthy as the contact lenses we have today.
How Do Contact Lenses Work?
There are a number of different types of contacts. Depending on your prescription, you can get lenses to correct presbyopia, astigmatism, near sighted ness, farsightedness, and a combination of all these vision problems. One thing contact lenses do not correct is prism. Contacts work the same way eyeglasses do, they bend the light coming into your eye so it focuses properly on the retina on the back of your eye.
Yes, You Do Need Glasses As Well As Contacts
Many people cannot stand the thought of wearing glasses. Usually the reason is that they don't think they look good in glasses, and glasses are very prominent on there face. Some people have other reasons, like comfort, or visual acuity concerns. However, if your main vision correction method is contact lenses, you must also have a pair of backup eyeglasses.
Reasons why you can't wear contacts all the time:
- If you run out of disposable contacts and forgot to order more
- You have an eye infection
- Your eyes feel dry and uncomfortable
- You accidentally spilled/ sprayed something of questionable toxicity into your eyes
- You have to get up in the middle of the night for some reason (mom with small kids, emergency personnel, an emergency situation at home)
There are so many options for backup glasses that don't have to be expensive. See our page on backup eyeglasses here.
Types Of Contacts Available
There are many different types of lenses, depending on what your vision problem is.
- Nearsighted, or farsighted, with no other complications
- Presbyopia, or that dreaded time when you reach your 40's and your arms aren't long enough any more
- Daily use contacts that you discard every day you wear them, and don't have to worry about cleaning or disinfecting them
- Longer use contacts that last up to a year if you are really on a budget but still like to wear contact lenses
- A combination of astigmatism and presbyopia
- Contact lenses with very high oxygen transmissibility that you can wear longer, even overnight, for up to 30 days
- Coloured cosmetic contacts with prescription included
Benefits & Drawbacks
Contact lenses have a lot of benefits, and a few drawbacks. Some of the drawbacks may be a deal breaker for some people though.
- Don't have to worry about how you look with glasses on
- Better peripheral (side) vision; don't see glasses in your way
- More natural vision since the lens is directly on your eye
- Most sports are much easier to participate in, and less danger of injury if hit in the face with a ball
- Cost: more expensive than eyeglasses
- Hygiene: the necessity of cleaning and disinfecting every day you wear them
- Eye health: possibility of getting an eye infection
- Comfort: sometimes contact lenses just aren't comfortable
- Convenience: contact lenses must be continually reordered, and if your prescription has expired you will probably have to get an eye exam and possibly refitted
- Vision: for some, vision may be compromised from what it would be with glasses. Examples being those with presbyopia or high astigmatism.
- Eye Sensitivity: some people just can't touch their eyes to put the lenses in and out
Should Contact Lenses Be Purchased In Store Or Online?
There are benefits and drawbacks, again, for buying contacts online and in store. One big difference with contact lenses is that you will have to be fitted in store or in the optometrist office before ordering contacts online. There will be a fee for this. Please DO NOT just take your eyeglasses prescription and use it to order contact lenses online. Contact lens fitters go through a lot of training to determine what the right type of lens is for you. Yes, you might get lucky and order the right lenses. But you have just as good (or more) chance of either ordering the wrong prescription, the wrong base curve, the wrong type of lens, or the wrong material for yourself. Why take the chance? It does take some time to be properly fitted, as you will have to try some lenses and then return for a follow-up exam on a different day. See our page on contact lens fittings here.
Benefits of In Store Contact Lens Purchase
- You can get a trial pair of contacts, and possibly a sample of solution and/or eye drops for moisture
- You get the expertise of a contact lens fitter with much experience to answer your questions
- If they have your contact lenses in stock, you can have them right away
- Often they will have some really good deals
- You don't have to pay for shipping
Benefits of Online Contact Lens Purchase
- You can order from the comfort of your own home
- There are often very good specials, especially if buying a years supply of contact lenses
- Very convenient
- You don't have to pay for gas to get to the store, or take the time to get there
Return To Vision Correction From Contact Lenses