Perfect, clear, and crisp 20/20 vision is something we all want. But unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Indeed, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, almost 55% of the population live with at least one long-term eye health condition.
For these people, contact lenses open up a world of possibilities, allowing them to live their lives without wearing glasses.
Should you find yourself in this position, we are here to help! We want to assist you in exploring the various contact lens options available to you, understand their benefits and decide whether they are the best way to manage your eye care.
From daily disposables to coloured lenses, we will cover it all. So please keep reading until the end to establish how you can most appropriately achieve the beauty of clear vision.
Understanding Contact Lenses
Before looking at the different types of contact lenses available, it’s worth taking a moment to understand what they are and how they work.
Contact lenses are thin ocular prosthetic devices placed directly on the eye’s surface to correct vision problems like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism and presbyopia. They work by bending light as it enters the eye by focusing it properly on the retina to improve vision.
There are two primary types of contact lenses – hard and soft. Hard contact lenses are made from durable and rigid materials that enable oxygen to flow through to your cornea. They provide excellent vision correction, are long-lasting and are suitable for various eye conditions. However, they may require a more extended adaptation period.
By contrast, soft contact lenses comprise a material that is both water-absorbing and flexible that conforms to the eye’s shape. They are comfortable, easy to adapt and come in various designs to cater to different vision problems.
This post will primarily focus on soft contact lenses – which are more commonly used and widely preferred by women.
The Benefits of Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses have numerous advantages, making them a popular choice for people who want clear and comfortable vision correction.
One of their main benefits is the exceptional comfort they provide. The flexible, water-absorbing material moulds to the eye’s contours, making them barely noticeable during wear. Soft lenses also offer a broad field of unobstructed vision, unlike glasses, ensuring you can see the world without any visual barriers.
Furthermore, they provide a natural and unaltered appearance, allowing your natural eye colour and facial features to take centre stage, enhancing your overall aesthetic and self-confidence. Soft lenses eliminate everyday annoyances like fogging in different weather conditions and glare in bright sunlight, ensuring consistent and sharp vision regardless of your surroundings. These lenses are particularly suitable for people with active lifestyles, as they stay securely in place during sports and other physical activities.
Additionally, they can effectively correct a wide range of vision problems, from nearsightedness to farsightedness, astigmatism, and even presbyopia, making them a versatile and practical choice for countless people seeking clear and comfortable vision.
Types of Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses come in various types. For instance, daily disposable contact lenses are incredibly convenient and hygienic, as they are worn for a single day and then discarded, eliminating the need for cleaning or maintenance. Alternatively, bi-weekly and monthly contact lenses are cost-effective options, which, although they require you to clean them regularly and store them, do tend to result in less waste than daily disposables.
Extended-wear contact lenses, (available in daily and monthly options), offer 24/7 vision correction, making them ideal for people with busy schedules. Meanwhile, toric contact lenses are tailored for individuals with astigmatism – ensuring precise correction by addressing the irregular corneal shape.
Other contact lens types include multifocal, designed for those with presbyopia, allowing clear vision at varying distances, and coloured contact lenses, which are popular for cosmetic purposes and come in a wide range of colours and styles to enhance or change your eye colour.
Overall, choosing a soft contact lens type, such as the contact lenses range at 1001 Optometry depends on your lifestyle, vision correction needs and preferences. But rest assured, there’s an ideal option for everyone.
Choosing the Right Contact Lenses
Choosing the right contact lenses is crucial and can significantly impact your eye care satisfaction, vision, and comfort. There are several factors you should consider to enable you to make an informed choice:
First and foremost, ensure that you have an up-to-date prescription from your eye care professional. Your prescription will specify the lens power, curvature, and any special features you need.
You should also consider your daily activities and lifestyle. For instance, daily disposable or extended-wear lenses may be more suitable if you have or plan to have a more active lifestyle. However, monthly lenses might be a better option if you have a more structured routine.
Comfort is another significant factor when selecting contact lenses. Some people may find daily disposables more comfortable because they are fresh and clean, while others may adapt well to bi-weekly or monthly lenses.
Likewise, your eye health is paramount, especially if you have sensitive or dry eyes. Therefore, you should discuss any related issues with your eye care professional, who can recommend specific lens materials or solutions that suit your needs. Similarly, your prescription and any specific vision correction requirements, such as astigmatism or presbyopia, will also significantly determine the type of contact lenses you should choose.
When selecting contact lenses, it’s also prudent to consider your budget. While daily disposables are convenient, they can be more expensive over time compared to monthly or bi-weekly lenses. Make sure to factor in the cost of cleaning solutions, storage cases, and routine eye exams.
Additionally, if you’re interested in coloured contact lenses, consider the effect you want to achieve. Whether you want a subtle change, a dramatic transformation, or just a fun look, there are coloured lenses for every style.
Caring for Your Contact Lenses
Caring for your contact lenses is crucial to maintaining their longevity and eye health. Subsequently, proper care and maintenance practices are essential.
Typically, this starts with always washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your lenses to prevent contamination. Additionally, for bi-weekly or monthly lenses, you should clean and disinfect them each night with the appropriate contact lens solution, following the instructions on the solution’s label.
Another thing you should do is replace your lenses according to your prescribed schedule, as using them longer than recommended can lead to discomfort and complications. Likewise, when storing your lenses, always use a clean, disinfected contact lens case with fresh solution – avoid using tap water or saliva.
Removing your lenses before sleeping is also advisable, except for specific extended-wear lenses designed for continuous use. And most importantly, schedule regular eye exams with your eye care professional to ensure your prescription is up to date and your eyes remain healthy. Following these practices will help you enjoy the benefits of clear and comfortable vision while minimising the risk of eye issues.
Addressing Common Concerns
When considering contact lenses, it’s natural for people to harbour some concerns or have questions they need answering. So, we’d like to address some of the more common apprehensions.
One of the biggest worries people have about wearing contact lenses is that they will get lost behind the eye. But this myth needs to be dispelled once and for all.
Contact lenses cannot get lost behind your eye. The eye is a closed system with a thin membrane that covers the sclera (the white parts of it) and the inside of the eyelids. Subsequently, while a contact lens can move around on the eye’s surface, it cannot pass through the eye to get lost.
Another common concern is that contact lenses would be too uncomfortable to wear. However, contact lenses should be flexible if properly fitted and cared for. Any discomfort that may occur results from factors like dry eyes, the wrong prescription, or poorly fitting lenses. (All of which you should raise with an eye care professional if you experience them).
Some people with allergies worry about the potential effects of wearing contact lenses on their condition. While contact lenses can be worn if you have allergies – for instance, hay fever, dust or against the sun – you should take necessary precautions. Allergies can lead to dry eyes and, therefore, increased discomfort. So, to prevent this from happening, using preservative-free eye drops and discussing your allergies with an optician can help you manage any related issues.
One concern people have that might prevent them from wearing lenses is the potential for getting something caught in their eye. Should this happen, the best thing to do is to blink it out gently. Remove the lens and inspect it for debris if it still doesn’t come out. You should also rinse the lens and your eye with sterile saline solution before reinserting it.
If you are wondering whether you can swim or shower with contact lenses on, it is best to avoid doing so – especially in water that isn’t clean and treated – as it can introduce bacteria to your eyes. If you need to wear lenses to see while swimming, use waterproof goggles to protect your eyes.
Finally, a common misconception is that you can’t wear contact lenses with eye makeup. It is simply not true, although you should follow some guidelines to minimise the risk of contamination. For instance, always insert your lenses before applying makeup and opt for oil-free, hypoallergenic products. Furthermore, you should always remove your lenses before taking your makeup off.
Safety and Hygiene Tips
If you are going to wear contact lenses, safety and hygiene should be a primary concern. Therefore, you should follow some important safety and hygiene procedures to ensure your eye health and the longevity of your lenses.
Firstly, regular eye exams with your eye care professional are essential to maintain your prescription accuracy and overall eye health. Congruently, you should always adhere to the care instructions provided with your contact lenses and solutions, as proper cleaning, disinfection, and replacement schedules are imperative.
It is also vital to avoid overwearing lenses and not use lenses beyond their expiration date, as this can lead to discomfort and eye issues. At the same time, if you experience any discomfort, redness, or irritation, promptly remove your lenses and consult your eye care professional immediately.
You should also always carry a spare pair of contact lenses and eyeglasses with you in case of emergencies, especially when travelling, in which case you should also ensure you have enough contact lens solutions. Being prepared is the key to maintaining safe and healthy contact lens use.
Despite the issues over half of Australia’s population faces regarding their vision, attaining clearer eyesight is now easier than ever, thanks to the wide range of contact lens options available today.
Whether you prefer the convenience of daily disposables, want to change up your look with coloured lenses, or need specialised lenses for astigmatism or presbyopia, you will find a contact lens solution to meet your needs and suit your lifestyle.
To choose the right contact lens, you will need to consider your prescription, the level of comfort you require, your way of living and, of course, your budget. Therefore, it is essential to consult with an eye care professional to make an informed decision that enables you to achieve clear vision and optimal eye health overall.
While it might seem like a challenging or frustrating proposition to manage, you should rest assured that with proper care and hygiene, you can enjoy the benefits of contact lenses while congruently enhancing your natural beauty and confidence. Ultimately, the path to clear vision has never looked so good!