Wearing Contact Lenses
By Jeff Lakie
If you've never worn contact lenses, you may not appreciate the amazing selection available on today's market. Be glad: you have much more choice than in the past. With so many options, how do you choose the right type of contact lenses?
Your doctor can probably help you figure out which contact lenses are best for you. Some contact lenses are suited to certain vision problems, like astigmatism. Others, like extended-wear contact lenses, are marketed to suit certain lifestyles. Colored contact lenses sometimes are used by people who don't even need prescription lenses but just want to change their eye color. Regardless, contact lenses should only be purchased by a professional eyecare practitioner, who knows how to properly fit the lenses and help you take care of your eyes. In fact, in the United States, it is illegal to purchase contact lenses without a valid prescription.
It's good to be informed about the different types of contact lenses before making your decision. Different contact lenses need to be replaced on different cycles. Some pairs last a month, some only two weeks. Other contact lenses are made to be worn only for one day. These contact lenses usually cost more, as you are paying for convenience.
It is important not to sleep in your contact lenses unless your practitioner says it's okay. Even contact lenses made for this purpose may not be good for you, especially if your eyes tend to be very dry. Be sure to ask.
Soft contact lenses have become most popular, as they are easy to get used to and are very comfortable to wear. While gas permeable contact lenses take longer to get used to, they last longer and tend to have less deposit buildup. Also, these contact lenses are less expensive in the long run because they don't need to be replaced as often. Some people also believe gas permeable contact lenses are better for your eye health and may even help improve vision. However, they are rigid and some people don't like how they feel.
As contact lenses have improved, so have their uses. Bifocal wearers rejoice! Many contact lens manufacturers have started making lenses that even you can wear. Ask your practitioner for details.