When deciding if you want to make the change from glasses to contacts or even straight to contacts, there are a lot of things to consider. Many questions start to come up like: Am I able to wear contacts? How do I know if they fit properly? What brand should I use? How do I maintain them? It is important to understand exactly how to use contacts properly, and how they might affect your day to day life. Here are three main steps to follow when deciding whether to wear contacts or not.
Schedule A Contact Lens Exam Appointment
The first step in getting contacts is scheduling a contact lens eye exam appointment. Contact lens appointments are different from normal eye exams because they are structured to make sure your eyes are compatible for contacts. The contact lens appointment will include tests that allow your doctor to get information specifically relating to your eyes and contacts. For example understanding the size and shape of your eye and what size and shape of contact lens will fit best and be most comfortable while wearing.
At the end of your appointment, your doctor can send you home with a trial pair of contacts. These trial contacts are not necessarily the same kind or brand that you will be prescribed. The trial period is for you to see if the contacts are comfortable and fit into your daily routine. After your trial period, you will go back to your eye doctor for a follow up exam to see how your eyes reacted to the contacts, what worked and what did not. From there, your doctor will prescribe you with the best contacts they see fit.
Choosing The Right Contacts
When picking the perfect contact for you and your lifestyle, it is important to ask yourself key questions. You and your eye doctor should go through this list to make sure you are getting the right contact for you. First you need to think how often you are going to wear contacts. Some people choose to wear contacts everyday, some people only wear them for special occasions. Depending on how often you're planning on wearing them can change the type of contact you may need. According to All About Vision, most people wear soft contact lenses, which usually can be worn comfortably either full-time or part-time. Rigid gas permeable contacts, on the other hand, must be worn on a consistent daily basis for them to be comfortable.
Another similar question to ask is, if it is okay to sleep in your contacts. If you know yourself and your night time routines, are you going to have time, or remember to take them out? Some contacts are approved to be worn overnight, but not all are. So it is crucial to talk with your eye doctor and see if the contacts you are being prescribed can be worn overnight, or even for an extended period of days.
If you have allergies or dry eyes, finding the right contacts can be a difficult challenge. Contacts can often irritate eyes. For the most comfortable lenses be sure to talk to your doctor about your condition. Daily disposable contacts may help, but sometimes these conditions may not be compatible with contacts.
There are also contacts that are available that can not only help your vision, but change your appearance too. Cosmetic lenses are used to enhance the color of your eyes, or even change them. Especially popular during Halloween, cosmetic lenses should always be prescribed by an eye doctor in order to avoid doing damage to your eyes.
Taking care of your contacts
Unfortunately there can be downfalls as a result of choosing contacts, including dry eye syndrome as well as serious eye infections which can lead to blindness. These side effects can be prevented if you take proper care of your contact lenses.
Luckily, given contact lenses are such a popular option, there are many eye contact solutions that can clean your lenses for you. Daily contacts are also a great option as you throw the pair away after using them each day. If you have longer term contacts, whenever you are ready to clean them, it is absolutely necessary to wash your hands first. From there, take out one contact at a time and put it in the solution. According to All About Vision, The FDA recommends that you rub the lens in the palm of your hand with a few drops of solution, even if you are using a "no-rub" product. Finally, ensure the contacts are enclosed in their case for further sanitation. Once you have cleaned your contacts if you find your eyes are dry or itchy after removing them, using eye drops can often help.
At Medical Arts Eye Clinic & Optical, we strive to meet all of your eye and vision care needs. As part of our comprehensive services, we provide corrective lens evaluations and prescription management. To schedule a contact lens exam please contact us via our form or at 334-821-3838.