What to Know About Contact Lenses
People with vision impairment may choose contact lenses over eyeglasses for a variety of reasons. For some occupations and activities, contacts are simply easier to manage. Many contact wearers also find they see better with contacts due to the reduction in glare and distortions. And some people simply prefer the look.
Here are a few things to know if you’re considering contact lenses to correct your vision:
Soft Lenses vs Hard Lenses – There are two main types of contact lenses, hard and soft. Soft contacts are made out of light, flexible plastic infused with water to allow oxygen to flow through the lens. This helps keep your eye healthy and makes the lens comfortable to wear for extended periods. Some brands can be worn for days without needing to be removed. Soft contacts are also very easy to put in and tend to stay in place well.
Some contact lens wearers prefer hard contacts for durability and ease of care and handling. Like soft contact lenses, today’s hard contacts also allow oxygen to pass through to the eyes. Hard contacts, however, are more susceptible to scratches and more easily shift positions from the center of your eye.
Specialty Lenses – Like eyeglasses, contact lenses are available in a variety of specialties. Multifocal contacts combine multiple prescriptions in a single lens to provide clear vision at all distances. Tinted contacts can improve contrast, compensate for color blindness or be used for cosmetic reasons. Hybrid lenses provide the best benefits of hard contacts with the flexibility of soft contacts.
Care and Maintenance – Regardless of the types of contacts you choose, you will need to follow certain practices to keep your eyes healthy and contact lenses in great shape. Always wash your hands with a mild soap and dry them with a lint-free towel before handling your contacts. Be sure to use contact lens solution, eye drops and cleaners recommended by your doctor, and never rinse your lenses with tap water. Just as important as cleaning your lenses is cleaning your lens case. It should be cleaned well after every use, using either a sterile solution or hot water.