Life Through a Lens: 10 Things You Need to Know About Wearing Contacts

A person is wearing a pair of contact lenses.

Thinking about converting to contacts? Good idea!

Wearing contacts won’t change your appearance. It’s not a big deal for some people, but most of us don’t enjoy the idea of wearing frames on our face all day, every day.

Additionally, glasses are easy to set down forget about somewhere. Alternatively, if you move too abruptly and swing them off your face or accidentally sit on them, it’s game over.

Wearing contacts offers an easy fix for all of the woes and worries of wearing glasses. With nearly 60% of the US population needing vision correction, it’s kind of a big deal.

Keep reading for 10 things you need to know about wearing contacts.

1. How to Wear Contact Lenses

For most people who require corrective vision, wearing contacts is a daily necessity.

It’s important to note, however, the distinction between daily contacts, and extended wear contacts.

Daily contacts are removed every night before bed to clean and disinfect the contact lenses. This option is ideal for the health and longevity of your eyes.

On the other hand, there are extended-wear contacts that allow you to leave them in all week, including while you’re sleeping. These types of contacts are incredibly convenient for people with hectic lives and changing schedules.

However, using these types of contacts will put you at a greater risk of eye infections as well as itchy and scratchy feeling eyes.

2. Conventional Vs. Disposable Contacts

Contact lenses come in a large variety of short-term and long-term use options. Depending on your prescription, you may not be able to use disposable contacts.

Long-term use contacts can be worn for up to a year and sometimes longer. However, they require a high level of maintenance and cleaning. Over time, mucous, organic protein, and other contaminants build up onto these contacts, which can lead to irritation or eye infections.

Disposable contacts, alternatively, can be daily, weekly, or monthly disposables. These are a much healthier and safer option for wearing contacts as you use new ones frequently. Additionally, some people have poor reactions to certain chemicals and cleaning solutions.

3. How Wearing Contacts Improves Your Vision

Wearing contacts helps improve your vision even more so than wearing glasses. Aside from the obvious corrective vision they provide, they also boast a few benefits over glasses.

For example, contacts are designed to conform to your eyes. This gives you a better field of view, including peripheral vision.

Glasses, on the other hand, don’t provide clear peripheral vision and the frames can sometimes create blind spots in your view.

4. Wearing Contacts for an Active Lifestyle

Wearing contacts is a much better option for people who lead an active life.

Contacts make life easier for people who enjoy working out, hiking, biking, running, or any other physical activities. They are even contacts that can be worn while swimming, though it often comes with some eye irritation.

Most daily-use glasses are not made for sports or physical activities. Glasses can easily be knocked off your face, accidentally stepped on, or lost while running, jumping, or falling.

5. Corrective Orthokeratology Contacts

Orthokeratology contacts are made to be worn at night to gently reshape the front of your eyes as you sleep. In the morning, you take them out and your vision remains corrected for a day, maybe two.

Ortho-K contact lenses help those who suffer from nearsightedness, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Ortho-K contacts are especially good for people who play contact sports or participate in high-intensity physical activities.

6. Soft Lenses Vs. Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses

Contact lenses come in two basic options.

First, soft lenses are commonly the disposable lenses we spoke about earlier. These are generally much more comfortable, especially at first. Soft lenses are generally hydrogel or hydrophilic and are larger and more malleable.

Alternatively, rigid gas permeable lenses, RPG for short, are smaller and stiffer than their soft lens counterparts. These are generally made for long-term use for people with higher prescription levels.

7. Colored Contact Lenses

One fantastic benefit that comes with wearing contacts is the option to change your eye color.

Colored lenses can alter the hue of your eyes. Although there’s a strong belief that people who wear these colored contacts are more prone to eye infections, it’s not entirely accurate.

The colored contacts that cause most irritations and eye infections are the ones that come from Halloween stores and none-ophthalmologist sources. As long as you’re getting your colored contacts from trusted eye doctors, you have nothing to worry about.

8. Contact Lenses Care

The single best thing you can do if you’re wearing contacts is practice proper maintenance, care, and cleaning.

Most contacts aren’t meant to be worn overnight while you’re sleeping. Additionally, for long-term use contacts, they must be cleaned well every day, or they will build up residue and contaminants. This will not only affect your vision but cause eye infections as well.

Finally, disposable contacts are meant to be used for a specific period of time. Whether they’re daily contacts, weekly, or monthly, make sure you’re wearing contacts for their intended purpose.

9. Contact Lenses Cost

The cost of wearing contacts rests primarily on the type of contacts you choose and what prescription your eyesight deterioration calls for.

For the most basic contacts, you could be looking at as little as $200 a year. Alternatively, special prescription, Ortho-K, colored, and high prescription contacts cost more.

Lastly, you need to consider contact lens solutions in your budgeting. If you are wearing long-term use contacts, it means you have to constantly clean them. Contact solution can cost an additional $200 per year.

10. Things You Shouldn’t Do While Wearing Contacts

While exceptions certainly exist, there are a few well-known dos and don’ts of wearing contacts.

For most contact lenses:

  • Don’t sleep in them
  • Don’t swim in them
  • Don’t top off your contact solution in the case
  • Do clean them regularly
  • Do replace your contact lens case regularly
  • Do use your contacts as prescribed
  • Do get your eyes checked annually

 How to Tell if You Need Contacts

Many people don’t know they should be wearing contacts or glasses.

Even if your vision seems fine, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other things going on, you should still get a regular eye exam. Optometrists can often detect eye problems

Schedule an appointment today for a comprehensive eye exam or contact us for any questions.