It is estimated that around 45 million people in the United States wear contact lenses. The majority of people who wear contact lenses are female (two-thirds of wearers), while the average age of contact lens wearers is 31 years old.
Contact lenses are popular as they allow people to see better without affecting their appearance and interfering with activities, something that cannot be said for glasses.
If you are planning to buy contact lenses, there are a number of things you should first consider. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what you need to know when choosing contact lenses.
This includes choosing between soft and rigid contact lenses and assessing your eye care needs. Let’s get started with this guide to contact lenses
Understanding Soft Contact Lenses
In the United States, 90% of people who wear contact lenses wear soft contact lenses, highlighting their immense popularity. With soft lenses, there are many different options to meet the wearer’s specific needs. They are popular in part because they are easy to adjust, particularly compared with rigid gas permeable lenses, and tend to be more comfortable.
Let’s look at some of the popular types of soft contact lenses you can choose from. Firstly, extended wear contact lenses are a good option given that they can be worn continuously (including overnight) for a longer period of time (generally up to seven days). There are also options that allow up to 30 days of overnight wear.
With planned replacement lenses, you should not wear them overnight. They should be replaced regularly, whether this is every two, four, or 12 weeks.
For people seeking to avoid the risk of irritation, silicone-based lenses are a good option. Because they are highly breathable and prevent deposits from accumulating, they are popular with people who suffer from dry eyes.
With soft contact lenses, you can also choose an option that is colored with a tint. The benefits of wearing colored lenses are two-fold. Firstly, they make your lenses earlier to locate. Secondly, they have a cosmetic effect, giving the wearer a different eye color.
Understanding Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
While rigid gas permeable contact lenses are not as popular in the United States as soft contact lenses, it’s still worth considering this option. While less popular, there are still a number of areas where rigid gas permeable contact lenses excel. Below are some of the benefits of wearing this type of contact lens:
- Improved visual clarity for some users with astigmatism
- Sharper vision compared to soft lenses
- Better clarity and fit for users with Keratoconus
- Preferable for many users with presbyopia
- Preferable for people who require contact lenses after refractive surgery
While these are undoubtedly beneficial for certain users (especially those with specific needs), there are also a number of disadvantages to wearing rigid gas permeable contact lenses. For example, they are generally regarded as less comfortable than soft contact lenses and take longer to get used to.
In order to become comfortable for the user, they need to be worn regularly. After a short period of not wearing these contact lenses, they can become uncomfortable again for the wearer.
During physical activity, there is a higher risk of these contact lenses becoming dislodged. This is due to the smaller size of the lenses.
These lenses also require greater maintenance and care compared to soft lenses. That said, they are longer-lasting (with proper contact lens care) which may help wearers to save money over the long term.
Here, it’s also worth mentioning hybrid contact lenses. They are lenses made with a rigid, gas permeable center but also feature a soft ring around that component. The result is that these lenses still meet the specialized needs of wearers while also providing the comfort of soft lenses.
Hybrid lenses are effective at correcting a range of different eyesight issues. These include farsightedness, nearsightedness, keratoconus, astigmatism, and age-related loss of close-up vision.
Assessing Your Eyesight Needs
Before choosing a particular type of contact lens, it’s important to have an eye exam and fitting with an eye care specialist. This exam helps to determine the lens strength you require and enables you to acquire the necessary prescription. The fittings work to ensure that your contact lenses properly fit the shape of your eye in order to be comfortable as well as effective.
It’s also important to consider how often you will wear your contact lenses. If, for example, you only plan to wear your lenses on the weekends, it is probably best to choose soft lenses. However, if you plan to wear them every day, you do have some more flexibility in choosing between rigid or soft lenses.
Another consideration is just how important the sharpness of vision is to you. For the sharpest possible vision, then rigid lenses are generally considered the best option. This is especially true for users who have astigmatism.
Your Guide to Choosing Contact Lenses
The bottom line is that, when choosing contact lenses, there are a number of different options and factors to consider. By choosing properly, you can ensure that your vision is as good as it can be while also remaining comfortable throughout the day.
If you are looking for a quality contact lens provider in Idaho and Utah, look no further than The Eye Pros. We are the leading eye care center with locations all over Idaho and Utah. Contact us today for the lowest contact lens price, guaranteed.