Contact Lens Basics
Contact Lens Basics:
What New Contact Lens Wearers Need to Know.
Wearing contact lenses is very common and popular all around the world. Millions wear contacts every day for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons.
If you are considering contacts for the first time, these are some basic and generic information you should be aware of to achieve a safe and comfortable lens wear experience.
- 125 million people use contact lenses worldwide.
- Two-thirds of contact lens wearers are female.
- An estimated 8% of contact lens wearers are under 18 years old, 17% are between ages 18-24, and 75% of adults age 25 and older wear contacts.
- The statistic below presents the percentage of contact lens wearers in some European countries in 2020.
The Exam for Contact Lenses:
When you decide to start wearing contacts, the first step is to have a contact lens examination by an eye doctor. This type of exam is thorough and involves several steps; your doctor will first determine if your eyes are healthy enough to wear contacts, you will then get a prescription with the most accurate measurements.
Your eye doctor will determine which contact lenses will be most comfortable for you depending on how often you want to be wearing them and for what kind of activities since there are so many lens choices. A good doctor will be able to prescribe the right lenses that best suit your lifestyle.
Color vs. Medical Contact Lenses:
As a matter of fact, colored contacts are quite different from medical contact lenses. These are the differences between the two:
Color Contact Lenses:
Color contacts help to reflect the beauty of your eye either by giving new hues to the original color with means of a barely colored lens or modifying it massively with intensely colored ones - all depending on what kind of look you are going for.
Many colored contacts have no prescription and can be used by people with perfect eyesight who are just looking for a change in their appearance.
Remember, it's necessary to use known brands to avoid any infection or complication. In this case, FreshLook is one of the best options.
Medical Contact Lenses:
This refers to contact lenses that are designed for therapeutic reasons.
Medical contacts provide clear vision, no headache or dizziness, and better sleep. They are perfect for outdoor activities and can be a good replacement for people who want to avoid wearing glasses. Acuvue is the top-rated brand when it comes to medical contact lenses.
Soft and Hard Contact Lenses:
When you are choosing contacts, you need to know if you want hard contact lenses or soft contact lenses.
Soft Contact Lenses:
Soft lenses are the most common type of lenses among lens wearers due to the convenience.
Over 90% of contact lenses in the market today are classified as soft lenses and they are the most commonly prescribed type of lenses.
Hard Contact Lenses:
These lenses have come a long way since the 1970s and today are known as Rigid Gas Permeable. This type provides the advantage of a clearer, sharper vision than soft lenses but takes longer to adapt to and more likely to tear, which makes them unpopular among contact lens wearers.
Contact lens solution is designed to be used when rinsing, storing, and cleaning your lenses. It works to kill bacteria and keep your contact lens safe and clean.
There are many types and brands of contact lens solution, each with different ingredients and used for specific lens types. Different contact lens solutions cannot always be used together nor with all types of lenses. Do not alternate or mix them unless it’s indicated on the solution labeling.
How Long Can You Wear Your Contacts?
You should replace your old lenses with a new pair according to how long they were designed and approved to be worn.
The important factor to consider in determining how long to wear contacts is the type of contact lens and the brand you’re using. You can always find this information in the box of your lens.
We mentioned 3 types of soft lenses depending on their duration:
Daily-wear: They are designed for use during the day only and should be taken out before you sleep or nap to be cleaned. Daily wear contacts can be worn for a week, two weeks, or a month.
Daily disposable: For one day use only, they need to be discarded and replaced by a fresh new pair the next day. Daily disposable lenses are not regulated for overnight wear.
Extended-wear: Approved to be worn continuously even overnight, for 1-2 weeks or up to a month depending on the brand.
Read more about Daily vs Monthly contact lenses.
Getting Used to Your Contact Lenses:
Wearing contacts for the first time can be an exciting experience, but it takes your eyes some time to adapt to having them in. The adjustment period ranges between 3 to 12 days depending on the sensitivity of your eyes.
For Safe Lens Usage:
Many common care mistakes, including failing to clean and store lenses as directed by your eye doctor and sleeping while wearing contacts that aren’t approved for overnight use, can increase the chance of getting bacteria in the eyes and cause infection. Therefore, proper lens care is required to maintain the health of your eye and prolong the life of your contact lenses. Check this list of tips your eye care professional would recommend.
When to Contact Your Eye Doctor?
Remove your contact lenses right away and call your doctor for treatment when feeling one of the following:
- Blurry vision
- Red eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Discharge from your eye