Contact Lenses: Finding That Perfect Pair

Glasses not your thing? Here’s how to make sure contacts are right for you.

Whether you have an active lifestyle, need peripheral vision correction or simply want freedom from wearing eyeglasses, contact lenses could be the right choice for you. Contact lenses continue to grow in popularity as technology advancements make them even easier to wear and available for more patients’ prescriptions. In fact, about 20 percent of people who use vision correction turn to contact lenses.1

Of those who use vision correction, one in five choose contact lenses.
Source: All About Vision, “Contact Lens Basics,” October 2010.

However, deciding to wear contact lenses is a big decision. If you’re considering contact lenses, you’re likely to have many questions such as: What type of contact lenses should I wear? Am I a good candidate for contact lenses? The following basic steps can help you find the right contact lenses to meet your needs.

Step 1. Talk to your eye doctor. First, ask your eye doctor if contact lenses are right for you. Today’s lenses are available for a variety of vision conditions, making it possible for nearly everyone to enjoy the benefits of contacts. Remember, the most important consideration is your commitment to following the guidelines of the contact lens manufacturer and your eye doctor. Contact lenses must be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional. And contacts are monitored by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration like any other prescription drug or device.

Step 2. Find the right type of contact lens. Once you and your doctor have decided on contact lenses, you’ll need to work together to choose the right kind of lenses. Your eye doctor will assess your eyes and lifestyle to recommend the kind best suited for you.

While soft contact lenses are the most popular option, some patients may have better visual results with a type known as rigid gas-permeable lenses. The majority of soft contact lens wearers use disposable contact lenses, which come in a variety of replacement schedules, from daily to weekly to monthly. Some contact lenses can even be worn while you sleep; however, they require increased oversight by your eye doctor.

Step 3. Take care of your contact lenses. It may take you several weeks to adjust to your new contact lenses. Be patient while you and your doctor find the right fit, brand and lens design type for you. And be sure to abide by prescribed wearing times, replacement schedules and cleaning instructions to help minimize any potential side effects. With proper care and commitment, it’s easy to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that contact lenses offer.

If you’re interested in wearing contact lenses, talk to your eye care professional, who can help you explore all the options.

  1. All About Vision, “Contact Lens Basics,” October 2010.

*WARNING: UV-absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. You should continue to use UV-absorbing eyewear as directed. NOTE: Long-term exposure to UV radiation is one of the risk factors associated with cataracts. Exposure is based on a number of factors such as environmental conditions (altitude, geography, cloud cover) and personal factors (extent and nature of outdoor activities). UV-blocking contact lenses help provide protection against harmful UV radiation. However, clinical studies have not been done to demonstrate that wearing UV-blocking contact lenses reduces the risk of developing cataracts or other eye disorders. Consult your eye care practitioner for more information.

Important information for contact lens wearers: An eye care professional will determine whether contact lenses are right for you. Although rare, serious eye problems can develop while wearing contact lenses. To help avoid these problems, follow the wear and replacement schedule and the lens care instructions provided by your eye doctor. Do not wear contact lenses if you have an eye infection or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. If one of these conditions occurs, contact your eye doctor immediately. For more information on proper wear, care and safety, talk to your eye care professional.