How to decide if contacts are right for you

If getting new glasses is similar to getting a new pair of shoes, then changing from glasses to contacts is more like learning how to ride a bike. Contacts aren’t an accessory change. They’re a lifestyle change.

Glasses are easy. You put them on; you take them off. Contacts require more care and a higher level of responsibility.

So if you’re considering making the switch, you can never be too prepared or ask too many questions. Luckily your eye doctor is there to help you through the process, but here is a starter list of what to consider before jettisoning your glasses for contacts:

What to think about:

  • Is vision correction affecting your activities or self-esteem?
  • Do you consistently wear your glasses when needed? Are they frequently broken, lost or dirty?
  • How interested are you in contact lenses? Are you motivated enough to take care of them?
  • Have you noticed any eye problems such as blurry vision, flashes of light, poor night vision or double vision? Do you have trouble tracking moving objects, judging distances or determining colors?
  • How’s your general health? Be ready to tell the eye doctor about injuries, chronic conditions, allergies, medications or operations.
  • Does your family have a history of eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts or other ailments?

What to tell your doctor:

  • Describe any vision problems you’re having.
  • Be sure to specify that you want a contact lens fitting appointment.

What to bring to your appointment:

  • Your current eyeglasses and a copy of your last prescription, if available
  • Your vision benefits card (if needed)

What to ask your doctor:

  • How is my vision?
  • What are my vision correction options?
  • Am I a good candidate for contacts?
  • What’s going to provide the best vision and the most flexibility given my activities and needs?

But before you start down this contact path, you might want to make sure you can touch your own eyeball without getting too creeped out. Because if you can’t, that’s kind of a deal breaker.


Article information courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc., makers of ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses. Visit www.acuvue.com for more information.
ACUVUE® is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. ©Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. 2013.
Sources Consulted:
Johnson & Johnson, “Contact Lenses: What to Ask the Eye Doctor,” 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.