Contacts are an excellent alternative for anyone looking to drop the glasses. They are safe, provide ease on eye strain and simplify life. It’s a lot easier to take part in athletics, deal with the heat and the cold and to sit in the steam room!
Here’s some useful information on the different contact lens options:
The first consideration when choosing the contact lens and deciding on their care procedure should be the material. Based on the material, there are 5 different types of lenses:
Soft Contact Lenses
These are made from gel-like water containing plastics referred to as hydrogel. They happen to be the most popular option worldwide. The hydrogel allows oxygen to pass through to the eye. They are available in both the replaceable and extended-wear versions. Wearers enjoy very short adaptation period, making them comfortable in a short period of time. They allow wearers to maintain active lifestyles as well as they are hard to dislodge. To care for these, water content in lenses must be high. This will ensure enough oxygen gets to your eyes while maintaining good eye health. A disadvantage that these have is they wear out fast and must be replaced periodically. Additionally, the optics is not as sharp as other lenses in the market.
Hard Contact Lenses / Rigid Gas Permeable lenses
These are made of more durable plastic and allow efficient transfer of oxygen to the eye. Wearers enjoy sharper vision than with the soft contact lenses due to their rigidity. They are fairly durable, correct a wide range of vision problems and are cost-effective. They are a bit smaller compared to the soft contact lenses and move around in the eye. This is a disadvantage as debris and dust can easily get caught up beneath it. Additionally, they require consistent wear to maintain adaptation.
Silicone Hydrogen Lenses
These are an advanced type of the soft contact lenses allowing for more oxygen to get to the eye.
Hybrid Contact Lenses
These are designed for superior comfort. They rival the traditional soft and silicone hydrogen lenses as wearers get crystal-clear vision. At the center, these hybrid contact lenses have a rigid gas permeable zone surrounded by silicone hydrogen material. For this reason, they are considered more expensive than the traditional soft contact lenses.
These are made of polymethyl methacrylate which is a transparent rigid plastic material. They offer wearers superior optics but fail to allow oxygen to get to the eye.
Other types of lenses include:
Single Vision Lenses
These are prescribed to correct specific vision problems especially distant vision problems.
These are contact lenses shaped in a specific way to help with astigmatism. Their shape makes it possible for wearers to have different focusing powers on vertical and horizontal orientation.
Multifocal/Progressive/Varifocal Contact Lenses
These are designed for wearers suffering from presbyopia.
Monthly lenses were the most popular contact lenses when contacts were first released. They are replaced on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. Being thicker, they are more durable and long-lasting and are more resistant to drying out. These were soon phased out by more comfortable and quality lenses. Daily lenses are one of these. They are worn only for a day and discarded when you remove them. Natural deposits from the eye build up on their surface making it impossible to wear them again.
When compared to prescribed eyeglasses, contact lenses are not cheap. On average, a pair would cost an average of $196 although this could go higher depending on the style and prescription type. Astigmatism contact lenses could cost up to $400 a year while daily disposable contact lenses, dailies, cost $375 per year. These prices do not include the costs of contact solutions. These contact solutions include, multipurpose solution, hydrogen peroxide solution and specialty eye drops to name a few. According to InsiderEnvy these cost up to $140 on average per solution.
Caring for Reusable or Temporary Contact Lenses
Caring for your contact lenses is as simple as ensuring they are correctly stored away. Additionally, use the correct solution each night or after every use. It is advised that the wearer should rinse them off every time before placing them in to the eye. A regular care routine is washing your hands before touching the lens, cleaning each lens one at a time using the recommended cleaning fluid. Recommended cleaning solutions are typically saline. This should be used to rinse and store the contact lenses with heat and UV disinfection systems. These should be used together with enzymatic cleaning tablets to improve the life of your reusable lenses. It is advisable never to reuse or top up an old solution as this exposes you to infections.
A vision insurance policy may or may not be included with your individual health insurance plan or an employer health insurance plan. Either way, a vision insurance policy is essential as it can help you pay the expenses involved with eye care including getting new contact lenses or glasses. Depending on the policy you go for, you may get an expanded vision benefit including eye surgery procedure (LASIK), replacement of lost or stolen prescription lenses or frames, vision therapy, examinations and prescription. Notably, vision insurance policies are inexpensive. They may cost as little as $3 to $75 per month depending on the coverage.
It is difficult to see through scuffed and scratched lenses. Contact lenses can be especially uncomfortable when not correctly maintained and may result in further vision problems and complications. Your care procedure should be based on the type of lenses whether prescribed or not and the duration of use. But, the maintenance is worth it if you want to simplify your life, take part in athletics and enjoy the freedom they bring!