CONTACT LENSES: Buying guide
Wearing glasses at times doesn’t seem feasible, especially during winters when the steam from a warm cup of tea is making your glasses foggy and preventing you from having clear sight or during any strenuous physical activity. There are other options available for you to enjoy these things along with seeing everything around you with a clear vision. One of them is contact lenses. One needs to know the difference between the prescription of glasses & the prescription of contact lenses as they are not the same. Here’s all you need to know before buying your contact lenses:
Get your eyes checked:
Get an eye exam done before buying yourself contact lenses so that you are sure of your eye’s power or refractive error. If you are already using them, make sure to get regular eye check-ups done in order to be up-to-date with your eye power and then continue with your updated prescription.
Glasses prescription & contact lenses prescription are not the same:
The prescription for your glasses is different than that of your contact lenses as they both are positioned differently. Glasses are positioned further away from your eyes whereas contact lenses sit directly onto your eye. Because of the same reason, at times your optometrist could suggest going for 0.25D less than that of your glasses prescription if you have an eye power of -4.00D or more. So, consulting an ophthalmologist or optometrist is essential before you dive into contact lenses.
What your prescription should look like?
Your contact lenses prescription should have the following information: Name, date of your prescription, contact lenses brand name, optician’s name, power or sphere with a (-) or (+) indicating short-sightedness & long-sightedness respectively, base curve indicating the curve of your lenses usually in mm, and finally diameter indicating the width of your lenses again usually in mm.
In the case of myopia and hyperopia, spherical lenses are prescribed.
In the case of astigmatism toric lenses are prescribed with the axis determining the angle of correction offered by the lenses and cylinder indicating the severity of astigmatism and additional visual requirements.
If you have presbyopia bifocal/multifocal lenses are prescribed with an addition and a dominance. The addition could be a figure between 0.50 and 3.00, indicating the level of correction required for close-distance visual acuity and dominance determines the dominant & non-dominant eyes.
Go for brands that are FDA-approved:
Consult your ophthalmologist or optometrist before purchasing your contact lenses. In addition, never forget to go for FDA-approved brands only. Reading customers’ reviews will also help you make a decision.
Types of lenses available:
Soft contact lenses are the commonly prescribed lenses used to correct myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. They are the easiest to adapt to. They can be made of either Silicon Hydrogel or Hydrogel material.
Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are prescribed in situations like keratoconus or superficial corneal scars or irregular corneas. They are more durable & breathable. It takes a few days to adjust to these lenses.
Specialized contact lenses are designed to meet your vision needs.
Hybrid contact lenses have a gas-permeable center surrounded by a soft outer ring and it could be used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and keratoconus.
Orthok Lenses are a special rigid gas-permeable lens that is worn during sleep to temporarily change the curvature of the cornea providing you with clear vision when you wake up.
Multifocal contact lenses are available in various materials and can correct myopia, hyperopia, and presbyopia at the same time.
Scleral contact lenses are rigid gas-permeable lenses that extend to the sclera and it corrects the vision if you have irregular or ectatic corneal curvature as in Keratoconus, Pellucid Marginal Degeneration, post keratoplasty eyes Severe Dry Eyes in conditions like Steven Johnson Syndrome, ocular cicatricial pemphigoid.
Bandage Contact Lenses are used in special situation like bullous keratopathy, post C3R, Post Lasik, Post PRK, corneal perforation. These can remain in the eye for a month till the lesion heals.
Options available according to the wearability of contact lenses:
Daily disposable- In this you wear a fresh set of contact lenses each day. It saves you from the daily cleaning regimen; you don’t have to worry about the protein deposit. Also, someone who wants to wear contact lenses on specific occasions should go for this option. These contact lenses can be worn for 14-16 hours depending upon the material and water content.
Weekly lenses- In this replacement of the lenses are to be done after 1 or 2 weeks. For the time being, they need to be stored in the lens solution and then disposed of as per the schedule.
Monthly lenses- You can wear the same lens for 30 days and then dispose them off. Store them in the lens solution after removal.
Transparent contact lenses- One could go for transparent lenses that do not change the color of your eye and retains your eye’s natural color.
Colored contact lenses- They are tinted lenses that provide a different color to your eye’s iris. People also go for colored lenses usually for cosmetic reasons.
All the care should be taken:
The appropriate care should be taken such as disinfecting your contact lenses every time, changing your lens solution after every use, disposal at the right time, using an FDA-approved lens solution, and not going for any over-the-counter lens solution.
Wearing contact lenses can allow you to enjoy a lot of activities with amazing vision. If you are thinking of buying contact lenses this can give you a start. Go to a renowned ophthalmologist or optometrist to know what is right for your eyes and what contact lenses will best suit your eyes.