With the surge in contact lens options now available, selecting the ideal type and brand for your eyes and lifestyle can feel overwhelming. You want contacts that correct your vision comfortably and conveniently. But where do you start? Follow this step-by-step guide to identify the perfect lenses for hassle-free wear and clear sight.
We’ll cover determining your prescription, choosing wear schedules, researching brands, comparing materials and special features, evaluating costs, and practising proper care.
With some diligent research and trial and error, you can find lenses tailored to your needs and budget. Read on for insights to make an informed contact lens choice.
Know Your Prescription
Start with a comprehensive eye exam to determine your contact lens prescription parameters like sphere, cylinder, axis, add power, base curve and more. Understand whether you have astigmatism, near-sightedness or other vision conditions requiring correction. Discuss your exam results and prescription with your optometrist.
You can now order online contact lenses without prescription. However, a valid eyeglass prescription ensures proper vision correction and eye health. Work with your optometrist to keep measurements up to date with regular exams before purchasing any lenses.
Determine Wear Schedule
Decide whether you prefer daily, bi-weekly, monthly, or other wear schedules. Daily disposables are thrown out nightly, requiring no cleaning.
Bi weeklies get discarded every 2 weeks. Monthly lenses last approximately 1 month before replacement. Frequent replacement keeps lenses fresh while reducing irritation.
However, longer wear options like quarterlies may be more economical if you can consistently adhere to cleaning protocols. Have your optometrist recommend the ideal cycle for your eyes and habits. Combining wear schedules can also optimize costs like dailies only for sports.
Compare Lens Materials
Contact lens materials significantly impact comfort, breathability, and cost. The main options include:
- Silicone hydrogel: Most breathable with high oxygen permeability, now exceeding 80% market share.
- Hydrogel: Traditional soft lens material composed of polymers and water, more prone to dryness. Budget-friendly.
- Hybrid: Combines rigid gas permeable center with soft hydrogel skirt. Designed for astigmatism and presbyopia. Pricey but excellent vision.
- Rigid gas permeable: Durable material sustaining shape. Require adjustment period but offer crisp, stable vision correction.
Discuss attributes like wettability, deposit resistance, and UV blocking for different materials. Ensure any planned enhancements like Toric astigmatism correction or multifocal are supported.
Evaluate Special Features
Many contact lenses now offer special features and technologies:
- Aspheric optics – Curved design matching the eye’s shape to minimize lens movement and distortion
- Toric lenses – Correct astigmatism by providing different levels of magnification
- Multifocal/monovision – Allow focusing on objects both near and far for presbyopia
- Extended depth of focus – Maintain visual sharpness across a range of distances
- Blue light blocking – Filter out harmful blue light from screens to reduce digital eye strain
Consider Your Brand
Trying sample pairs from different brands to helps you determine comfort and vision with different brand materials. Ask about rebates or free trials to test options affordably.
Review ratings on sites like contactlenses4us for real user reviews. Provide your full prescription and preferences like breathability when requesting brand recommendations from your optometrist. Finding the best match requires some trial and error.
Consider Benefits and Costs
Higher end specialty lenses improve vision but cost more. Prioritize must-have features based on your prescription and budget. For example, address astigmatism and presbyopia first before blue light blocking coatings. Start with basic lenses then assess if upgrading later makes sense.
Some features like Toric correction may require extra testing and measurements. Confirm costs and insurance coverage for enhancement options beforehand. Maximizing fit, vision and value requires balancing trade-offs.
Practice Proper Care
Follow optometrist recommendations for insertion/removal, disinfecting, and replacement timing – critical for eye health. Rub and rinse lenses daily with approved solutions. Use fresh solution each time. Never use tap water. Replace cases regularly. Schedule follow-ups to check fit and movement.
Signs of inflammation like light sensitivity or redness need immediate attention. With diligent care, contact lenses provide years of comfortable vision correction. Evaluate costs like solutions in your decision too.
Choosing contact lenses tailored for your prescription and lifestyle takes research. Prioritize eye health throughout the process. Once fitted correctly, contacts become second nature.
Prioritize following your optometrist’s guidance for fit, care and replacement timing to maintain healthy eyes. Schedule regular follow-up exams as well to re-evaluate your lenses and update measurements.