Top 5 things you need to know before using contact lenses

Contact lenses are the preferred alternative to glasses. Neither is necessarily better than the other. But the contacts provide a wider field of vision because they conform to the curvature of your eyes and don’t cause obstructions. Plus, some brands are designed to block up to 90% of harmful UV rays, making them a good addition to your designer glasses.

Before you trade in your prescription glasses for contact lenses, there are a few things to understand. Let’s talk about the top five.

Not everyone is a candidate

Let’s start by clarifying that there is no age limit for wearing contact lenses. As the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that contacts are a safe and convenient way to correct vision for children, teens, adults, and even seniors over 60.

However, the wearer’s ability to use contact lenses safely and to care for them is crucial. In fact, many eye care providers may be reluctant to recommend contact lenses for children under eight. Some younger users may not be responsible enough to use and care for lenses as directed, increasing the risk of side effects and eye infections.

Suppose you are motivated to use contact lenses as needed. In this case, chances are you are a good candidate if you regularly wear glasses. On that same note, contact lenses can be an effective alternative if you participate in activities where glasses can be a nuisance. You may be a good candidate for contact lenses if you have astigmatism, presbyopia, nearsightedness, and farsightedness.

However, we recommend that you discuss this further with your optometrist if you suffer from the following conditions,

  • Have severe allergies
  • Experience regular eye infections
  • Suffer from severe dry eye or
  • Are constantly exposed to fumes, smoke or dust


There are two main ways to categorize contact lenses: materials of construction and replacement schedule.

Building material

You will find two main types of contact lenses from a material point of view: soft lenses and hard lenses. Soft contact lenses use soft and flexible materials. This flexibility allows them to drape well over the eyes, making them comfortable to get used to. But soft lenses have a shorter lifespan, which has an impact on their profitability.

Hard contacts – also known as Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contacts – are made of a harder plastic material than soft lenses. These contacts are designed to be more permeable to oxygen to nourish the cornea and keep the eyes healthy. Although they require a longer break-in period, hard contact lenses tend to stay in precise focus without slipping.

Replacement schedule

There are three types of contact lenses in this category: daily, weekly and monthly. Daily lenses are soft lenses designed for single use, which means that you throw them away after one day of use. This means that you start each day with a new pair. In addition, daily contacts are much more convenient because they do not require daily cleaning.

Weekly and monthly contacts are slightly thicker than dailies. You can wear weekly contact lenses for up to a week and monthly lenses for a month before you have to get rid of them. Because they are thicker, weekly and monthly contacts do not dry out quickly. Their durability also means better value for money. Weekly, bi-weekly and monthly contacts should be removed, cleaned, disinfected and stored daily according to instructions.


No two contact brands are the same, even from the same manufacturer. In addition to not achieving the vision correction results expected, poor contact marks can lead to serious eye complications, making contact lens wear frustrating and regrettable.

When comparing different brands of contact lenses, be sure to only use brands approved by the US FDA. Don’t worry about it though. You will discuss the best contact lens brand for your needs with your doctor during the consultation.

Here are some of the best contact brands on the market today:

Acuvue Contact Lenses– based in Jacksonville, Florida, Acuvue is a globally recognized and arguably the most recommended brand today. This brand is appreciated for its various options of high-performance contacts and its advanced technologies.

Biofinity is another highly recommended vision correction contact brand. Biofinity is owned by Coopervision, a manufacturer based in Pleasanton, California. With over four decades in the business, it’s no surprise that Biofinity contact lenses are among the best brands for superior comfort.

Prescription is required

All contact lenses are considered a medical device, at least in the United States. Under federal law, you cannot purchase contact lenses without a valid prescription from an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or prescription optician.

It’s the law whether or not they correct vision and no matter where you buy them, online or in a physical store. And although they both serve the same purpose, you can’t use your eyeglass prescription to get contact lenses.

Likewise, it is illegal to purchase contact lenses from unauthorized retailers and other non-optical outlets, including beauty salons, convenience stores, and flea markets.

Most eye care experts can suggest where to buy contact lenses, but you’re free to shop anywhere you like.

After you receive your updated prescription, most online stores allow you to email or fax it for more convenient and faster services. If you don’t have a copy of the prescription, some popular companies like Webeyecare can get it from your doctor’s office if you provide their contact information when ordering.

Safety and possible side effects

FDA-approved contact lenses are a safe and effective method of vision correction. When used correctly, they protect the eye and correct refractive errors. This helps the cornea focus light onto the retina (the back of the eye), resulting in sharper, clearer images.

But that doesn’t mean they’re risk-free. Even the best brands of contact lenses can have unwanted side effects. The most common contact lens side effects include;

  • Red eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Dry eye – occurs when contacts prevent tears from reaching the cornea
  • Corneal ulcer – occurs when the contact lens injures the outermost thin layer covering your iris
  • Allergies – characterized by symptoms such as excessive tearing, itching, burning sensation and prolonged discomfort.

It’s normal for contact lenses to feel uncomfortable and weird at first. Additionally, you may experience mild eye irritation upon startup. But the contacts should start to feel comfortable and almost undetectable after wearing them a few times. It takes about 10-12 days to adjust to your lenses. Always contact your doctor if you feel something is wrong.

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