Contact lenses seem so much less of a bother when compared to eyeglasses and they also don’t ruin your look like thick, bulky glasses tend to do. And, sometimes, you also want to wear contact lenses to change your eye color too. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you opt for contact lenses. The Week had ophthalmologist Dr Nima Dahal answer some common questions people have regarding contact lenses and also shed light on its pros and cons. Do you need a special check up to get contact lenses?
Yes, you need specialized check up and care before getting contact lenses. The thing you have to remember before you use contact lenses is that you are wearing this thin flimsy plastic over your eyes and if they go in wrong or cause trouble you can very easily damage your eyesight. You have to get a thorough check up before you buy prescription contact lenses. It is equally important that you have your eyes checked out before you wear any non prescription lenses too because most of the time these colored lenses that you buy are being sold (and sometimes even manufactured) illegally. So, there’s a very high possibility that the lens you are wearing aren’t suitable for your eyes at all.
What happens in a contact lens fitting?
You discuss your visual and lifestyle requirements with your doctor or the practitioner who will examine your eye to determine if your eyes are healthy and suitable for contact lenses. The doctor will also take measurements of your eyes to find the most suitable type and fit for contact lenses. Make sure try out the contact lenses before you buy them and also mention if you will be using those lenses daily or on special occasions because there are different lens types for different purposes.
What kind of problems can you come across when wearing contact lenses?
Contact lenses are put right on the surface of your cornea and the clarity of the cornea is what allows you to see well. Some contact lenses can block this clarity of the cornea by not allowing enough oxygen to the surface. There is also a high risk of scratching your cornea because of the lens or while your putting and removing them. And once your cornea is scratched you will always have that scratch in your vision. It will never go away. Then, there is also a high risk of infection due to bad hygiene and sanitation. While many infections are minor issues, corneal ulcer is a serious case. If it’s not diagnosed and treated, it will affect your vision and its clarity forever. Eyeglasses, on the other hand, offer many benefits over contact lenses. They require very little cleaning and maintenance and because you don’t need to touch your eyes to wear them, it decreases your risk of eye infections.
Which one is better, glasses or contact lenses?
For most people, that’s clearly a case of preference. It’s like debating if you would want to wear a button down or a t-shirt for the day. It really is up to you which one you would like to wear. There are times and cases where you have to wear glasses over contact lenses or vice versa and you do not have a choice. But you need to be aware of the pros and cons of wearing both.
With glasses, you do not get infections and you can wear them or take them off very easily. The downside of glasses is that they give off distorted images through the edges. And many people who are not accustomed to wearing them complain about getting ears and nose aches because of the weight of the glasses and some even suffer from headaches as well. Contact lenses have the advantage of providing the most natural vision, if fitted correctly. Also, you don’t have to deal with glares that glasses have, although there are special lenses designed to avoid or minimize glares. But you have remember to take off your contact lenses before you go to bed. You should never risk falling asleep with contacts on.
When should you wear glasses over contact lenses or vice versa?
People with drier eyes will benefit more from glasses as it will not make the condition worse. Wearing contact lens on dry eyes is a huge bother. There are also other cases like cylindrical power and presbyopia where you cannot use contact lenses. But if you are into physical activities and sports then you have to opt for contact lenses because glasses are not an option for you. So, the best thing to do would be to consult your doctor before you do anything. Get a thorough check up. That is of paramount importance.