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Contact Lenses: Pros and Cons

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Young woman in her robe holding up two contact lens containers and trying to decide.

Contact lenses are a popular alternative to eyeglasses, offering a more natural appearance and greater convenience. But are they the right choice for everyone?

Contact lenses offer numerous benefits, from better vision to greater convenience and freedom. However, they also come with some disadvantages that can make them unsuitable for some people.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of wearing contact lenses so that you can decide whether they’re suitable for your eyes and lifestyle.

Pros of Contact Lenses

There are many advantages to wearing contact lenses:

  • The primary advantage of contact lenses is that they provide a more natural, unobstructed view of the world.
  • Unlike eyeglasses, which can fog up, slip down, or be affected by reflections, contact lenses stay in place and let your eyes move and see freely.
  • They also offer a wider field of view since they’re directly in your eye.
  • Contact lenses allow you to wear non-prescription sunglasses or participate in sports and other physical activities without worrying about your glasses falling off.
  • Another benefit is that many people find contact lenses more comfortable than glasses.
  • Modern materials make lenses less likely to dry out or irritate your eyes, and daily disposable lenses are a hygienic option that eliminates the need for cleaning and storing.
Young girl putting an effort to wear her first pair of contact lenses while being supervised by her mother.

Cons of Contact Lenses

Despite their many advantages, contact lenses are not suitable for everyone:

  • One potential drawback is the cost. Contact lenses can be more expensive than eyeglasses, especially if you require frequent replacements or custom fittings.
  • They also require proper maintenance to prevent infections or other eye problems.
  • Contact lenses can cause dry eyes, and if worn for too long, they can lead to discomfort or even injury.
  • If you have pre-existing eye conditions, such as allergies or chronic infections, contact lenses may not be the best option.
  • Additionally, some people find inserting and removing contact lenses challenging.

Types of Contact Lenses

Various types of contact lenses are available on the market, so you can find one that meets your specific needs.

The most common types are soft contact lenses and gas-permeable lenses.

  • Soft contact lenses are a popular option, made from hydrophilic materials that make them comfortable to wear and contour to your eye’s shape.
  • Gas-permeable lenses are stiffer than soft lenses but offer better vision correction for people with astigmatism or other complex eye conditions.

Specialty Contacts

In addition to regular soft and gas-permeable contact lenses, there are specialty contact lens options for those patients with hard-to-fit or unique eyes.

  • Scleral Contact Lenses: If you suffer from keratoconus, an irregularly shaped cornea, dry eye, or other corneal issues, scleral contact lenses can be a boon to your eyesight. Scleral lenses are specialty contacts designed to vault completely over your cornea and rest on the white of your eye. As a result, they offer more comfort than standard contacts and offer better vision-correction results.
  • Hybrid Lenses: These lenses offer a hybrid design that combines gas-permeable centre lenses and soft lens surrounds. This unique construction provides crisp optics of rigid gas-permeable lenses while maintaining soft lenses’ comfort. The hybrid lens works well for patients with astigmatism because it follows the shape of your eye’s natural curve. The central rigid portion corrects astigmatism, while the soft surrounding part improves comfort.
  • Multifocal Contact Lenses: Focusing on objects at different distances becomes more challenging as we age. Multifocal contact lenses are an excellent option for individuals with trouble switching focus between distances. These lenses have multiple prescriptions on a single lens to help you see clearly at various distances, from near to far.

How to Choose the Right Contact Lenses

Choosing the right contact lenses depends on your individual needs and preferences. You’ll want to start by consulting with your optometrist to evaluate your eyesight with a contact lens exam and determine if contact lenses are safe and suitable for you.

Your eye doctor can also advise you on which type of lenses are best for your specific eye condition, prescription, and lifestyle.

Proper hygiene and lens care protocols are essential to avoid eye infections and other complications. Some people prefer to try out different types of contact lenses before making a final decision, while others succeed with their first pair.

Get Fitted for Contact Lenses

Contact lenses offer an excellent alternative to glasses, with vision correction and enhanced convenience. It’s important that contact lenses are properly fitted to suit your lifestyle and eye health needs.

River Heights Eye Care can help you have a positive experience when it comes to contact lenses. Our team of experienced staff provide comprehensive exams, fittings, and recommendations to help you get the right contacts for your eyes.

Take control of your eyesight today; book an appointment at River Heights Eye Care and speak to one of our team members about the pros and cons of contact lenses.

Written by Anthony Iuliano

Dr. Iuliano graduated with an honours degree in Biological Science from the University of Calgary with plans to work in the healthcare industry. In 2008, he attended the University of Waterloo Optometry program and graduated with honours in 2012.
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