Improving Your Look

What To Expect When Making The Switch To Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are available to many people regardless of age or health, but if you're trying to make the switch from glasses to contact lenses, you should know that the process and requirements are a little different, even though they both essentially perform the same function. These differences aren't complex, but you should be familiar with them before your first visit to an optometrist so you can come prepared; this can help prevent you from being intimidated by the process or from feeling like contacts aren't for you.

You Should Bring Your Glasses Prescription

The whole point of switching to contacts is to get away from glasses, but the information in your previous prescription can help your optometrist quite a bit. It can give your eye doctor an idea as to what your specific vision requirements are, as well as point out any differences between your eyes. Contacts are not just one size -- they are all made tailored to the individual, so any information about your vision history is to your benefit.

You Can Get Contacts Even With Specific Eye Problems

If you're worried that you might not be able to get contacts due to certain vision problems, such as astigmatism, you probably aren't out of luck. The only thing that astigmatism may influence is what type of contact you can get. For example, you may get a "rigid gas permeable" lens rather than a soft lens, as an RGP lens can sharpen vision that is blurred by astigmatism. Regardless of what type you get, wearing and caring for them is pretty much the same.

You'll Need An Extra Exam

Because contacts are in direct contact with your eye, there are a few extra considerations that need to be made. Along with getting the right prescription, you'll need a fitting exam that will tell the optometrist the curvature and size of your eyes. This part is important, as an improperly fitted lens can be uncomfortable and even damaging to your eye. You may also have a tear exam to make sure that your eyes have enough tears to wear contacts without discomfort.

Just as contact lenses come in a variety of sizes, they can also correct different types of vision issues -- for example, you can get bifocal contact lenses, if necessary, that work the same way as your glasses.

After finding out the size and type of your lenses, you'll get to decide whether you want daily lenses or long-term lenses, as well as cosmetic options like color.

You'll Have A Trial Run Before You Officially Start

In most cases, if this is your first time using contacts, you'll get a trial pair of contacts to wear for a few days to see how you react and adjust. If all goes well, your followup exam will show that you have adjusted well and that you can make the switch full time.

For more information about contact lenses, contact a center like Brooks Eyecare.