Your eye doctor knows a lot about eyes and a lot about how to improve your vision with contact lenses. But, what he or she may not know much about is your lifestyle and specific vision correction desires.
It’s a mistake to assume that the only lens that will work for you is the one you’re already wearing. On the contrary, there are many choices. Your doctor may not want to overwhelm you with options, but the more feedback you provide, the better. For example, if you are already wearing lenses but wish your eyes were whiter or felt more comfortable at the end of the day, you should share this information with your doctor so a more suitable lens can be selected. In short, although your doctor will make the final decision, your input is a huge help.
Here are three big things to think about before your next appointment:
1. Would you ever wear glasses out in public? Some contact lens wearers refuse to wear their glasses anywhere outside of their homes. Others like to mix things up a bit, perhaps wearing glasses to the office and contact lenses out to dinner. Discuss your preference with your eye doctor when you’re shopping for your contacts. The more your optometrist knows about your personal preferences and anticipated contact lens wearing time, the more he or she can help you find the best contact lenses for you. And, even if you don’t like to wear glasses, every contact lens wearer should have a pair of backup glasses.
2. Are you over 40? Our eyes lose some of their ability to focus as we approach the age of 40. This condition is called “presbyopia” (a word that’s a mouthful, we know). Presbyopia can be especially challenging in low light situations—for instance, when you’re trying to read a menu in a dim restaurant. Eventually, this happens to everyone—even those who enjoy perfect 20/20 vision. One easy solution to this problem is to don readers while deciding upon soup or salad. But if readers aren’t right for you, talk to your doctor about multifocal contact lenses. These lenses can help you focus at all distances, providing you with clear spectacle-free vision up close or far away.
3. Do you wish you didn’t need to rub and rinse your contacts every night? One thing you can talk with your eye doctor about is how frequently you would like to replace your lenses with a fresh pair. A replacement schedule is what doctors often refer to as a “modality.” The term refers to the frequency with which you discard and replace your soft, disposable contact lenses. You can do this every day, every two weeks, or every month. If you sometimes cut corners and avoid cleaning your contact lenses each time you remove them, a 1 Day disposable lens that doesn’t need cleaning and disinfecting would be better suited to your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to share information with your doctor. He or she needs to hear the truth and will be more concerned about selecting a healthy lens than scolding you about your current routine.
There are some choices that will need to be made exclusively by your eye doctor, since the shape of your eye and power of your prescription play a role in what contact lens will fit comfortably and offer the best vision. But the big three considerations discussed here will give you both a great place to start.
Nothing in this blog post is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional. For specific questions, please see your eye care practitioner.