How does it work?
The first step to get contacts is to have a specific eye exam to determine if they are right for your eyes and your prescription. The contact lens eye exam includes more tests than a regular one, an internal and external examination of your eyes and a glaucoma test. Once you’ve had your test, you'll explore all the choices and brands available. When the right lens has been found (a couple of different tries might be necessary), the eye practitioner will explain everything about inserting the lenses, removing and caring for them with the right products.
The whole process definitely takes some time and practice, as you’ll need to overcome the natural instinct against letting anything in your eye but once you do you’ll see that contacts aren’t so scary after all.
There are many types of contacts on the market which cater to different prescriptions and lifestyles:
'''Disposable contacts''' are soft, comfortable lenses that can be thrown away after each use or used for a time between one week and one month. They require no care, they immediately adapt to the eye, but they rip easily and are in the long run more expensive than gas permeable contacts.
'''Gas permeable lenses''' are less flexible and require more care, but they last for a long time, and keep a better overall eye health.
'''Extended wear lenses''' can be worn when you are asleep, either overnight or for up to one week.
'''Coloured contacts''' are used in films and theatre to create the illusion of demonic, animal or otherwise wild eyes, coloured lenses are a fun way to change your eye colour for a day or for good. If you wish to try on black, violet or cat eyes, you’ll need to go through an eye exam even if you don’t need prescription lenses.
Is it for me?
If you are nearsighted, farsighted, need bifocals, or have astigmatism you are likely eligible for contacts and it is only a matter of personal preference between contacts and glasses. Some allergies, certain work activities, diabetes, dry eyes or persistent infections of the eye may prevent you from using contacts. The specialist visit is a must-do before even trying contacts out.
Good to know
Invisible when inserted, contacts are tinted with a light blue UV coating that reduces glare and makes them more visible when immersed in cleansing solutions. You should never forget to wash and rinse the hands with a fragrance and moisturizer-free soap before using contacts, but not with an antibacterial one - you’d risk damaging the healthy bacteria that live in your eye.