You’ve been wearing glasses for since you could remember. Every year, you visit your optometrist in Canberra, and they give you a new prescription to purchase new glasses. You see your friends wearing contact lenses, and it seems so simple and convenient. You’ve never tried contact lenses and are all confused with what is all involved. You’re probably thinking, am I suitable for contact lenses?
Determining the Suitability of Wearing Contact Lenses
Not all patients are suitable for contact lenses. Many factors determine their eligibility. Here are a few things to think about before considering wearing contact lenses.
- The Nature of Your Prescription. If you have a unique or very high prescription, conventional soft contact lenses may not be suitable. Mostly available contact lenses are soft disposables that are readily advertised online by big contact lens manufacturers. These contact lens manufacturers only stock “most common” prescription parameters. If your prescription is complicated, custom designing your contact lenses or perhaps fitting you with a hard contact lens is an option. Whether or not this is feasible depends on how often you plan on wearing contact lenses.
- Your Expectations. It is essential to consider what you want to achieve from wearing contact lenses. Being glasses-free is one thing and can be pretty convenient, but your vision might be compromised slightly due to your vision requirements. For example, if you wear multifocal glasses, you will most likely have trouble seeing far away, like when you’re driving and reading up-close and doing computer work. Contact lenses are usually correctible for distance vision only. Wearing contact lenses for reading and computer work is rarely mentioned. This is because you would need to take the contact lenses out when you move away from your computer or when taking a break from reading your book. In that scenario, you would be creating more inconvenience than just having glasses alone! To overcome this, there are multifocal contact lenses that have been recently developed. If you could recall, when you got your first pair of multifocal glasses, it took a bit of time to get used to and adapt. Similarly, this would also apply to patients fitting with multifocal contact lenses for the first time. Because of the multifocal contact lenses’ design, you may experience more halo and glare at night, which could be unpleasant.
- Your Ocular Health. Ultimately, regardless of how biocompatible the contact lenses are or how soft they feel on the eye, as some manufacturers claim, at the end of the day, you’re putting a piece of plastic in your eye. Your eye health needs to be reviewed to ensure you are not at risk of developing any complications from wearing contact lenses. Eye conditions such as pre-existing dry eyes could potentially make that worse. Before fitting you with a contact lens, our optometrist would need to do a comprehensive eye examination to determine if any underlying eye conditions would exclude you from contact lens wear.
- Your Motivation. Putting contact lenses in your eye for the first time can be annoying and, at times, very frustrating. It is expected that you might need a couple of hours before you’re entirely comfortable putting in contact lenses yourself. A lot of patience is required when we are dealing with our eyes.
The Bottom Line
Everyone is suitable for contact lenses. Age is often not a factor when we determine the eligibility for contact lens wear. Having the option of wearing contact lenses can often get you out of awkward situations where wearing glasses can be pretty cumbersome. It is all about personal choice whether or not contact lens wear would integrate well with your daily life. If you’re unsure whether or not contact lenses are for you, make an appointment with us, and we will guide you through all the steps and answer all the questions you may have.