The contact lens is one of humankind’s best innovations since the wheel. It offers convenience and comfort eyeglass wearers are craving for, not to mention they don’t get fogged up or smudged while still serving their purpose.
There are many other benefits to contacts, such as:
- Unhindered movement in sports and other athletic activities
- Reduced distortions in your vision
- Unobstructed natural field of view
Whether you are choosing contact lenses to correct your eyesight or swapping out your eyeglasses, here are four important things you need to learn before you buy contact lenses in Dubai:
1. Your prescription exam may take longer
If you’re getting contact lenses to correct your vision, you will need to have your eyes tested by an eye doctor first. Even if you’re swapping out your prescription eyeglasses for contact lenses, you will still need to undergo an eye exam. This will help identify the right contacts for you.
Take note that a contact lens exam may take longer than your usual eye exam. This is because of the additional tests you will undergo to ensure that your eyes are healthy enough for the contacts.
Since contact lenses not only cover but also touch eyes, your eye doctor must assess and measure them to get the most precise fit. This is also to make sure that the lenses will fit comfortably when worn.
Don’t worry; your doctor will teach you how to place and remove your lenses if it’s your first time wearing them. They will also guide you through the proper care of your lenses, particularly in terms of correct storage and cleaning practices (more on this later).
2. Prescription contacts are brand specific
When getting your first prescription contact lenses, you need to be ready for a commitment. Prescriptions for contacts always indicate the specific brand you need to use, which means you’ll have to stick with it.
You see, an eye care provider will use that lens for the fitting and follow-up to make sure it fits perfectly to your eyes. So, if they used lenses from Al Jaber Optical, for example, then you will likely be prescribed that same brand.
This is because every brand produces their lenses from different materials. Even if another brand has a similar diameter and base curve as what you were prescribed, it doesn’t automatically make it a perfect replacement.
Following your prescription will help you avoid any allergic reactions or other medical issues. It will also make replacing your lenses easier in case of an emergency.
3. There are two primary types of contact lenses
Your eye doctor will prescribe you one of two main types of contacts, depending on your specific needs and circumstances. This can be soft contact lenses or rigid gas permeable contacts.
Soft contacts are the more common of the two main types of lenses. These are used to correct eyesight problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, blurred vision (astigmatism), and even close-up vision loss due to age (presbyopia).
These are very thin and soft because they are made up of water, which makes them quite comfortable to wear.
Soft contact lenses can be categorized into four sub-types, namely:
- Spherical or regular contacts lenses;
- Astigmatism contacts;
- Presbyopia contact lenses; and
- Cosmetic or color contacts.
Rigid Gas Permeable Contacts
Unlike soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable contacts are manufactured using a hard kind of plastic. This makes them quite durable, not to mention they also ensure crisp and clear vision.
This type of contact lens also helps correct most eyesight issues and can last longer than soft contact lenses.
They are also considered the better choice if you are prone to having “dry eyes” when wearing soft contacts. This is all thanks to their breathability and structure that allows more oxygen to reach the cornea.
Most rigid gas permeable contact lenses need to be removed every night for cleaning and disinfection. However, you may need to wait longer when adjusting rigid gas permeable contacts to match your prescription.
You can enjoy the benefits of this type of lens for up to three years if there is no change in your prescription.
4. Learn how to take care of your contact lenses
Upon fitting, the optometrist will teach you how to care for your contact lenses properly. In addition to following the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning, here are the dos and don’ts you need to remember in taking care of your contact lenses:
- DO wash your hands before handling your lenses. Your hands may be covered with microscopic germs that can transfer to your contact lenses and eyes if you don’t wash your hands before handling your lenses. Stick to lotion-free soap and make sure that your hands are dry before you touch the lenses.
- DO clean your contact lens case properly and regularly. Get rid of all the old contact lens solutions and rub your contact lens case with a clean finger. After that, rinse with a fresh solution before wiping dry. Keep the case and its lid upside down over a tissue until you’re ready to place your contacts in it to soak in a freshly topped up lens solution for storage.
- DO replace your contact lens case regularly. Even if it doesn’t look worn down, be sure to change your contact lens case at least once after one to three months of use.
- DON’T wear your contacts while taking a bath or swimming. Plenty of eye infection-causing microorganisms in the water that can hitch a ride in your contacts, so be sure to take your lenses out before you hit the shower or take a dip in the pool.
- DO follow your appointment with the eye doctor. Don’t forget to keep your appointment with your eye doctor, even if you don’t think anything is Sometimes, eye issues related to contact lens wearing are caught during a routine eye checkup, which means it can save you from eye discomfort later. Don’t wait until your eyes are red, itchy, or watery before you return to the doctor’s office.
Make an Informed Decision
While some people wear contact lenses to look good, its primary purpose is to provide a more convenient alternative to eyeglasses in correcting eyesight problems. Boost your knowledge about this eye product to make an informed decision.
Firas Saab is the Training Manager at Al Jaber Optical in Dubai, the leading optical and eyewear company in the UAE that offers a comprehensive range of eyewear and optical services across the board, through a wide range of modern optical products and facilities. Firas is an enthusiastic trainer with more than a decade in the retail and optical industry and has recently acquired HND in Business and Management in addition to his Optical qualifications.