Are Contact Lenses Right for You?
Compared to wearing eyeglasses, contact lenses are more convenient, provide a better field-of-view, increase peripheral awareness, don’t fog up, and don’t detract from your natural appearance. But there are some not-so-pleasant aspects of wearing contacts as well. The fact is, contact lenses are not right for everybody.
Obviously, everyone has their own unique needs and requirements. What’s right for one person isn’t right for another. We’ve pointed out some of the pluses of contacts, when compared to eyeglasses, in the paragraph above. For some people, that’s enough to sell them on contacts for life. But for other people, the negative aspects of contact lenses far outweigh the pluses. It goes without saying that if contacts aren’t going to be a “good fit” for you, it’s better to find out before you buy them.
Here are some common reasons why contact lenses may not be the best option for you:
- You work or spend a lot of time in very hot, dry environments. This may make it difficult for you to wear contact lenses because they can become dried out, which can cause irritation to your eyes. Working in a very dirty, smoky or dusty environment or around a lot of toxic chemical is also problematic, as these types of irritants can become attached to your contact lenses.
- You’re involved in certain sports or recreational pursuits that aren’t suited to wearing contact lenses. For instance, you might be an avid swimmer and contacts are a problem for you because they can easily fall out in the water.
- You don’t have the time to properly care for them. Contact lenses can be a hassle because they must be frequently replaced by fresh contact lenses and then cleaned using particular cleaning procedures, to avoid potentially serious eye infections. Furthermore, it’s really important to not leave your contacts in for too long. Unless they’re extended wear contacts, they must be taken out every night before going to sleep. All of this can become inconvenient, especially if you travel often or have a very busy lifestyle.
- You don’t like the idea of inserting a flimsy piece of plastic in your eye. Perhaps you can’t get accustomed to the idea of touching your eyeball in order to put in contacts and then take them out again. Or, you may not be able to get the hang of balancing the contact lens on the end of your finger and then placing it into your eye without dropping, damaging or losing the lens. If this describes you, you’re not alone. There are many people who struggle with inserting their contact lenses.
- You have difficulty wearing contacts for long periods of time. It is very common for contact lens wearers to experience discomfort towards the end of a long work day. This is especially likely if you work at the computer for extended periods of time with no breaks. Having contact lenses on while staring at a computer screen can intensify problems with eye strain and fatigue, blurry vision and headaches.
- Your eyes are overly dry. This might be due to you being pregnant or nursing, taking certain medications, or suffering from dry eye syndrome (not having sufficient lubrication on the surface of the eyes). If your eyes are already too dry, you shouldn’t do anything that would make the problem worse, which wearing contacts would do. Contact lenses tend to draw moisture from the eyes to keep the lenses themselves hydrated, which makes dry eyes even drier.
- You simply can’t afford them. Many types of contact lenses have a very limited shelf life, which means you need to buy replacement lenses on a routine basis. Shelling out the cash to continually buy new lenses can get costly. On top of that, there are the additional costs like cleaning solutions, cases, etc., which can all add up to a considerable amount of money.
- You suffer from severe allergies. If you have allergies and you wear contact lenses, the contacts can actually trap allergens inside the contact lens (rather than allowing them to be washed away by your tears) which may very well worsen your eye allergy symptoms. Soft contact lenses are especially prone to absorbing airborne allergens such as mold, dust mites, pollen and smoke, since they are permeable.
- You tend to have frequent eye infections. Contact lens wearers have a higher risk of eye infections, such as conjunctivitis, than people who do not wear contacts. The reason for this is bacteria and other germs can get trapped under the contact lens, where they can start multiplying and cause an infection. If you are already prone to infections of the eye, wearing contacts may be too much of a risk to take.
These are just some of the typical reasons why contact lenses are either not recommended for certain patients, or why many people opt for a type of vision correction other than contact lenses. Of course the only sure way to find out what’s right for you is to consult with an ophthalmologist. He or she will examine your eyes and help you determine the best type of vision correction based on your visual and lifestyle needs. Tired of dealing with contact lenses? Consider LASIK! The good news is that if you’ve decided that neither eyeglasses or contact lenses appeal to you, there is a very viable third option: LASIK eye surgery.
Here at the Atlanta Vision Institute, we are happy to report that the vast majority of our patients prefer corrective vision surgery as a means of improving their eyesight. That’s because LASIK eye surgery allows them to avoid all of the potential problems noted above, and they never have to worry again about buying and putting in their contact lenses each day.
A big reason why LASIK eye surgery is so often the ideal alternative to wearing contact lenses is because it’s a one-time, short outpatient procedure that takes place in Dr. Ashraf’s office. After the surgery is over, patients are able to see clearly without the need for contacts or glasses. This cuts back on the added expense of contacts and visual aids in general. It’s also a benefit because patients are able to see clearly without an unnatural plastic substance going in their eyes.
If you are tired of wearing your contact lenses or if continually cleaning them has gotten old, LASIK eye surgery may be the solution for you. To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Farooq Ashraf, please give the Atlanta Vision Institute a call at (770) 622-2488, or fill out the contact form on our website. Dr. Ashraf will be happy to answer all of your questions about LASIK and guide you the through the process.