Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Eye Post # 10: Which Contact Lenses Should I Wear?!

Many people have asked me to help them out in their dilemma regarding contact lenses (CL): which one should they wear? It's important to have a CL fitting done by an optician because they can determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for CL wear based on a physical examination of your eyes. In addition, the optician takes the necessary measurements and tests to determine which CL is right for you, along with information on your lifestyle, job, and hobbies. You can use the information provided in my post as an overview to the different CL types. :)



Daily Disposable Wear CL (aka "dailies")

Pros:
- Since they're made to be worn only for one day, the lenses are made the thinnest possible. They're much more comfortable to wear.
- It's the healthiest type of CL to wear.
- They have high water content and oxygen permeability compared to other CL, again helping with the comfort factor. Dry eye symptoms after wearing CL for a long day are minimized or even eliminated.
- Since they're only for one day wear, you don't have to worry about cleaning and storing. They're thrown out right after you've used them.
- Dailies made to accommodate high astigmatism (toric lenses) and presbyopia (multifocal lenses) are available.
- You wear a pair of dailies whenever you need them, thus the frequency of wear determines how often you repurchase (e.g. if you only need to wear contact once or twice a week, then 30 pairs is enough for approximately five months of use!)
- Convenient as glasses don't have to be worn.

Cons:
- For someone who needs/wants to wear contacts frequently, the cost of dailies are more than biweeklies/monthlies.
- Very few options for customizing CL for extended range prescriptions.
The most popular dailies on the market: Alcon Total Ones (I wear these ones myself!), Alcon Aqua Comfort Plus, Acuvue Moist, Cooper Vision Clariti One-Day

Biweekly Wear CL (aka "biweeklies")

Pros:
- One pair of biweeklies lasts you for two weeks worth of CL wear. You wear the same pair as often as you want during that time frame.
- Healthier option than monthly wear CL.
- Cheaper cost in the short run.
- Lenses to accommodate astigmatism (toric lenses) and presbyopia (multifocal lenses) are available.
- Convenient as glasses don't need to be worn.

Cons:
- People have a high tendency to overwear their CL and they misuse them. Beyond the two week wear the CL is significantly more prone to microbial growth.
- CL solution and cases also need to be purchased for cleaning and storing routinely.
- People tend to slack with proper cleaning and storing procedures, which will compromise the cleanliness of the CL.
- Fewer options for customizing CL for extended range prescriptions.
- If you're going away on a trip, have a backup pair or glasses ready to use in case the CL is damaged/lost.
The most popular biweeklies on the market: Acuvue Oasys

Monthly Wear CL (aka "monthlies")

Pros:
- One pair of monthlies lasts you for a month worth of CL wear. You wear the same pair as often as you want during that time frame.
- The cheapest cost in the short run. It's the most cost-friendly option for people who wear CL regularly.
- More options of custom CL available that can accommodate extended range prescriptions.

Cons:
- People forget to replace their CL after a month's time.
- People slacking with proper cleaning and storing procedures are more likely to acquire infections because of microbial growth on CL.
- CL solution and cases also need to be purchased for cleaning and storing routinely.
- If your current pair is damaged/lost, then you may lose as much as a month's worth of CL wear. You should have a backup pair or glasses ready, especially if you're travelling.
- Towards the month end, the CL feels "dried out", causing dry eye symptoms during CL wear.

The most popular monthlies on the market: Air Optix Colours, Air Optix Aqua, Acuvue Vita (new monthly CL in Acuvue range), Bausch & Lomb Purevision 2, CooperVision Biofinity

Hope you were able to learn something! Feel free to ask any other questions in the comments below!

Until next time, Des

(Follow me on Instagram @desireelaw!)

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