Contact Lenses

What are Contact Lenses? 

Contact lenses are an alternative to eyeglasses to correct vision. Contacts are very thin pieces of sterile, specially-formed material. Contact lenses cause the way light is focused in the eye to change resulting in correcting vision.

Contact lenses are specially manufactured to allow the oxygen to reach the surface of the eye. In addition, changes are constantly being made to make contact lenses more comfortable for the wearer while always keeping eye safety in mind.

Types of Contact Lenses  

Not all contacts are the same. In fact, there are a handful of different contact lens types. Contact lenses can be broken down into two categories – wear type and tint type. Most wear types come in most tint types, and vice versa.

Wear Type Characteristics – Extended Wear Contacts & Daily Disposables

EyeCare Express highly recommends disposable contact lenses. Disposable contact lenses are generally prescribed to be worn during the day and removed at night. However, it is possible the Doctor will recommend an extended wear schedule.

This contact lens type offers far more benefits:

  • Worn and discarded every one to two weeks.
  • Require less care than daily wear soft lenses, as they are replaced more often.
  • Doctors believe risk of infection is decreased due to frequent replacement.
  • Feel moister than some other contacts, and as a result, many people find them much more comfortable to wear.
  • Visual acuity increases as new contact lenses are placed in the eye more frequently.

Daily Wear Soft

Daily wear soft lenses are also worn during the day and removed at night. However, these lenses will typically last six months to a year depending on the prescribed wear schedule. Because these contact lenses are handled for a longer period of time, lost or torn lenses are more probable. Those who need correction for astigmatism can wear toric lenses.

Extended Wear Soft

Extended soft wear lenses may be able to be worn during the night as well. However, it is important to closely follow the prescribed wear schedule. Because these lenses are handled less often, the risk of tearing or loss is somewhat reduced. These lenses are generally thinner than daily wear soft lenses and must be handled in a more gentle fashion.

Programmed Replacement Soft

With these lenses, the wearer will wear the contact lenses daily for one to three months before discarding them. The optometrist will prescribe a wearing schedule.

Gas Permeable

For patients with astigmatism, gas permeable contact lenses may be prescribed. Gas permeable lenses allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. Because these lenses are made of a semi-rigid, silicon-based plastic, the lens can be more difficult to adjust. Wearers can expect it to take about three weeks of wear to become comfortable with the feel of the lens on the eye.

Tint Type Characteristics

Clear

Clear lenses can be difficult to see when cleaning and placing in the eyes.

Visibility Tint, also called Handling Tint

These contact lenses are made with a very light tint (typically blue) to make handling and cleaning easier. The tint does not affect your vision and won’t change your eye color.

Enhancing Tint

These contact lenses are made to enhance a similar colored eye. If your eyes are light blue, a blue-enhancing tint lens will make your eye color appear darker and more intense. Your actual vision is not tinted, as the pupil, the central part you see through, is clear. If the enhancing tint lens is chosen well, others will not notice you are wearing tinted contact lenses.

Opaque

An opaque tinted contact lens actually changes the color of your eye. The colored lens blocks out the iris of your eye (the colored part) to change the color of your eye. Opaque lenses can change your eye color from brown to blue, for example. Your vision is not affected by an opaque lens as the pupil area of the lens remains clear.

 

Contact Lenses vs. Eyeglasses 

Many people who need some vision correction have both contact lenses and eyeglasses that they wear in certain circumstances. Both contacts and eyeglasses have advantages and disadvantages. 

Fashion 

Unless you’re looking for color changing contacts, your contact lenses won’t make much of a fashion statement. However, they will give you that all-natural look. Eyeglasses can be used to show off your personality, but may be tricky to match with all your outfits. For this reason, among others, many people use both eyeglasses and contact lenses. 

Fitness 

When you move and sweat, eyeglasses will often bounce or slide down your face. This can be extremely annoying when playing sports. Additionally, there’s some risk for breaking your glasses during physical activity. Contacts are definitely best for physical activity. 

Comfort & Ease of Use 

Admittedly, some people struggle to put in contact lenses. There are many articles that can show you how to put in contacts. Remember to also remove your contacts before falling asleep if you’re wearing daily disposables. By contrast, Eyeglasses are easy to wear, but some people do find them uncomfortable by the end of the day. 

Some contacts may dry out your eyes during the day, making eyedrops necessary. However, contact lenses today are much more comfortable than they used to be. Eyeglass frames are superior in front of computer screens, but fair far worse during physical activity. 

Health and Safety 

Any time you touch your eye, you’re at some risk of getting an eye infection. However, good hygiene, washing your hands, and taking care of your contacts significantly reduces these risks. Contact lenses do provide safety benefits during exercise as there’s no risk of breaking eyeglass frames and damaging your eyes. However, you should never swim or shower while wearing contacts. Wearing contact lenses in the water puts your eyes at great risk for infection and even permanent eye and vision damage. 

Making Your Choice 

If you try both contacts and eyeglasses, you may find yourself having a strong preference for one over the other, and that’s ok! Everyone’s experience is unique, and what some people prefer, others find uncomfortable and vise versa. Finding your preference may take some trial and error, but it is always worth it in the long run. 

Contact Club 

To keep your healthy vision affordable, EyeCare Express has a variety of special offers on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Be sure to ask us about our Contact Club when you come in for your appointment and eye exam. 

Contact Lenses FAQs

Please look through the questions below and click on them to open the text block for the answer. Thank you!

What are contact lenses?

Contact lenses are an alternative to eyeglasses to correct vision. Contacts are very thin pieces of sterile, specially-formed material. Contact lenses cause the way light is focused in the eye to change resulting in correcting vision.

Contact lenses are specially manufactured to allow the oxygen to reach the surface of the eye. In addition, changes are consistently being made to make contact lenses more comfortable for the wearer while always keeping eye safety in mind.

How do I know if contact lenses are right for me?

Most people who wear eyeglasses can also wear contacts. Our independent Doctors of Optometry can assist you in deciding whether contact lenses are the right choice for you to correct your vision.

Advantages of contact lenses:

  • Some are able to see better with contact lenses versus eyeglasses because more of the field of vision is corrected.
  • Contact lenses are vitually invisible on the eye and therefore do not alter facial appearance as eyeglasses do.
  • Contact lenses can be a more convenient option than eyeglasses.

However, contact lenses may require more time and a higher level of responsibility and care:

  • Contact lenses need to be carefully cleaned and maintained according to the instructions of your eye doctor and lens manufacturer.
  • Contact lenses generally have a much shorter life than eyeglasses and need to be replaced regularly though they are generally less expensive to replace than eyeglasses.

Still not sure? Try them out first!

Call us to find a location and schedule an eye exam with an independent Doctor of Optometry. EyeCare Express stores have contact lens fitting rooms where a trained technician will help you try on contact lenses. These sealed trial contact lenses are specifically made by contact lens manufacturers for this purpose.

What are the contact lens types?

Contact lenses can be broken down into two categories – wear type and tint type. Most wear types come in most tint types, and vice versa.

Wear Type Characteristics & Disposable

EyeCare Express highly recommends disposable contact lenses. Disposable contact lenses are generally prescribed to be worn during the day and removed at night. However, it is possible the Doctor will recommend an extended wear schedule.

This contact lens type offers far more benefits:

  • Worn and discarded every one to two weeks.
  • Require less care than daily wear soft lenses, as they are replaced more often.
  • Doctors believe risk of infection is decreased due to frequent replacement.
  • Feel moister than some other contacts, and as a result, many people find them much more comfortable to wear.
  • Visual acuity increases as new contact lenses are placed in the eye more frequently.

Daily Wear Soft

Daily wear soft lenses are also worn during the day and removed at night. However, these lenses will typically last six months to a year depending on the prescribed wear schedule. Because these contact lenses are handled for a longer period of time, lost or torn lenses are more probable. Those who need correction for astigmatism can wear toric lenses.

Extended Wear Soft

Extended soft wear lenses may be able to be worn during the night as well. However, it is important to closely follow the prescribed wear schedule. Because these lenses are handled less often, the risk of tearing or loss is somewhat reduced. These lenses are generally thinner than daily wear soft lenses and must be handled in a more gentle fashion.

Programmed Replacement Soft

With these lenses, the wearer will wear the contact lenses daily for one to three months before discarding them. The optometrist will prescribe a wearing schedule.

Gas Permeable

For patients with astigmatism, gas permeable contact lenses may be prescribed. Gas permeable lenses allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. Because these lenses are made of a semi-rigid, silicon-based plastic, the lens can be more difficult to adjust. Wearers can expect it to take about three weeks of wear to become comfortable with the feel of the lens on the eye.

Tint Type Characteristics:

• Clear

Clear lenses can be difficult to see when cleaning and placing in the eyes.

• Visibility Tint, also called Handling Tint

These contact lenses are made with a very light tint (typically blue) to make handling and cleaning easier. The tint does not affect your vision and won’t change your eye color.

• Enhancing Tint

These contact lenses are made to enhance a similar colored eye. If your eyes are light blue, a blue-enhancing tint lens will make your eye color appear darker and more intense. Your actual vision is not tinted, as the pupil, the central part you see through, is clear. If the enhancing tint lens is chosen well, others will not notice you are wearing a tinted contact lens.

• Opaque

An opaque tinted contact lens actually changes the color of your eye. The colored lens blocks out the iris of your eye (the colored part) to change the color of your eye. Opaque lenses can change your eye color from brown to blue, for example. Your vision is not effected by an opaque lens as the pupil area of the lens remains clear.

What can I do if I decide contact lenses aren't the right choice for me?

It takes time for most people to become accustomed to wearing contact lenses. This is completely normal and to be expected. Our trained professionals in our EyeCare Express stores can show you easy insertion techniques to make contact lens wear comfortable.

Call or stop by the EyeCare Express near you for more information.

Can contact lenses harm my eyes?

Contact lenses are safe when they are properly used and maintained. Contacts are specially manufactured to be gentle to the eye surface.

Eye irritation and infection often are due to failure to follow your contact lens maintenance plan, wearing your contact lenses for too long, not washing your hands before handling them, and/or improper cleaning.

At EyeCare Express, your eye health is our top priority and we will work closely with you to ensure optimum eye health and vision.

Are contact lenses available with the 2 for $69 offer?

The 2 for $69 offer is only for eyeglasses. However, we also offer low prices on our contact lenses.

For a contact lens eye exam or to purchase your contacts in person, visit one of our stores.

At EyeCare Express, your eye health is our top priority and we will work closely with you to ensure optimum eye health and vision.

In the past when I tried contact lenses, I thought they were uncomfortable. Why should I give contacts another chance?

In recent years, contact lenses have been continually improved to make contact lens wear more comfortable. During your eye exam, discuss your concerns with the professional Doctor of Optometry as this is always the best person to evaluate your eyes, lifestyle and vision needs. Be sure to mention your concerns to your doctor to determine if contact lenses are right for you.