A guide to contact lenses and the main differences between the most popular options.
Whether you’re already a seasoned contact lens wearer or you’re simply contact lens-curious, understanding the world of contact lenses will open your eyes (literally and figuratively) to the vision correction options available to you.
Few people know the difference between daily and monthly contacts, or soft versus rigid lenses—the most important options to consider. When it comes to contact lenses, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We’re guiding you through the contact lens landscape, so you can decide which products might be best suited to you.
Contact lenses versus glasses
For those in need of vision correction, contact lenses come with a slew of benefits. While glasses certainly serve a purpose, contact lenses improve peripheral vision and make engaging in physical activities and sports easier. Since contacts conform to your eye, they won’t fog the way glasses sometimes do and also offer a wider field of view. Plus, they’ll never clash with your outfit.
While some people choose to wear contacts every day, others save them for special occasions only, and opt for frames the rest of the time. It’s all about personal preference and what suits your personal lifestyle needs.
That being said, the benefits of contact lenses can’t be ignored, and anyone who depends on vision correction should know the options available to them. Contact lenses can seem confusing and daunting to someone who has never worn them before, but once you work with an optometrist to find the right lenses for you—and the right way to wear them—they aren’t so scary, after all.
Daily versus monthly contact lenses
One of the biggest decisions a prospective contact lens-wearer must make is between daily and monthly contacts. They are unquestionably among the most popular varieties of contacts, and they each come with unique pros and cons to keep in mind.
The central difference between daily and monthly contacts is fairly obvious: how long you can wear them for.
As its name implies, daily lenses are intended to be worn for one day and one day only—then disposed of. Meanwhile, monthly contact lenses are meant to be worn during the daytime, every day for a full month before replacing them with a brand-new pair.
Since monthly contacts last up to 30 days from the time the seal is broken, they must be stored overnight in a fresh cleaning solution. If they aren’t properly protected and sanitized, they can become unhygienic and potentially dangerous. So if you wear monthly lenses, it’s critical to swap them for a fresh pair at the end of the month.
On the other hand, daily lenses require less maintenance on the part of the wearer. Since they are disposed of at the end of each day, they are naturally more hygienic and convenient. While dailies will work to correct the vast majority of refractive errors (including myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism), in the case of extremely high refractive errors, daily options are limited. For highly complex prescriptions, rigid lenses are a better option than soft monthly or daily lenses.
Beyond prescription, the cost is also something to consider, as daily lenses are typically more expensive than monthly lenses. For perspective, wearing daily contacts two to three times per week is about the same price as wearing monthly lenses every day.
Soft versus hard lenses
While soft contact lenses are more popular than their hard counterparts, rigid lenses serve an important purpose, too, and are particularly common among people with high prescriptions. Hard lenses generally offer sharper vision, and they are usually longer-lasting.
Unfortunately, though, they aren’t as comfortable as soft lenses in the beginning, but they quickly become easily tolerable over time. They are also more likely to eject from the eyes during intense physical activity. In short, they’re less convenient and a little harder to get used to. But for some contact lens wearers, they’re the right pick.
Know your needs
Choosing the best contact lenses for your eyes requires understanding your optical needs. Start by booking a comprehensive eye exam at an FYidoctors clinic near you. From there, we’ll help you find the perfect pair of lenses to match your prescription and other vision-related concerns, including astigmatism and multifocal/bifocal issues.
Consulting with an eyecare professional is essential, and being properly fitted for contact lenses is the key to being comfortable while wearing them. So don’t delay—book an appointment today and discover the many vision correction options available to you.