Contact Lenses: What Are My Options? Part 2

Hello all, and welcome to Part 2 of my Contact Lenses: What are My Options? series!

 *Click here for Part 1!*

In the last post, I began the discussion on soft contact lenses, and provided some (okay, probably too much) information regarding lens material and the benefits of each type.

Today, I’m going to stick with the soft contact lens theme, but switch away from the material conversation, and focus instead on lens replacement schedule.

Let’s get started – I promise it’s not as boring as it sounds!

 

Soft Contact Lenses: Lens Replacement

Quarterly

Basics:

  • This lens is to be worn daily for 3 months.
  • Quarterly replacement lenses are relatively uncommon, and are most commonly specialty lenses, reserved for high prescriptions, or other ocular conditions.
  • Like all lenses, it should be removed for sleeping, and stored in a contact lens case in contact lens solution.
    • Lens case should be replaced every 3 months.
    • Contact lens solution should be dumped daily, and filled with new solution.
    • For optimum comfort, health, and vision, lenses should be manually cleaned (aka scrubbed with the tip of your finger) to help remove debris and deposits.
  • If you are in a quarterly lens, chances are it’s because that’s one of the only soft lens options for you, which is a pro, and a con.

Monthly

Basics:

  • This lens is to be worn daily for a month.
  • Like all lenses, it should be removed for sleeping, and stored in a contact lens case in contact lens solution.
    • Same details as above.

Pros:

  • Normally, monthly lenses are some of the more cost effective lenses.
  • Less waste (packaging, lenses, etc)

Cons:

  • Prone to overuse (wearing them longer than a month)
  • Prone to allergic responses
  • Prone to deposits
  • Increased potential for complications (secondary to overuse and improper cleaning/storage)
  • Added expense of contact lens case and solution

2-Week

Basics:

  • This lens is to be worn daily for two weeks.
  • Like all lenses, it should be removed for sleeping, and stored in a contact lens case in contact lens solution.
    • Same details as above.
Pros:
  • It’s replaced more than a monthly lens, decreasing some of the potential for allergic responses, deposits, and other complications.
  • Two week lenses may still be cheaper than daily lenses.
  • Less waste than dailies

Cons:

  • Even more prone to overuse (two week lenses often become monthly lenses)
  • Prone to allergic responses
  • Prone to deposits
  • Increased potential for complications
  • Added expense of contact lens case and solution

Daily

Basics:

  • This lens is worn for a single day, then disposed of.
  • Daily lenses are not meant to be slept in.

Pros:

  • Low risk profile
  • Improved comfort and vision
  • Overuse is rare
  • No (okay, minimal) need for contact lens cases or solution

Cons:

  • Potential increased cost upfront (though balanced out by reduced expenditures on solution)
  • Increased waste (lenses and packaging)

 

Personal Preferences

One of the best parts of optometry school – at least for a moderate myope – was getting to tryout most any lens that I was interested in.  As such, I’ve tried most lens replacement schedules.

Daily lenses are hands down my favorite, as, from my experience, they provide the best comfort and vision out of any soft contact lens replacement schedule.  There’s no concern of having enough solution with me when I travel, and no disgusting looking contact lens cases.  They’re lighter (they only have to last a day!), and leave my eyes feeling like they can breathe!

I additionally love their decreased risk profile.  As a moderately near-sighted individual, I completely understand patient’s frustration in being told to never use contacts around water, be it showering, swimming, or any other water related activity.  With daily lenses, I am more comfortable saying – you can keep wearing your lenses, just make sure to replace them after you finish the activity.

As much as I love them, daily lenses aren’t always the best option for every eye.  Sometimes the prescription is too unique, and requires a longer use lens.  Other times, the specific lens capabilities (ie Transitions contact lenses) aren’t offered in daily lenses.  Whatever the case, rest assured that your optometrist is committed to providing you with the best comfort, health, and vision that they can!

If you learned something from this post, please share it with a friend or family member!  If you liked it, please subscribe, or like my page on Facebook! And as always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact me – I’d love to hear from you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.