Contacts 101: Everything You Need To Know

Though the concept of a contact lens is credited to Leonardo da Vinci (1508), the original contact wasn’t physically produced until over 200 years later when the first glass contact was manufactured in 1887. Since 1940, there have been drastic advancements in the field of contact lenses.

Lens material was changed from glass to plastic to acrylate material to silicone-hydrogel and the structure evolved from covering the whole eye to covering just the cornea. Aside from the modern convenience of contacts, below are five more reasons why getting lenses is a good idea. 

Five Reasons To Get Contact Lenses 

1) Contacts offer safe, effective correcting for common vision problems.

2) Lenses are designed to be ultra-moist, further enhancing comfort.

3) Contact lenses don’t fog.

4) Contacts are easy to wear when participating in a variety of activates like swimming, basketball, skiing and much more.

5) Lenses are easy to care for; cleaning, storing and disposing of contacts is easier than ever.

Considering the history of contacts began with a glass design, the idea of putting a foreign object in your eye might turn you off. However, modern contacts are specifically designed with comfort in mind. Especially with the invention of the silicone-hydrogel lens in 2002, wearing contacts is more comfortable than ever. 

Three More Common Misconceptions About Contacts

1) Myth: Contact lenses are unsafe for your eyes.

Reality: Most people, especially active, sports-minded individuals, prefer contacts to glasses because they are safer. Contacts can’t bend, break or shatter and their convenience doesn’t require a change of eyewear during activities like skiing or swimming.

2) Myth: Contacts are more expensive than glasses

Reality: Though it is difficult to make a broad generalization about cost, contacts can often be less expensive than glasses. Considering the total when adding the cost of cases, cleaning materials, and backups, glasses are pretty pricey. Depending on the brand, prescription and replacement times, contacts can equate to less money over a longer span of time.

3) Myth: You have to be an adult or have unchanging eyesight to qualify for contacts.

Reality: First and foremost, there is no age limit for contact wearers. Everyone from babies to senior citizens can enjoy the benefits of contacts, though many professionals encourage kids to be at least 11-years-old before using contacts. Also, contacts are beneficial for people with frequently changing eyes because contacts are easily changeable.

Now that you know the truth behind contact myths and you understand a few important benefits of choosing contacts over glasses, it’s time to discuss the how to process of getting contacts. Follow this easy step-by-step process and you’ll be wearing contacts in no time. 

Steps For Purchasing Contacts 

1. Make An Appointment

Set up an appointment with your local optometrist and get fitted for contacts. Under no circumstances should you ever try someone else’s contacts. Not only does interchanging contacts put you at great risk for the transmission of a bacterial infection, but also every individual contact is designed on a personalized basis and you could scratch or damage your cornea.

2. Determine Your Brand

Once fitted with proper lenses and after being sufficiently trained on how to utilize your contacts, consult with your optometrist about the brand of contacts that best suit your wants and needs, and also discuss the different saline solution options. Learning how to properly clean and maintain your lenses is vitally important, so be sure to have this discussion.

3. Know What To Expect

Talking with your optometrist about the do’s and don’ts of contact wearing is also important. For example, some contacts are wearable for days or months at a time while others need to be changed daily. Sleeping in contacts that are not intended for this can damage and irritate eyes, over using the same set of contacts can occasionally worsen eyesight and prematurely disposing of contacts can be wasteful. Know your eyes, know your contacts and know the responsibilities involved in the process.

With the steps to getting contacts proving quick and easy, the myths thoroughly exposed and the reasons not to get contacts nearly extinct, the last piece of the puzzle is to protect your eyes with vision insurance.

With VSP Individual Vision Plans you can save money on eye exams, glasses or contacts, top-quality lens options and much more. Whether you are nervous about getting contacts or apprehensive of the process involved, VSP Direct will be by your side every step of the way.

Your vision. Your way.

Not covered for vision? Get an individual plan, customized for you – including where you want to use it: at the doctor, in a retail location, or even online.

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