How to deal with hard contacts

How to deal with hard contacts

At Eyes on Rosemont, we strive to meet all of your eye and vision care needs. Corrective lens evaluations and prescription management are provided by our optometrists. After a comprehensive eye and vision evaluation, the doctor will discuss the variety of contact lens options with you to select the type that best fits your vision needs and lifestyle. If you suffer from dry eye, allergies, or recurring eye infections, our doctors will help you determine whether contact lenses are right for you.

Evaluation

Prior to prescribing contact lenses, the doctor will determine what level of vision correction you require. Refractive error (commonly known as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) is evaluated by measuring how the eyes focus when a series of different lenses are placed in front of them. An optometrist may use either a phoropter or an automated instrument to take these measurements. Because contacts are a medical device, patients are required to have a contact lens fitting annually.

Corrective Lenses

After determining the level of refractive error, the doctor works with you to determine whether contact lenses or glasses are best for your lifestyle. If you suffer from certain conditions, such as dry eye or allergies, glasses may be the most comfortable corrective solution. Contact lenses are available in either soft or rigid gas permeable form. Contact lenses need to be changed daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on what type of lens you select. Specialized contact lenses, such as multifocal, Scleral or rigid gas permeable lenses are also available for patients with specific eye conditions.

Cosmetic Lenses

Advances in contact lens technology have created great options for cosmetic and prosthetic lenses. Custom contact lenses can be created to camouflage any color variation or irregularity and produce a natural eye color. Cosmetic lenses are also available to transform your eye color. Call us at (207) 210-6700 and speak to our knowledgeable staff if you are interested in modifying or changing your eye color with contact lenses.

Hard to Fit Contacts

Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person suffering with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult proposition. However, it does not rule out wearing contact lenses altogether. It just means patients need to discuss options with their eye care provider and obtain specialized hard to fit contacts for their specific vision problems.

Reasons for Hard to Fit Contacts

Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:

  • Astigmatism
  • Dry eyes
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • Keratoconus
  • Presbyopia

Astigmatism

Astigmatism develops when the front of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.

Dry Eyes

When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye.

This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.

Keratoconus

This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.

Presbyopia

Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older.

Solutions for Hard to Fit Contacts

Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. However, you will need to meet with an eye care professional and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition.

Gas permeable (GP) lenses and scleral lenses are viable options for patients who suffer from GPC or Keratoconus. A GP lens can provide better vision for certain refractive errors compared to soft lenses. Scleral lenses are specialty lenses that vault over the entire cornea and can often significantly improve vision in patients with corneal disease, e.g. Keratoconus.

Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Toric lenses have a meridian of higher power than correlates specifically with the eye’s astigmatism. They are weighted slightly and rotate to the right position when placed on the eye.

Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Multifocal contact lenses utilize concentric rings that alternate between distance and near, and the brain automatically adapts the viewing distance allowing the patient to see far and near, and thus be completely independent of glasses. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.

Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable. Other options to promote comfortable contact lens wear include punctual plugs, which keep the tears on the eye longer. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. They flush out protein deposits and reduce inflammation

If you have eye issues related to your eye shape, an optometrist might give you special contact lenses. These are known as hard to fit contacts. Bradley J. Phillips MD, LLC in Somerset, NJ, can help you with all your hard to fit contact needs.

Q—What are hard to fit contacts?

A—Hard to fit contacts are any contact lenses that are not your typical lenses. This includes lenses that are worn for astigmatism, dry eye, bifocal lenses, and more.

Q—Are hard to fit contacts difficult to get?

A—Hard to fit contacts are just that: hard to fit. With the right optometrist, they are not hard to get. Our optometrist will help you find the perfect lenses for your unique situation.

Q—Are hard to fit contacts necessary?

A—For some eyes, hard to fit contacts are necessary because normal lenses will not provide the right kind of correction. If you have astigmatism, you are going to need lenses that are specially designed to fit the unique shape of your eye.

Q—Are contact lenses for dry eye considered hard to fit contacts?

A—Lenses for dry eye may be considered hard to fit for a few reasons. In most cases, dry eyes will not be able to handle normal lenses, as there will is not enough moisture on the surface of the eye for a regular lens to sit comfortably. Dry eye lenses are specially created to keep the eye moist for comfortable contact wear.

Q—How do I know if I need hard to fit contacts?

A—After an eye exam, our optometrist will know if you need hard to fit contacts. Our eye doctor recognizes issues that prevent the wear of typical contact lenses. Our eye doctor will also let you know how to deal with any issues you might run into with hard to fit contact lenses.
Q—Are hard to fit contacts better than typical contact lenses?

A—For certain conditions, hard to fit lenses are going to be far better for your eyes than typical lenses. Speak with our optometrist about your options.

Schedule an Appointment Today

We are hard to fit contact experts in Somerset, NJ, and the surrounding area. If you’re having trouble with your hard to fit lenses or think you might need them, call Bradley J. Phillips MD, LLC at (732) 249-6101 or book an appointment online.

How to deal with hard contacts

Your Source for Hard to Fit Contact Lenses in Ardmore

Contact lenses offer a great deal of convenience as a means of vision correction — but that convenience can be harder to come by for some individuals. If you have a particular refractive prescription, eye disorder or lifestyle challenge that puts you in the “hard to fit” category of contact lens wearers, don’t despair. Our optometrist at Ardmore Premier Eyecare can provide a number of specialized contact lens options for your particular needs, including the most sophisticated choices in scleral and orthokeratology (ortho-k) lenses.

Why Your Eyes Are Hard to Fit

The term “hard to fit” can be applied to a variety of conditions and situations that might cause you to require something above and beyond the standard, “off the rack” soft contacts. While many people with uncomplicated nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism may find these standard-issue soft contacts perfectly fine for their needs, you may not get the desired comfort and effectiveness from such lenses, especially if:

  • Your eyes are sensitive to the proteins and other debris that love to gather on standard soft lenses
  • Your prescription is relatively strong or complex in nature
  • You have keratoconus or another condition that causes an irregular/bulging corneal shape
  • You have dry eye, a condition which is often worsened by ordinary soft lenses

State-of-the-Art Contact Lens Options for Special Needs

We can determine whether you have a hard to fit condition when you come in for your contact lens exam. Once we have evaluated your ocular health, vision prescription, and other factors, we can guide you toward the ideal specialized lenses for accurate, safe, comfortable vision correction. For instance, middle-aged patients with presbyopia usually need multifocal or mono focal lenses that can accommodate multiple viewing distances. Rigid gas permeable lenses offer the sharpest vision correction possible, even for very strong prescriptions — and the fact that they are less prone to collecting debris makes them a great choice for sensitive eyes. Ardmore Premier Eyecare is also proud to offer:

  • Essilor Pro-Look Scleral Contacts – Scleral contacts vault completely over the cornea, with their edges resting on the white of the eye (sclera). This provides a consistent, perfect curvature correction for corneal irregularities such as keratoconus. Scleral contacts are also good for dry eye sufferers because they provide a reservoir for tears. Our Pro-Look Scleral contacts can be fine-tuned for every part of your corneal curvature, including toric properties that ensure accurate correction for astigmatism.
  • Ortho-k – Ortho-k lenses help you avoid daytime irritation and dryness by avoiding daytime contacts altogether. These overnight lenses double as molds that painlessly reshape your corneas as you sleep. Simply wear them to bed as needed.

We Have Your Contact Lenses in Ardmore

Your hard to fit eyes pose no fears for Ardmore Premier Eyecare. Call 580-223-8585 to have us prepare your perfect contact lenses in Ardmore!

How to deal with hard contacts

Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person suffering with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult proposition. However, it does not rule out wearing contact lenses altogether. It just means patients need to discuss options with their eye care provider and obtain specialized hard to fit contacts for their specific vision problems.

Reasons for Hard to Fit Contacts

Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:

  • Astigmatism
  • Dry eyes
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • Keratoconus
  • Presbyopia

Astigmatism: Astigmatism develops when the front of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.

Dry Eyes: When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye.

GPC: This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.

Keratoconus: This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.

Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older.

Solutions for Hard to Fit Contacts

Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. You do need to meet with an eye care professional, however, and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition.

Gas permeable lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from GPC or Keratoconus. A GP lens will limit protein deposits from accumulating which will reduce GPC symptoms. It is also effective in containing corneal bulging and relieving pressure on the tissue for a Keratoconus sufferer.

Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the bulge it is correcting, toric lenses must not rotate in order to fit on the eye. They are typically custom made to correct a specific astigmatism. For that reason, this type of lens takes longer to make and costs more than a traditional contact lens.

Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.

Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable, although a punctual occlusion also must be done to plug the ducts in some extreme cases. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. They flush out protein deposits and reduce inflammation.

Johnstone M. Kim, MD, is board-certified in ophthalmology. He's a practicing physician at Midwest Retina in Dublin, Ohio and previously served as a full-time faculty member at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, Michigan.

Certain eye drops can be used with contact lenses, including rewetting drops that make the eyes feel more comfortable. However, some eye drops should not be used with contact lenses and may end up causing eye irritation and redness.

This article looks at four types of eye drops found on most drugstore shelves and outlines which are safe and which can cause problems if you wear contacts. It also explains when to remove your contacts and call your eye doctor when problems arise.

Types of Eye Drops

Eye drops are not a one-size-fits-all solution. They are intended for specific purposes, and in some cases, need to be avoided if you wear contacts.

Rewetting Eye Drops

Contact lens eye drops are often called rewetting drops. Rewetting drops lubricate your eye and hydrate the contact lens, making your eyes more comfortable while wearing the lenses.

These eye drops are labeled “For use with contact lenses” and are usually located next to contact lens cleaning solutions.

Eye care professionals usually encourage frequent use of rewetting drops as it improves comfort and helps clear out debris underneath the contact lenses.

Dry Eye Drops

Dry eye drops come in a variety of formulations. Some are thicker than others and may actually cloud your vision or “gum up” your contact lenses.

While some dry eye drops may be OK for use with contact lenses, they are designed to not only lubricate the eye but to promote the healing of the eye’s surface.

If your eyes are healthy, it may be best to stick with eye drops that specifically state "For use with contact lenses." If unsure, call your eye doctor.

Vasoconstrictor Eye Drops

“Get the red out” eye drops have special ingredients called vasoconstrictors . These drops shrink the tiny blood vessels in the conjunctiva (the clear tissue that coats the white part of your eye). While they are effective, vasoconstrictor eye drops can leave deposits on the surface of your lenses, causing cloudiness.

If used to rewet your lenses on an ongoing basis, vasoconstrictor eye drops can also cause rebound redness. Rebound redness occurs when the vasoconstrictor effects wear off and blood vessels in the eyes suddenly dilate and become bloodshot. This, in turn, can lead to eye drop dependency as you need more and more to relieve the redness.

In addition, the overuse of vasoconstrictor drops can "mask" eye infections or other inflammatory conditions affecting the eye.

If you need eye drops for bloodshot eyes, it is best to remove your lense and put them on only after the redness has fully cleared.

Medicated Eye Drops

Medicated eye drops are rarely intended for use with contact lenses. So, if you have an eye infection such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), your best bet is to avoid wearing contact lenses while using the drops.

Similarly, if you are using medicated drops for allergies or an eye injury, it's best to avoid lenses until your eyes fully recover.

Recap

The best eye drops for contact lenses are rewetting eye drops. Dry eye drops may be OK but can sometimes be thick and cause blurriness. Vasoconstrictor eye drops or medicated eye drops should only be used when your lenses are out and not as a substitute for rewetting drops.

When to Take Your Contacts Out

Although many extended-wear contact lenses can be worn for up to seven days, it doesn't mean that you should. There are also times when contact lenses need to be removed due to an infection, eye injury, or other concerns.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should remove your contact lenses if you experience:

  • Irritated, red eyes
  • Worsening pain in or around the eyes
  • Sudden blurry vision
  • Unusually watery eyes
  • Eye discharge

If the symptoms continue for more than a couple of hours or get worse, call your eye doctor.

Recap

You should remove your contact lenses if ever you have eye redness, eye pain, sudden blurriness, unusual discharge, excessive tearing, or light sensitivity.

Summary

There are many different types of eye drops but not all are suitable for contact lens users. As a general rule, buy only those labeled "For use with contact lenses."

Rewetting eye drops are specifically designed for contact lenses to make them more comfortable in the eye. Dry eye drops may be fine, although some formulations are thick and can end up gumming up your lenses. Vasoconstrictor eye drops and medicated eye drops should only be used when your contacts are out and not as rewetting agents.

Remove your contact lenses if ever they cause redness, pain, discharge sudden blurring, light sensitivity, or excessive tearing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long you can wear contact lenses depends on the type of lens. For example, daily disposable lenses are meant to be thrown away after one day of usage. Extended-wear contact lenses can often be worn for about seven days, while certain extended-wear disposable lenses can be safely used for up to 30 days. No matter which type of lens you use, be sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions on how to handle the contact lens.

It is not recommended to use contact solution as eye drops. If the solution repeatedly touches your eye, over time it can cause irritation and redness. Contact solutions contain ingredients that are meant to clean the lenses between use. If you are looking for eye rewetting drops, it is a better idea to look for specific products that are meant for the eyes alone.

You should not use Visine while wearing contacts. The product label of Visine recommends removing contact lenses before use. It may also be a good idea to wait at least 10 or 15 minutes after using it to put in contact lenses. It's important to always follow your healthcare provider's instructions or the instructions listed on the product label.

How to deal with hard contacts

Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person suffering with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult proposition. However, it does not rule out wearing contact lenses altogether. It just means patients need to discuss options with their eye care provider and obtain specialized hard to fit contacts for their specific vision problems.

Reasons for Hard to Fit Contacts

Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:

  • Astigmatism
  • Dry eyes
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • Keratoconus
  • Presbyopia

Astigmatism: Astigmatism develops when the front of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.

Dry Eyes: When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye.

GPC: This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.

Keratoconus: This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.

Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older.

Solutions for Hard to Fit Contacts

Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. You do need to meet with an eye care professional, however, and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition.

Gas permeable lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from GPC or Keratoconus. A GP lens will limit protein deposits from accumulating which will reduce GPC symptoms.

Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the bulge it is correcting, toric lenses must not rotate in order to fit on the eye. They are typically custom made to correct a specific astigmatism. For that reason, this type of lens takes longer to make and costs more than a traditional contact lens.

Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.

Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable, although a punctual occlusion also must be done to plug the ducts in some extreme cases. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. They flush out protein deposits and reduce inflammation.

How to deal with hard contacts

Have you been told that contacts weren’t an option for you? Dr. Owens and Dr. Strybos have years of experience in satisfying “difficult-to-fit” contact lens patients.

Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person suffering with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult proposition. However, it does not rule out wearing contact lenses altogether. It just means patients need to discuss options with their eye care provider and obtain specialized hard to fit contacts for their specific vision problems.

Reasons for Hard to Fit Contacts

Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:

  • Astigmatism
  • Dry eyes
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • Keratoconus or Irregular Corneas
  • Presbyopia

Astigmatism: Astigmatism develops when the front of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.

Dry Eyes: When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye.

GPC: This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.

Keratoconus: This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.

Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older.

Solutions for Hard to Fit Contacts

Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. You do need to meet with an eye care professional, however, and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition.

Gas permeable lenses and scleral lenses are a possible solution for patients who suffer from Keratoconus. It is effective in containing corneal bulging and relieving pressure on the tissue for a Keratoconus sufferer. Dr. Strybos specializes in fitting scleral contact lenses for irregular corneas.

Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the bulge it is correcting, toric lenses must not rotate in order to fit on the eye. They are typically custom made to correct a specific astigmatism. For that reason, this type of lens takes longer to make and costs more than a traditional contact lens.

Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.

Daily disposable lenses are often used for GPC. A daily disposable lens will limit protein deposits from accumulating, which will reduce symptoms of GPC.

Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable, GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. Let our doctors and staff know if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person suffering with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult proposition. However, it does not rule out wearing contact lenses altogether. It just means patients need to discuss options with their eye care provider and obtain specialized hard to fit contacts for their specific vision problems.

Reasons for Hard to Fit Contacts

Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:

  • Astigmatism
  • Dry eyes
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • Keratoconus
  • Presbyopia

Astigmatism: Astigmatism develops when the front of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.

Dry Eyes: When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye.

GPC: This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.

Keratoconus: This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.

Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older.

Solutions for Hard to Fit Contacts

Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. You do need to meet with an eye care professional, however, and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition.

Gas permeable lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from GPC or Keratoconus. A GP lens will limit protein deposits from accumulating which will reduce GPC symptoms. It is also effective in containing corneal bulging and relieving pressure on the tissue for a Keratoconus sufferer.

Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the bulge it is correcting, toric lenses must not rotate in order to fit on the eye. They are typically custom made to correct a specific astigmatism. For that reason, this type of lens takes longer to make and costs more than a traditional contact lens.

Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.

Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable, although a punctual occlusion also must be done to plug the ducts in some extreme cases. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. They flush out protein deposits and reduce inflammation.

In most cases, properly fitted contacts are not hard to put in. In fact, they are easy to apply to and remove from the eye. It just takes a little practice. And patience.

If Kids Can Put In Contacts, So Can You!

The potential difficulty in putting contacts on is a concern many parents have when their children express an interest in wearing contact lenses. But recent research shows most kids do just fine when it comes to handling and caring for them, and they don't seem to find contacts hard to put in.

In one recent study, 169 children (84 kids ages 8 to 12 and 85 teenagers ages 13 to 17) were fitted with soft contact lenses for the first time. A significant majority of even the youngest children in the study mastered applying, removing and handling their contact lenses. And 83 percent of the pre-teens and 89 percent of the teenagers said the contacts were easy to take care of.

Their parents concurred. At the end of the study, 86 percent of parents of the pre-teens and 89 percent of parents of the teenagers agreed with the statement, "My child is demonstrating that he/she is responsible enough to wear contact lenses and properly care for them."

A Good Fitting Ensures That Your Contacts Won't Be Hard To Put In

Whether you are the parent of a child who wants contacts or an adult desiring to try contacts yourself, during a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting your eye doctor will take a number of measurements to select the contact lenses that are best for you or your child.

During the fitting, your doctor will note the amount of space between your upper and lower eyelids when your eyes are open normally.

If this space is limited (as it may be with people of Asian heritage or people with small or deep-set eyes), your doctor may choose a soft contact lens with a smaller-than-average diameter to make it easier for you to insert and remove your contacts.

If you have trouble handling soft contacts when trying to put them on your eye, often it is because you are blinking before the lens touches your eye. Your eye doctor or optician performing the contact lens fitting may suggest this exercise to help you become more comfortable touching your eyes, which will make applying your contacts easier:

After washing your hands thoroughly, look in the mirror, open your eye widely and try touching the white part of your eye with the soft pad of your fingertip without blinking.

Use the same motion you will use to apply your contacts, and keep your finger on your eye for a second or two before removing it.

It may take a little practice, but once you master this skill, putting on your contact lenses will go much easier.

If you still have trouble putting on soft contacts, your eye doctor may recommend gas permeable contacts instead. Though wearing these rigid lenses takes some getting used to at first, they are much smaller in diameter than soft contacts, and many people find they are easier to put in.

But whether you choose soft contact lenses or rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) contacts, don't give up easily when first learning how to apply and remove your lenses. Even if you struggle initially, just set the lenses aside and try again a few minutes later.

With each successful attempt, putting in contacts becomes easier and easier.

Notes and References

Contact Lenses in Pediatrics (CLIP) Study: chair time and ocular health. Optometry and Vision Science. September 2007.

There are two main types of contact lens materials that you should consider when choosing which contact lenses best suit your needs. Based on type of lens material they are made of, lenses can be roughly divided into soft and hard lenses.

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses are made of gel-like, flexible plastic that is combined with water to allow oxygen to get through the contacts and reach the cornea. This water-containing plastic is also known as hydrogel. This is why this type of contact lenses are comfortable and easy to apply. And in addition, they stay in place and are much easier to get used to than hard contact lenses.

Advantages Of Soft Contact Lenses

As mentioned above, soft contact lenses are easy to get used to. The initial comfort is greater than with RGP contacts. If you don’t wear your soft lenses for a week, they’ll still be comfortable when you put them on a week later.

Additionally, soft lenses are bigger and they usually move less meaning that they are more stable and thus ideal for sports with risk of impact. And since they do not move, they are less susceptible to the intrusion of foreign objects under the lens, such as dust. The use of these lenses does not usually deform the cornea. Moreover, they are less sensitive to light which isn’t the case with hard or RGP lenses.

Disadvantages Of Soft Contact Lenses

Some of the downsides of soft contact lenses are lower duration and they are more difficult to manipulate. They have less gas permeability than modern rigid materials, also not all optical powers are manufactured. Cleaning and maintenance of soft lenses is more complex and expensive and additionally, they produce more allergic problems and may cause more eye dryness than rigid lenses.

Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses

These contact lenses are an improved type of soft contact lenses that are more porous than regular hydrogel lenses and allow even more oxygen to reach the cornea. Furthermore, these lenses enable up to five times more oxygen to reach the cornea than regular hydrogel lenses.

Just like soft lenses, they are made of plastics that are hard when dry but readily absorb water and become soft and gel-like when hydrated. On top of that, increasing the oxygen supply to the eye is potentially beneficial for all contact lens wearers, especially considering that many wearers are not complying with their opticians’ instructions regarding proper lens wear and replacement.

Some of disadvantages of silicone hydrogel lenses are that the silicone material tends to attract more lipid deposits, which may cause blurry vision and discomfort, in some patients. Also, they are generally more expensive than non-silicone lenses, so a more price-conscious consumer may not prefer this option.

Disposable Soft Lenses

This type of lenses was designed to be warn for a short time. Disposable contact lenses are great for people with allergies and those who are concerned about getting eye infections from the build-up of bacteria and dirt under the lens. These contact lenses require minimal cleaning and disinfection before being discarded. Today’s soft contact lenses are available as non-disposables, monthly or weekly disposables, and daily disposables.

Daily Wear & Extended Wear Soft Lenses

Soft contact lenses are also available for extended and daily wear. Daily wear contacts are intended to be worn during the day and removed for nightly cleaning and disinfecting. Daily wear lenses can be reused until their intended discard date.

Extended wear soft contact lenses can be worn while sleeping but must be removed for cleaning and disinfecting once a week. Overnight use may pose a risk of eye infections so caution should be used even with lenses that are designed for extended wear.

Hard Contact Lenses

Hard contact lenses are today known as rigid gas permeable contact lenses which are also called GP lenses, gas permeable lenses, RGP lenses and oxygen permeable lenses. This type of lenses has come a long way since the 1970s and they shouldn’t be confused with old-fashioned hard contact lenses which are no longer in use.

Hard contact lenses were made of a type of plastic called poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA). Before 1971 almost all contact lenses were made from PMMA, which is also called acrylic or acrylic glass, as well as Plexiglas, Lucite, Perspex and others. Even though PMMA has excellent optical properties, and it’s lightweight and shatter-resistant, it is impermeable to oxygen and other gasses. And since cornea needs a significant amount of oxygen to stay healthy, PMMA lenses were very uncomfortable and impossible to wear.

In the late 1970s, gas permeable contact lenses were first introduced. Most GP lenses incorporate silicone, which makes them more flexible than PMMA. And silicone is a material that is oxygen permeable, which means that oxygen can pass directly through GP lenses to keep the cornea healthy.

Moreover, modern RGP contact lenses allow more oxygen to reach the cornea than most soft contact lenses. Because of this RGP contact lenses are made larger than PMMA lenses. These design changes make modern rigid RGP lenses more comfortable and easier to get used to than old-fashioned hard contacts and also keep the lenses more securely on the eye.

Advantages Of RGP Contact Lenses

RGP lenses retain their shape when you blink which in turn provides sharper vision. This happens because they are made of a firm plastic material.

These lenses are extremely durable and can’t be torn easily. Also, unlike soft contact lenses, RGP lenses aren’t made of materials that contain water, so protein and lipids from your tears do not adhere to GP lenses as easily as they do to soft lenses. These lenses can last for years with just a little care, as long as you don’t require a prescription change, of course.

Disadvantages Of RGP Contact Lenses

Unlike soft lenses which are instantly comfortable, RGP lenses require an adaptation period before they are as comfortable as soft contacts. In order to achieve maximum comfort with gas permeable contacts, you need to wear them regularly (though not necessarily every day).

Additionally, since GP lenses are smaller in size than soft lenses, there is a greater risk of gas permeable lenses dislodging from the eye during sports or other activities. And because gas permeable lenses are designed to move on the eye when the wearer blinks, there is a higher risk of dust and debris getting under the lenses, causing discomfort or a possible abrasion to the cornea.

Hybrid Contact Lenses

Hybrid contact lenses are designed to provide wearing comfort that rivals soft or silicone hydrogel lenses, combined with the crystal-clear optics of gas permeable lenses. Hybrid lenses have a rigid gas permeable central zone, surrounded by a “skirt” of hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material. Hybrid lenses are great for patients with astigmatism, as the GP lens is able to mask most, if not all, of the corneal astigmatism. Despite these features, hybrid contact lenses are more difficult to fit and are more expensive to replace than soft and silicone hydrogel lenses. Also, hybrid lenses do not correct for lenticular astigmatism. Hybrid lens wearers will need proper training with insertion, removal and lens care. This new modality is easy for some and difficult for others.

Taking into consideration all the above-mentioned advantages and disadvantages of both soft and hard contact lenses can help determine the best options for you. Whether you’re shopping for soft or hard contacts, shop our site today to find discount contact lenses.