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Switching From Glasses to Contact Lenses? Here's What You Need to Know...

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So, you want to make the switch from wearing glasses to contact lenses…

Here are some things that you’ll definitely need to know when making your decision. I’ve included some of my own personal experiences with both kinds of eye wear, as well as some general tips and important things to remember.

My Personal Experience

I am a proud bespectacled individual, and started wearing glasses when I was eight years old. However in February 2011, I decided I wanted to start using contact lenses instead. I went to my optician and she gave me a trial pair with my prescribed strength and gave me some tips for wearing and using contacts.

Seven years later, I can say I’m still happy that I’m using them. I like being able to have a choice of eyewear. I tend to wear my contacts during the day (not every day; it depends on how I’m feeling and how hectic my schedule is) and when I get home, I take them out and put on my glasses. I also prefer to wear my glasses during busy days, when I'm traveling, watching television or reading shortly before bed.

You'll still need your glasses...

Some people make the switch without knowing that even though you wear contact lenses, you’d still need a pair of regular glasses as well. Most contacts users tend to wear them during the day, then opt for wearing spectacles at night or when they’re relaxing.

Also, if you travel a lot, or are constantly in air conditioned spaces, you might find that spectacles are the better choice for these situations. Your eye tends to dry out a bit in these conditions, and you might feel a slight discomfort if you’re wearing contacts. Sometimes it's good to take out your contacts and let your eyes 'breathe' for a bit, especially if you suffer from dry eyes.

Contacts don't last forever.

Honestly, before I started wearing contacts, I didn’t know much about them. I thought that a pair would last forever. They don’t!

The type of contact lenses that I use can be changed monthly, and that is if I wear them every day. Since I don’t, I am able to stretch the usage to roughly every one and a half months before changing them. However it is best to ask your optician about doing this.

There are also some contacts that are made for daily use – that is, after wearing them for one day, you can throw them away, and use a new pair.

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Replacements for contact lenses are easy to get, however I find it best to buy a few months’ supply at a time – that way you don’t have to be blindly rushing to the optician when you run out!

Responsibilities while using Contacts

Contact lenses, like most things in life, come with responsibilities. However they require very simple procedures, and your optician will be sure to tell you about them.

  • Always have contact solution available when using contacts. This is what you use to clean and store the contacts in, so that they don’t dry out or remain dirty. NEVER use regular water to clean your contacts!
  • ALWAYS change your contact lenses when it’s due! If you continue to wear ‘old’ contacts, you run the risk of getting an eye infection.
  • NEVER mix up your contact lenses! This can also lead to possible infections. Most contact lenses cases have a large ‘L’ or a heart symbol for the pocket to keep the left eye contact in, and an ‘R’ for the right eye contact. It's recommended to have a routine or sequence when putting them in – always put in the left one first. It’ll eventually become a habit.

Contacts are not for everyone

Sadly, not everyone can wear contacts. Some people find them irritating or painful, and others simply don’t want to bother with the responsibilities.

Be sure to talk with your optician. This is definitely the best person to talk to when making a decision about what eyewear you want to use. Tell them the reasons why you want to wear contact lenses, and also ask any questions that you may have about contacts.

I hope this article was helpful to you for making your decision. Contact lenses are very easy to use, but of course you should be well informed before jumping into wearing them.

Good luck!

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Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on December 16, 2012:

I tried contacts once, and they didn't give me as good vision as my glasses do! I wore them on nights out, and couldn't see my friends when I went looking for them! Plus, after wearing glasses for so long, I look silly without them!

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