Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Contact lenses - advice, please?

Still pictureless, sorry. But working on it.

I've decided to try contact lenses again, but can't choose between hard or soft ones. All the reading I've done suggests that hard lenses are best for 'individuals who are particularly fussy about their vision'. (Read 'a pain in the butt for optometrists to deal with'.)

Does anyone have any experience with the two different types? Are hard lenses really that difficult to adjust to? They're said to provide crisper vision, minimise dry eyes, and last from 2 to 5 years. My optometrist says that none of this is true.

I'm trying not to be a knowitall patient, but googling 'hard vs soft lenses' brings up loads of articles that insist that hard lenses are superior, and very few that say the opposite.


LiLi M. said...

You are in my google reader...Now I read your question. I have hard lenses since I was 15 (now 47). When I started hard was really hard and I was at an age that I definitely wanted them (I thought soft lenses were too expensive due to their lifetime). So I always tell people that to wear hard lenses you have to be really motivated, I don't know how that is now, but I know a lot of people that simply couldn't adjust.
In my experience these lenses last about 3 years, without having trouble. Also your eyes don't change much, I for instance still don't have reading glasses. Another advantage is that they can handle some foolish behaviour, like you forget to put enough liquid in the holder, not too much foolin' around though, when I put them by mistake in my daughters medical alcoholic lotion they shrunk that much that I had to buy new ones.
One thing: I hardly wear any mascara anymore as the combination mascara lenses is always red eyes and sometimes irritations. Dirt in your eye can feel as if someone is putting a knife in your eye, so we don't want to take too much riscs.

Hope this helps, good luck on your decision!

Anonymous said...

I've been using soft contact lenses for the past 8 years and haven't had any difficulties. I wore glasses before that and found them a real pain. At first I found it difficult to adapt, but you just have to stick it out for a bit.

If you have your eyes tested every year and have to get new lenses and a frame you spend as much money on it (sometimes more depending on your taste in frames). I have a pair of glasses for home-use or when I had that really late night and can't be bothered to go outside.

I sometimes fall asleep with my contacts in - which could sometimes turn into a nightmare, but if you keep them clean there shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I'm an avid photographer and cook and I don't struggle with my glasses knocking against the viewfinder or my glasses fogging up whenever I open the oven door.

Try the contacts! Your optometrist should be able to provide you with a sample. Good luck!

bubamaca said...

I've been wearing contacts for 15 years. My suggestion is to get the dailies, if you can afford 'em. Nothing feels better then fresh lenses every morning!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I agree with the pp regarding the Dailies. They make SUCH a difference! Nothing feels better than a fresh lens.

wendy said...

Hi Jesse! I have had experience with both, and currently wear hard lenses. Here's my experience:
- Because I have astigmatism, my vision was just not as crisp with soft lenses. I tried toric soft lenses that were supposed to help, but my vision was still blurry. If you don't have astigmatism, I think soft lenses should be just as clear.
- Hard lenses are harder to get used to but once you do, they're fine for the most part. They are still less comfortable overall though because it hurts quite a bit when a speck of dust flies in your eye, and can sometimes move to other parts of your eyeball, which also hurts.
- They are easier to clean - they can be rinsed with tap water, which is convenient when traveling (you don't have to carry a giant bottle of saline solution) and also if you're out and you need to rinse one out (if a bit of dust flew in your eye, etc). I have also had soft lense tear on me, but have never had hard lenses crack or break. They do last a long time, but optometrists recommend that you get new ones every 2 years or so.

Hope that helps!

HomeSweet Jenny said...

I have had soft lenses for about a year, and I'm still not in love with them. At first, they were unbearable, but then my optometrist gave me a different cleaning solution, which helped. I still find them to be kind of itchy. I have astigmatism and questioned the soft lenses, but the doc said the two week lenses were the best for me. I dunno. It's a lot of work just to not wear glasses! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I have been using hard lenses for more than 20 years now. I'm not very accurate with daily cleaning/using new solution every day but that works for me. Sometimes my eyes feel a bit dry (mostly when i am behind the computer for a long time). And to my surprise i didn't have any problems during my 2 year stay in the dry Namibian climate. (I'm from the Netherlands).
Going back to glasses is no option since i am totally spoiled by my very sharp (and hardly changing) vision which can't be reached by soft lenses or glasses!

Jacqui Dodds said...

Hi Jesse
I have been wearing soft contact lenses for over twenty years. I first tried the hard lenses and found them unbearable to wear so then I tried the softer ones. I have an astigmatism and manage fine. When I first got my soft lenses each pair lasted about a year but the solutions were not that good then and I had to boil them every time I took them out and occaisionally use protein remover tablets. Now I have monthly contact lenses - less expensive than the dailies and I change them once a month and use the solutions daily. I use my lenses if I go out during the day and then when I am in the house change to my glasses - if I go out in the evening I clean my lenses and put them back in. Apparently my eyesight has not changed that much over the years because I have been wearing contact lenses - they would apparently have deteriated slightly more if I had just worn glasses. I don't know about the difference in vision between soft and hard lenses - I will ask next time I go for a contact lens check up - which I go to every 6 months and this is included in the monthly cost of my lenses.

flowerpress said...

I had my eyes (actually only one) lasered for short sight a few years ago. Is that an option? It is soooo fantastic.

sewkalico said...

I wore soft lenses very happily for years. Unfortunately i had LOTS of bad habits - falling alseep with them in, wearing them for 18-20hours a day etc.. I am taking a lens break for a bit, but now I remember why I hate glasses!!
I would love to have laser eye surgery and not have to worry about either anymore!

Lara said...

My gosh, until I read this post I didn't know that hard contact lenses still existed? I thought they were a relic from Brady Bunch days :)

I only use soft lenses myself so can't advise. Except that sometime you need to try a few different brands till you find one you like.

hardcontacts said...

I would recommend the hard ones, because they allow more oxygen to reach the eye than soft contacts.

cheapcontactlenses said...

I guess both of them are good, it depends on what you need. Still, sometimes the price is important as well, you may prefer some cheap contact lenses, rather than spend a fortune on them.

icontactlenses said...

I would choose hard contact lenses, but it depends on your own eye sensibility to make this decision.

colorcontactlenses said...

I would choose soft contact lenses. What I like about contact lenses is that there are now colored contact lenses that are also corrective or therapeutic.