What’s the Best Brand of Contact Lenses?

Each brand of contact lenses is unique. So it’s better to ask which is the best for you. Over 90 percent of contact lens wearers use soft lenses, so this advice is about them. When looking for soft lenses, consider the following:

Base curve.  This is the primary curve at the back of the contact lens, which determines how well the lens fits and the quality of vision correction. It should be nearly the same as your eye’s front curvature (cornea). Your eye doctor will choose a soft lens brand with a base curve appropriate for you.  Though most brands fit the average cornea well, you may need a lens with a steeper or flatter base curve that’s only found in certain brands.

Diameter.  A contact lens of the proper diameter will stay comfortably centered on the cornea. Brands can vary widely here: the size and shape of your eye will determine the diameter of your contact lenses. If you have a small eye opening, for example, you may need a smaller lens diameter to help you apply and remove your contacts easily.

Correction. Some contact lens brands feature high-powered correction for severe myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness).

Astigmatism. If your astigmatism requires a toric (spherical/cylindrical) contact lens, certain brands will ensure proper alignment and minimal lens rotation. Depending on the shape of your eye and other factors, you may see well with one brand toric lenses but not another—even if the brands have the same base curve and diameter. If you fall into this category, ReplaceMyContacts has products like Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism that will fit your needs.

Surface treatments.  Some soft contact lenses feature lens treatments that keep lenses moist for greater comfort. If your eyes dry out quickly these may be best for you.

Naturally, the only way to choose is to have an eye exam and professional contact lens fitting. The first brand your eye doctor chooses will usually be best for you, but sometimes you’ll need to try several brands before making a decision.

4 Reasons Your Contact Lenses Could Be Making Your Eyes Burn

Clean, well-fitting contact lenses should be so comfortable that you forget you’re wearing them. If they give you a burning sensation, one of several things could be wrong.

1. Your contact lenses are dirty. Protein deposits and other debris accumulate on contact lenses over time, even if you properly clean and disinfect them. These block oxygen from getting to your eye, causing irritation. It can be fixed by adding a separate lens cleaner to your regimen or by replacing your contacts more frequently.

2. You have allergies. Allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander can build up on/under your contact lenses making for red, itchy, watery eyes. Your doctor may restrict where/how long you wear your contacts or recommend daily disposable lenses.

3. Your eyes are dry.  Contact lenses can make some eyes dry out. Symptoms include redness, scratchiness, excessive tearing, or a feeling that something is in your eyes. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops and/or vitamins.

4. You’re sensitive to your lens cleaning solution. An ingredient in your contact lens solution could be irritating your eyes. Even if you’ve safely used the same solution for years, it’s possible to develop an adverse reaction to it. Switching to a preservative-free solution may help.

The only way to know what’s making your eyes burn is to get an eye exam. Don’t delay: even simple problems like this can become serious if left untreated.

Why Do Contact Lenses Expire?

Why do you throw milk out when it expires? It can make you sick. You should treat your soft contact lenses the same way. After they’re manufactured, lenses are sterilized and sealed before being put on the market. If too much time passes they risk becoming contaminated, even if left in the package. This could cause serious eye problems.

The expiry date on the lens package is generally written in yyyy/mm format. For example, if the package reads 2015/03, the contents are sterile and safe to wear until March 2015. This date is usually four years from the time of manufacture. Of course this is different from your prescription itself, which in most cases has to be renewed once a year.

Don’t risk your eyes—throw out old lenses!

What Happens If I Wear My Contacts For Too Long?

Contacts are made of plastic.  But it’s not all the same kind of plastic.  The material determines how long you can safely wear them, both daily and over the long term.

Your eyes need oxygen to stay healthy, and different plastics ‘breathe’ better than others. This makes certain types of contact lenses acceptable for sleeping.

Some plastics are also prone to mineral deposits, which naturally occur from contact with tears. Deposits can make your vision cloudy or cause infection. If you don’t clean your lenses properly, or if you wear them longer than the prescribed amount of time, you risk complications like corneal ulcers and inflammation.

Wearing your lenses too long probably won’t cause problems immediately.  But over time, microscopic changes may be occurring to your eyes. This can add up to pain, blurred vision and serious eye injury.

So make sure to give your eyes a rest when recommended, and get your lenses evaluated at least once a year. Your eye care provider will make sure the schedule suits you, check that your corneas are healthy, and offer new products that may better suit your lifestyle. Also if you’re looking for extended wear contact lenses, try Biomedics 55, Frequency 55, or Purevision contacts.