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How to Adjust to Contact Lenses

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A pair of glasses sitting against a pink background, with someone holding their hand out with a contact lens case in the palm of their hand

Nowadays, you can find several options of stylish frames to suit your face and personality. But if you prefer the convenience of contact lenses, there are tons of options available! With a contact lens exam and fitting, your optometrist can help determine the best lens for your lifestyle and vision needs. 

If you are considering a new look, transitioning from eyeglasses to contacts, changing your prescription or type of contact lens, and worried about the adjustment, don’t be. We include some tips to help you through that adjustment period. 

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses come in various types designed for different purposes. There are daily, monthly, extended-wear, and disposable lenses. Contact lenses are hard, soft, and come with corrective abilities. 

Contact lenses, like glasses, can improve your vision and do so much more. They are convenient, don’t block your peripheral vision, and suit an active lifestyle. 

Your optometrist is vital for assessing your eye health and determining the right level of vision correction. They can also support you with contact lens training as contacts require more maintenance and care than eyeglasses. 

Adjusting to Contact Lenses

Several factors affect the adaptation to wearing contact lenses, such as lens type, material in the lens, individual differences in the eyes, and cleaning.

Wearing contact lenses is basically placing a foreign object in the eye, so you may experience some initial mild eye issues, such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Discomfort
  • Eye fatigue
  • Lens moving around
  • Eyes tearing up
  • Eyes get dry

Fortunately, these adjustments are usually temporary. It will take a little bit of time to get used to wearing contact lenses.

Practice Patience

Placing contacts in the eyes for the first time can be challenging, causing irritation. This is normal as the eyes adjust to the lens and won’t last forever. Give yourself enough time in the mornings to put them in and at the end of the day to take them out. 

Don’t Rush the Process

Wearing new contacts for long periods from the get-go might not work for everyone. It is much better to take the lenses out and give your eyes a rest when they feel irritated or if you feel that your eyes need a break. Your eye doctor may recommend you wear your new contact lenses for a few hours every day and increase the time gradually. 

A young woman smiling while holding up a contact lens case in her left hand

Follow Instructions

For most people, contacts provide safe, clear vision. All contact lenses are not the same and therefore have different requirements. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and those from your eye doctor. Instructions can include:

  • The disposal date of contacts
  • The length of wear of contacts
  • How to clean and store contacts

Set a reminder to Remove and Clean Contacts

Once your contact lenses become comfortable, you may forget you’re wearing them. An alarm or reminder on your calendar ensures you take them out when needed. 

Cleaning your contact lenses is essential to prevent eye problems and eye infections. Your cleaning regime should include:

  • Washing your hands when handling your contacts
  • Using the right lens solution for your contacts
  • Storing your contact lenses when not in use

Contact Your Eye Doctor

It’s also good to know that contact lenses don’t always cause discomfort or eye problems. After the adjustment period, if you still don’t feel comfortable, have issues, or experience any of the following symptoms, visit your eye doctor immediately:

  • Eye pain
  • Eye strain, including headaches, double vision, light sensitivity
  • Redness
  • Continued irritation or discomfort
  • Dry feeling despite using eye drops
  • Infection

Contact Lens Fittings in Maple Ridge

The first week of using contact lenses can be challenging for your eyes. It takes time and dedication to practice wearing contact lenses well, even if you’ve done it before. The type of contact lens, material, and length of wear can change based on your eye care needs. 

But adjusting to contact lenses can be an easy and comfortable transition: With patience, support, instructions, and a cleaning routine, you can have a positive contact lens experience. You can also watch our instructional videos about contact lenses and how to care for them.

Book an appointment for a contact lens exam or a 1-year contact lens check at Maple Ridge Eye Care! 

Written by Dr. M. Hurlbert

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