What You Need to Know If You’re Transitioning From Glasses to Contacts

Approximately three out of four people require vision correction worldwide. Luckily, most of these cases can be solved with the help of eyesight corrective tools readily available in the market. Though eyeglasses are the top choice, this is closely followed by contact lenses. In the UK, there are some 3.7 million contact lens wearers or around 9% of adults aged 15 to 64. For most contact lens users, this corrective eyewear is preferred thanks to its convenience, style, and accessibility. Given these, even long-time eyeglass users often consider transitioning to contacts. That said, there are things to consider during the transition. If you want to switch from eyeglasses to contact lenses, here are some facts that may help you.

They require different prescriptions

Most non-contact users would be surprised that contact lenses require separate prescriptions from glasses. This is because, compared to glasses, their proximity to your eyes renders a different prescription strength. Additionally, contacts are moulded to fit the shape of your eyes, which is why they come with other specifications. Many contact lens providers also have the option to accommodate different specs for each eye, as not all prescriptions are equal for both eyes. Some contact lens retailers allow users to upload photos of their optician’s prescription to their site. Their manufacturers will verify the prescription and process the order afterwards.

They can only be used for a certain amount of time

The most significant difference for people transitioning into contacts is their shelf life. Compared to glasses, which are usually switched out after several years of use, contact lenses have to be replaced far more often. This usage period varies depending on the brand, as some, like Dailies contact lenses, can only be used for one day before they must be disposed of. In contrast, other brands like Biofinity produce monthly contact lenses, which can be worn repeatedly for up to a month. Longer-lasting brands like these typically make their lenses thicker, so they take much longer to dry out and be unusable. Contacts beyond their recommended time frame are discouraged as they can cause discomfort and lead to eye infections.

They can be pricier than glasses

The perishable nature of contact lenses is generally why they are regarded as pricier than glasses. To put it in perspective, glasses usually only have to be bought once until they are worn out or your prescription changes. On the other hand, even though a pack of contact lenses is significantly cheaper than a pair of frames, they are often procured monthly. Experts recommend switching to more cost-effective daily disposables or a monthly replacement lens if cost is an issue. It’s also good to check for deals online, as retailers give discounts on bulk orders. Even better, these wholesale purchases are easily doable for regular contact wearers. For example, buying a year’s supply of Acuvue daily lenses can translate to buying 12 packs — already an existing deal for most sites.

They need extra upkeep

Another thing new contact users would have to adjust to is their maintenance. Besides buying contacts, consumers also need to purchase an accompanying contact solution. These preserve contact lenses and ensure the comfort of their wearers. However, not all contact solutions are created equal, depending on the kind of contacts a person uses. Contact solutions like the Equate Saline Solution are meant for one-day use as they are mainly used to store and keep contacts hydrated. More hardworking solutions like the Clear Care Cleaning Solution disinfect contact lenses meant to be reused. Contact solutions like these aren’t meant as quick-rinse methods, as contact lenses should be submerged overnight or at least six hours to be sanitised.

Shifting to contact lenses may seem like a significant change, but most vision experts say it gets easier over time. Plus, you can look forward to adapting and refining your eye makeup, as you have more room to experiment — maybe by upgrading your brows to look more ‘done’ and fluffy with a new brow sculpt and pencil? Keeping these things in mind can make the transition smoother and more manageable.