Many people who grew up before contact lenses become popular or were widely prescribed are hesitant to make the switch from regular glasses. You may still have in mind the various forms of early contact lenses made of hard plastic, which many wearers found uncomfortable. Today, newer soft lenses and gas-permeable hard lenses, which allow oxygen to reach the cornea, are more easily tolerated, less irritating and more comfortable.
There are several reasons why contact lenses are popular. These are the advantages. Firstly, many people dislike wearing conventional glasses and prefer the look of contact lenses. Secondly, contact lenses correct many vision problems more effectively than ordinary glasses. Thirdly, a contact lens moves with the eye and gives wider field of clear vision. Fourthly, contact lenses do not steam up like glasses.
Now for some of the disadvantages of contact lenses, firstly, it takes time to adjust contact lenses and a good deal of practice to learn how to insert and remove them properly. Secondly, although extended or long-wear contact lenses have been approved for up to 30 days of uninterrupted use, actual wearing time varies with the individual; most doctors recommend removal at least once a week for cleaning. Daily-wear soft and gas-permeable hard lenses must be removed before bed time and must be cleaned every day. Thirdly, you must follow certain hygienic procedures very carefully when inserting and cleaning contact lenses. Fourthly, soft lenses in particular tear or rip easily; in general, contact lenses require much more careful handling than regular glasses. Fifthly, with contact lenses you need a regular checkup once or twice a year. Sixthly, they are generally expensive than regular glasses (and they are much easier to lose). In addition to the cost of the lenses, you will have to pay for necessary fittings, adjustments and cleaning materials. Soft lenses must be replaced every year (depends of the expiration date of the contact lens) since they lose their clarity and ability to transmit oxygen to the cornea as they age.
Finally, you shouldn’t wear contact lenses on several occasions, another disadvantage. You shouldn’t wear contact lenses when you are swimming. Hard contact lenses are easy to lose in the water, while soft lenses can absorb the irritating chemicals present in pool water.
You shouldn’t wear soft contact lenses when using a hair spray or any other aerosol spray. The chemicals in such sprays can cause irritation. Sprays can also permanently cloud the lenses, and possibly interfere with their ability to transmit oxygen. If someone is using an aerosol spray in your presence, close your eyes or move away from the area until the fumes have dissipated. In fact, you should never allow any sprays to get near you eyes, whether or not you are wearing contact lenses.
If you work in a chemical laboratory or have some other potentially hazardous job, you should make sure that you wear the proper eye safety equipment over your contact lenses. Your optometrist, of course, will spell out the advantage and disadvantage in greater detail if you should decide to acquire contact lenses.