Wearing prescription eyeglasses every single day to see up close, far away, and every distance in between, can sometimes become a cumbersome experience. Sure, your glasses provide outstanding vision correction, but they’re not always practical. Contact lenses come in handy when you want to play sports, take a yoga class, or wear your favorite pair of sunglasses during one of Seattle’s 152 sunny days each year.
If you’ve worn glasses most of your life, or if you’re new to glasses and contacts, you may be wondering how easy it is to transition between the two. Here at Urban Eye Care in Seattle, Dr. Jennifer Andrews has a special interest — and the optometry experience to back it up — in helping patients of all ages enjoy the convenience of prescription glasses and contacts. For the most versatility in vision care, Dr. Andrews and her exceptional team fit you with the type of glasses and contacts you need to see clearly in all situations.
We offer these 5 tips for transitioning from glasses to contacts so you can have a better idea of what to expect.
1. Keep it clean
One of the best ways to prevent eye infections and keep your contacts and eyes free of debris is to wash your hands every time you handle your contact lenses. To put your contacts in, you have to put the contact on the tip of your finger and carefully insert it into your eye. We can show you how to do this in our office, so you’ll know exactly what to do before you get home.
When you wash your hands first, you’re helping to prevent the transfer of germs from your hands to your lenses and to your delicate eye tissue.
2. Take it slowly
We totally understand how excited you are to wear your new contacts to work, a softball game, or for the next kickball tournament. But take it slowly. If you’re not used to wearing contacts, you need to work up to a timeframe in which your eyes feel most comfortable.
For example, start your work day wearing your contacts for about four hours in the morning. Then take them out at lunch and wear your glasses. Then each day, add another hour of wearing time until you can comfortably wear your lenses for an entire work day and beyond.
Keep in mind, this might be challenging if you stare at a computer screen for 8-10 hours a day because your eyes may feel dry. Rewetting drops may help, and Dr. Anderson recommends the type of lenses and drops that are most effective for your eyes and daily environment.
3. Settle down
Your contacts, that is, need to settle down after you put them into your eyes. This is especially true if you wear bifocal contacts, multifocal contacts, or toric lenses to correct astigmatism. These lenses take some time to settle in your eye so you can see clearly.
Be patient. Allow yourself enough time before work or an activity so your contacts have time to feel comfortable in your eyes and you have optimal vision.
4. Don’t mix it up
While we encourage you to switch between glasses and contacts during the day, or every other day — whatever works for you — be careful not to mix up your right and left lenses. Your eyes undoubtedly have different vision prescriptions. Even if the difference is slight, you won’t be able to see correctly if they’re switched, and you could end up with eye strain and headaches as a result.
Keep your right and left lenses in their respective sides of the case, marked “R” and “L” and open one side of the case at a time so the contacts don’t get mixed up. It’s also a good idea to establish a routine, such as always putting the right lens in first and then the left. Follow the same routine when you take your contacts out for the day, and you’ll reduce your risk of mixing them up.
5. Wear your shades
When you wear contacts, it’s important to have a pair of sunglasses handy. Even on overcast days, it’s a good idea to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
Contacts don’t protect your eyes from the sun, so always keep a pair of shades on hand in your car or at your desk, so you can wear them when you’re outside with your contacts. Besides, you look cool wearing shades, so you’re making a fashion statement, too!
We love to help adults and teenagers make the switch from glasses to contacts. It allows for more freedom to participate in activities you enjoy without worry of breaking your glasses or having them slip off your face. Contacts can also help you feel more confident during special occasions and formal events, such as proms and weddings.
Give us a call at 206-344-2020 to schedule a contact lens appointment and a comprehensive eye exam. Or you can use the convenient online booking system to request the next available appointment.