There’s a lot of options out there to correct your vision. You can, of course, get Winnipeg eyeglasses; glasses are pretty trendy right now, and there are folks who purchase glasses without a prescription just to accessorize. There are also folks who would really rather not wear glasses; they like the look of their faces without accessories, or they’re worried about their glasses breaking, or they just want to draw attention to their eyes. For these people, there are contact lenses, but there’s a lot you need to know; contacts come in many different forms.

Originally, contacts were made out of a substance called polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). You’ve seen PMMA before, under a variety of trade names, among them Plexiglass and Lucite. As you can imagine, putting Plexiglass on your eye is not the most comfortable thing, and many people couldn’t wear them at all; they also didn’t allow any oxygen to reach the eye, which created problems. These “hard contacts” were soon widely replaced by “soft contacts” made of gel-like plastics called hydrogels. Hydrogels and their more advanced cousins, silicone hydrogels, are more flexible, and thus more immediately comfortable on the eye, while PMMAs took time to adjust to. They’re also porous, so oxygen can pass through them easily; silicone hydrogels are especially porous, and are the most commonly prescribed contacts. Gas permeable contacts take a different route; they are hard contacts, very much in the vein of PMMAs, but oxygen can pass through them. These are especially useful for people with astigmatism, because the lack of flexibility means vision can be corrected very precisely; they do take some time to adjust to, though.

Your contacts are only wearable for a certain amount of time, and only useable for a certain amount of time. The wearable time will usually be daily, meaning you have to remove the contact every night, but might be labelled “extended” or “continuous”, meaning you can wear them for a longer period of time without removing them; consult with your optometrist to see how often you should remove your contacts, and how to clean them out (usually soaking them in a cleaning solution overnight). The amount of time contacts are usable for, conversely, tells you how often you need to replace the contact altogether; daily disposable lenses must be discarded after use, while gas permeable lenses may last you months. Soft lenses must be replaced more often than hard lenses. A majority of contacts are either daily use or monthly use; be sure not to mistake how long contacts can be used for how long they can be worn for!

There are contact lenses for all kinds of different vision problems, but there are also contacts used cosmetically to alter the appearance of the eye. When getting contacts, it’s always strongly advised that you get a prescription so they can be properly fitted to your eyes; buying contacts online can be dangerous, as sometimes the provider won’t check your prescription, and there are times when the materials being used might not meet standards of quality.