Contact Lenses

To find the right pair of contact lenses, your first step is to see an eye doctor for an eye exam and contact lens fitting. Contact lenses, like eyeglasses or vision surgery, can correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Among Americans who need vision correction, about 20% wear contact lenses.

While some people enjoy making a fashion statement with eyeglasses, others prefer their appearance without them. Contact lenses offer the ability to be glasses-free without expensive vision surgery. Contacts also provide a wider field-of-view than glasses, which is great for sports.

Today, contact lenses can be worn by just about everyone. If you were told in the past that you could not wear contacts, odds are you can today because of the advancements in design. There are more convenient and healthy contact lens options than ever, including many contact lenses that can correct astigmatism.

In the United States, contact lenses are considered medical devices – they must be prescribed and properly fitted by an eyecare professional. To find the best type of contact lenses for you, your eye doctor will evaluate your visual needs, your eye structure, and your tears (or tear exchange). During the exam, your doctor makes sure your eyes are healthy enough to wear contact lenses and counsel you about what to expect when wearing contacts.

For information about contact lenses and COVID-19, click here.

Fitting Contact Lens

Next step is for your eye doctor to fit the contacts by taking detailed measurements of your eyes. Trial lenses are applied to achieve the best possible fit and determine if you can comfortably wear contacts. Your doctor will review with you how to put in contacts, take out contacts, and how to care for your lenses.

A contact lens fitting takes more than a single visit to the eye doctor. You need to return for follow-up visits to make sure the lenses continue to fit properly and remain comfortable after prolonged periods of wear. In some cases, changes of lens size or design are needed before the fitting process is complete.

The many types of contact lenses available can be grouped according to:

  • The material they are made of.
  • How long you can wear them without removal.
  • How long you can use them before they should be discarded.
  • The design of the lens.

Contact Lens and Care

Caring for your contact lenses — cleaning, disinfecting and storing them — is much easier than it used to be. In most cases today, only a single care solution is required for cleaning, rinsing, and storing your lenses. In fact, according to the National Eye Institute, it’s important to keep your eyes safe by only using the single care solution to cleanse your lens, never using water to clean or store contact lenses, and remembering to take out your contacts before you shower, swim, or go in a bath or hot tub. And if you choose daily disposable soft lenses, routine lens care can be eliminated altogether. Your eye doctor or contact lens technician also teaches you how to apply, remove, and care for your lenses during your contact lens fitting.