Contact lenses are an ideal solution to meet the visual needs of patients who lead an active lifestyle or play sports. With today’s technology, almost anyone can comfortably wear contact lenses even if they need correction for astigmatism, wear bifocal lenses or have dry eyes.
There are many advantages of contact lenses over glasses for active people. Unlike glasses, contact lenses will not steam up or slide down your nose when you sweat. Contact lenses provide better peripheral vision because the there are no frames to limit the field of vision. Contact lenses give patients the freedom to wear any type of sunglasses, including lightweight wrap-around sport sunglasses that are ideal for hiking, running and cycling. Protective sport glasses can easily be worn over contact lenses for sports like racquetball.
Contact lenses are also a much safer alternative to glasses for many sports. Glasses are more likely to cause eye injury than contact lenses if broken from collision with an elbow in a basketball game, a missed header on the soccer field, or a wayward softball. A contact lens that is properly fit by your eye doctor is unlikely to pop out of the eye, but if a lens is lost, it can easily be replaced with a new one.
Contact lenses can also be worn under swim goggles or diving masks. This is especially convenient for patients with very high amounts of correction that want to be able to see when in the water. Since contact lenses can be contaminated by unclean water, doctors recommend only swimming in contacts when wearing goggles, and will usually prescribe daily disposable lenses that are thrown away after exposure to water for these activities.
Today’s contact lenses are very affordable. A year’s supply of contact lenses can be purchased for about the cost of a good pair of running shoes. Most contact lenses that are prescribed today are disposable, and are designed to be replaced at intervals between one month and every day. Daily disposable lenses, in particular, are great for patients who only wear them for sports or on occasion, because you have a fresh, clean lens every time that you put them in and just toss them in the trash at the end of the day. This makes wearing contact lenses very convenient and easy.
Although most patients can wear contact lenses, some are not good candidates for contact lens wear due to irregularities in the cornea on the front of the eye, previous eye surgeries or other eye health problems. Only your eye doctor can determine if you’re a good candidate for contact lens wear and will prescribe the most appropriate lens design, size, shape and power to fit your eyes.
Contact lenses are a medical device and require a prescription from your eye doctor to purchase. Your eye doctor will perform a contact lens fitting and evaluation to ensure that contact lens wear will be safe and healthy for your eyes. Serious complications can arise from contact lens wear, especially from sleeping in lenses or if lenses are not replaced according to your doctor’s instructions.
Ask your eye doctor today if contact lenses are right for you.
Updated Mar 3rd, 2016
Clay Mattson, O.D. has been practicing optometry at EyeMax in Nicholasville and Lexington, KY since 2000. Dr. Mattson also serves as a consultant, lecturer, author and advisor to the eye care industry and to other eye doctors.