5 Tips for Buying Your First Contact Lenses

Making the switch to contact lenses can be pretty exciting, especially if you have been wearing specs for years.

Wearing contact lenses allows you to have better vision without frames that obstruct it. They are more convenient to use — you can move your head more freely without fear of dropping and breaking your glasses.

Contact lenses also help improve your vision without glare or suffering from light sensitivity.

Contacts are easier to wear and clean, too. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about the lenses getting fogged up, dirty or dusty whenever you go out or engage in outdoor activities, or even wearing a mask.

These ocular prosthetic devices are equally suited for athletes and physically active people as well as those with a high prescription.

Getting your first contact lenses, though, can be daunting. Even if you have narrowed down your choices, you still need to go through different parameters and specifications.

You also have to be sure that you are getting the right contact lenses since wearing the wrong ones can lead to discomfort and blurry vision.


Incorrect lens prescription, material, fitting or usage can cause discomfort as well as corneal ulcers, an infection of the cornea characterized by severe eye pain, light sensitivity, and epiphora or tearing.

Due to these possible side effects, you need to choose the right contact lenses to wear.

A Guide to Getting Your First Contact Lenses

To make sure you buy contact lenses that are right for you and won’t cause you any problems, follow these tips:

  1 – Study the different types of contact lenses.

Although eye specialists will assist you as you buy your first contacts, knowing your options beforehand can help you make the right decision. Moreover, you won’t be walking inside an optical shop blindly and asking the staff several questions.

Before shopping, read about the different types of contact lenses. The most popular and widely used ones are:

  • Soft Hydrogel contact lenses

This type of contact lenses are made of hydrogel, a supple, thin, flexible, gel-like plastic that contains water. Because of this, the lenses conform to the eyes easily.

This material allows oxygen to pass through the cornea easily. As such, soft contact lenses are comfortable to wear and easy to apply and remove.

  • Soft Silicone hydrogel contact lenses

Silicone hydrogel contacts are soft lenses that are comfortable to wear. This material also allows more oxygen to get to the cornea, thereby increasing the comfort it gives to the wearer.

The higher amount of oxygen your eyes receive lowers the risk of hypoxia or oxygen deficiency. This, in turn, reduces your likelihood of getting eye infections.

  • Hard contact lenses

Hard contacts are made of polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA, a rigid plastic material.

Due to its hard surface, PMMA lenses prevent oxygen from entering the eyes. This makes the contacts uncomfortable to wear and can even dry out the eyes. They are often harder to apply and remove as well.

  • Gas permeable lenses

This type of lens looks like hard contacts, but since they are permeable, they allow more oxygen to reach the eyes. Additionally, they are easier to apply and provide clearer vision than silicone hydrogel contacts.

Since gas permeable lenses are a bit hard, you are more aware that you have them on. However, you will get used to wearing them and feel the slight discomfort ebb away in the long run.

  • Hybrid contact lenses

Hybrid contacts have a gas permeable center that is surrounded by a hydrogel or silicone hydrogel.

Although hybrid contacts have a gas permeable center, they are still comfortable to wear.

  2 -Decide how long you want to wear your contacts.

Contact lenses are also categorized according to the frequency of changing them.

Daily disposable contacts are designed to be worn only once and thrown away at the end of the day. If you think you will have difficulties following a routine to take care of your lenses, this type is the best for you.

Bi-weekly wear contacts are worn for a couple of weeks and replaced with a new one every two weeks. The shorter duration of using these lenses reduces the risk of harmful bacterial deposits forming on your ocular prosthetic device.

Contact lenses designed for monthly wear are the most economical option. You can wear them daily for a month before disposing of them.

To choose the right type, think about the cleaning and maintenance requirements of the contact lenses and whether you can add them to your daily habits. If you have no difficulties doing them, opt for weekly or monthly wear lenses.

However, if you won’t be able to handle all the maintenance needs of contacts, daily wear lenses are your best options.

  3 – Choose contacts with UV protection.

Although the lenses of contacts are significantly smaller than those of glasses, it does not mean they can’t give your eyes protection from harmful UV rays.

There are many brands and types of contact lenses with UV protection. By choosing one with these features, you keep your eyes safe from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.

These lenses shield your eyes from UV rays, thus minimizing their effects and helping you maintain your vision.

  4 – Grab the opportunity to show off your style and personality.

When buying your first contacts, you may immediately choose a transparent one or a color that matches your eyes. However, you can use your new ocular prosthetic devices to be more expressive.

Prescription lenses come in different colors. As such, they can change your eye color to reflect your unique personality or style and improve your vision at the same time.

Some special colored contact lenses also serve another purpose. Sport tinted lenses are prescribed to athletes since they help minimize glare, improve contrast sensitivity, and amplify depth perception.

  5 – Get help from an eye specialist.

Even if you have done your research and feel confident about buying your first pair of contacts, you still need an expert to give you the right prescription. As such, you have to see an optician or optometrist.

Your specialist will give you an eye exam for contact lenses. You will be given the usual vision test. He or she will also examine the health of your eyes and ask some vital questions.

You will then receive your prescription for the contact lenses which you have to use, so you can buy these at your preferred optical center.

By knowing these basic details, you can narrow down your options wisely and avoid spending more time getting your first contacts.

Whether you are tired of wearing glasses as you use your mobile device or you want to change your look while maintaining clear vision, make sure you get the right contact lenses by following these tips.


Firas Saab is the Training Manager at Al Jaber Optical in Dubai, the leading optical and eyewear company in the UAE that offers a comprehensive range of eyewear and optical services across the board, through a wide range of modern optical products and facilities. Firas is an enthusiastic trainer with more than a decade in the retail and optical industry and has recently acquired HND in Business and Management in addition to his Optical qualifications.

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