How to live with contact lenses; type and different contact lenses

With a wider choice of lens types hard, soft, extended wear-contacts can be fitted to the eyes of an increasing number of people. Only an eye care professional can decide which type is best suited to your eyes.

Hard lenses are the cheapest and most durable but they tend to pop out or to slip off center. It takes 2 to 4 weeks of gradually lengthened periods of wear for the eyes to adjust. Lenses must be worn daily thereafter.

Soft lenses are more comfortable (the eyes adjust in a week) but they cost more and require special cleaning. They last only 1 to 2 years and are likely to tear and to deteriorate from contact with cosmetics. With soft lenses, vision may not be as sharp.

It is said that extended-wear lenses can be worn constantly for 30 days, but most wearers take them out every few days. Because handling is less frequent, damage is less likely. Some eyes adjust quickly but others do not tolerate the increased contact. You must see the eye doctor after the first 24 hours, and frequently thereafter.

Lens care

Keep lenses immaculate; wash your hands before touching them or your eyes. Store lenses in a proper container, always in the same place. Keep eyeglasses with a current prescription in case of a lost lens or an eye problem. See the eye doctor about any problem. Repositioning a slipped lens

Close your eye and massage the lid gently in a circle above the spot where the lens has lodged, nudging it toward the center. It helps to roll your eye toward the lens. You may have to push the lens with your fingertip.

Finding a lost lens

If it dropped into a sink, close the drain while you look for it. If it’s on the floor, warn others away and search the floor inch by inch. It may help to darken the room and beam a light flashlight or small lamp-over the area. The lens will glint in the light. If it’s a soft lens and you don’t have your case handy, drop it in a glass of water. Sterilize it before reinserting it.