Going from Glasses to Contacts

Updated on May 15, 2012
C.V. asks from Pacific Palisades, CA
7 answers

Ok I've decided since my vision is so bad (20/400) that I want to try contacts. I've never worn them in my life so I'm a little scared. I hate wearing glasses all day and seeing the blurry peripheral vision and trying to climb stairs?! Oh forget it. I only put them on when i have to because they annoy me so much, but not being able to see clearly all the time is really bothering me. Hopefully the contacts work out.
So a few questions: I went today to get fitted and the doc ordered a trial pair and he said I have astigmatism. I've heard of Toric lenses for that, is that correct that I will need those? He said mine is not the worst he's seen. Are they uncomfortable? Also what if I want to order some colored pairs the doc said they're not as popular and will be difficult to find with the astigmatism, is that true? I don't want a color that looks all fake, maybe just something mildly different. If you know of any good deals online please let me know and any important tips from you contact users would be appreciated. No one in my family wears them, so this is all new to me!
I searched a few questions on here about this, but I want to get all the info I can, thanks for your help.

Hey Dad on purpose, how about a shout out to me for posting the question for 'us' huh? Lol j/k!

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Thanks for all your answers, very helpful!

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answers from Portland on

I wore contacts. I have astigmatism bad and wore special lenses as a result. Trust your doctor to know which is best for you. Toric lenses will not feel any different than any other lens and you'll see better if that is what you need.

If you need a special lens for astigmatism and your doctor says he has difficulty finding them, then it's no doubt true. You can inquire elsewhere but having experience with astigmatism I agree that they will be difficult to find.

If you can't trust your doctor, get a second opinion. You can call any place that sells contacts and ask the question about colored lenses and astigmatism.

It did take me a few weeks to adjust to contacts. My daughter felt comfortable in them almost immediately. Both of us followed the doctor's advice and only wore them a few hours at a time until our eyes had built up a tolerance for them.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I used to be an optician so I do have some knowledge of this. Plus I wear toric contact lenses. So, in answer to your first question, yes, if you have astigmatism you will need toric lenses. As far as colored lenses for astigmatism, they are uncommon. It's been a while since I was in the business so it is possible they have come out with some since then, but when I was working there, people who needed toric lenses generally could not get colored contacts. I have always ordered my contacts directly from the doctor's office, so I don't know of any deals online. A couple of things to keep in mind (they should tell you when you get your trials, but I will tell you anyway just in case they don't): when you shop for contact solution make sure you get one that is a disinfectant also, not just saline. I use biotrue. I always used to use optifree but since I got Acuvue Oasis (very popular toric lenses) something does not mix well with optifree and Oasis so I switched to Biotrue and it works great. Make sure you NEVER sleep in your lenses. I know from personal experience that this will cause bad infections in your eyes. Also, make sure you change you lenses as often as recommended (usually 2 weeks, but depends on what kind of lenses you have) and change your contact lens case once a month.
You'll love your contacts! Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Did your doctor say you would need the toric lenses? I have astigmatism, but it isn't bad enough to need special lenses. I wear the soft daily wear disposable lenses, like most everyone else. lol
Well, when I wear them anymore... I got lazy about it.

My husband still wears his daily, and I order his thru Walgreens online. They usually have discount codes you can put in on your online order and they ship directly to your home, within a week or less, usually.

If you have never worn them before, you will be "aware" of them for a bit, but contacts are not at all uncomfortable in my opinion, unless there is a problem: you have a cold (can make your eyes dry), it is very windy outside, you get something on them when putting them in (a particle of makeup or something sticks to your finger and gets on the lens when you are putting them in your eyes). Generally speaking, when wearing them, you don't even know they are there.
I started wearing mine in 10th grade (?) and wore them into my 30's before deciding that parenting toddlers was easier in glasses than dealing with getting up "blind" and no time to go put in my contacts before my little one needed something. You CAN sleep in them and wear a pair for up to a week or two, but I wouldn't recommend it. Most people who do it, end up pushing the limits of how long is safe/recommended, and you can end up with problems. I started growing new blood vessels in my eyes, b/c your eyes get oxygen via osmosis... the permeability of the lens is what allows (or disallows) the oxygen to pass. The longer you have them in, the more buildup is on them, and the less oxygen permeable they become. Taking them out only for sleep doesn't solve it... your eyelids are closed.

But, as long as you follow the recommendations, and don't try to wear a pair longer than you should, you should be fine, and oblivious that you even have them in your eyes. Unless, of course, you try to go swimming, lol. No open eyes under water... and splashed water in the eyes can dry them out and make them move around a bit for a second or two, and feel uncomfortable.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I had 20/400 vision and I did wear contacts for awhile. My eyes are extra dry though, so they didn't feel very comfortable. I also had quite bad asigmatism, but never had contacts that corrected that.

Have you considered Lasik surgery? I had that done 8 years ago and it has been fantastic! I didn't need any glasses for almost five years. Now, I have glasses with a mild correction for distances - like driving and watching movies. Lasik is miraculous, in my opinion. It's one of the best things I ever did and well worth the cost.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My dad is a recently retired optometrist, I worked for him for a few years, and I've worn contacts since 5th grade (glasses in 3rd).

As for the toric lenses - it does depend on the strength of the prescription for your astigmatism. My dad, as an OD, often would not prescribe glasses or torics for people with really small corrections. Figured it wouldn't really make that much difference to them day-to-day until their eyes got worse - and glasses/contacts are expensive (as you know). Check with your doctor.

I wear Acuvue Oasys and I find them to be very comfortable. Of course, since I've been wearing them from 5th grade, there aren't really contacts out there that I find uncomfortable. (Except Acuvue 2? or Advanced? - whichever came out later - there was some sort of "lip" around the edge of the contact that rubbed my eyelid every time I blinked - they were AWFUL.)

I also use the ClearCare solution - it's hydrogen peroxide-based so you'll also need a basic saline solution to go with it. But it does a really good job of removing protein and other deposits from your contacts. I tend to have a lot of protein build-up which makes the contacts more uncomfortable faster.

I also wear my disposables for a month at a time with my dad's blessing. In fact, I didn't realize that the contacts I was wearing weren't monthly until I had to see another OD because my dad was working out of state. As long as I take them out when they start to get uncomfortable or difficult to see out of (within a month), they're fine. BUT - unless you get the kind designed to sleep in, DON'T sleep in your contacts! Your eye won't get enough oxygen and it can be dangerous!

As for online deals - I found a good deal on Walgreens.com - they often offer 20-30% off contact orders. Check out Walmart.com, too. Just google around and compare prices. It's amazing how much they can range.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Great Falls on

I have an astigmatism but Toric lenses were horrible. I just wear regular lenses that don't corrrect the astigmatism, I can't see perfectly, but good enough for me! I can't stand wearing my glasses--Contacts are awesome

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Hey - I just want to thank all three of you. Not only have I been pondering this exact question for the last few years - but I (!!!) have astigmatism too!

Anywho - just thought I'd give ya a shout out from a brother. (I'm so hip)

2 moms found this helpful
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