Contact lenses have changed the lives of many a glasses-wearer, allowing them to see clearly in situations where it's impractical or undesirable to wear their specs. While contact lenses can take a little bit of getting used to, most people who have them master the technique of putting them in and removing them fairly quickly.
Unfortunately, there are some people who might never get the opportunity to try. Although contacts are suitable for the majority of people with poor eyesight, there are some who may not be able to wear them. If you're considering getting contact lenses, talk to your optometrist if any of these things apply to you so you can get personalised advice on your suitability.
Dry eye syndrome
The name of this condition tells you most of what you need to know about it. If you have it, your eyes will be drier than they should be, which in turn leads to redness and irritation.
Whether you've been diagnosed already or you suspect you have it, let an optometrist know you're considering contact lenses. It doesn't necessarily prevent you wearing them, and a combination of treatment and the right kind of lenses can often get around the problem.
Unusual eye shape
This isn't an issue most people will be aware of unless an optometrist has previously told them about it. Those with unusually shaped eyes or eyes that are bigger or smaller than normal may be unable to wear contact lenses as they're difficult to fit.
However, there are sometimes certain types you could wear, and with contact lens technology advancing all the time, it's worth asking periodically if any new innovations could be useful for you.
Both the materials used to make contact lenses and the liquids used to sanitise them can cause allergic reactions in a small number of people. If you're someone who suffers from other allergies or you're aware of certain chemicals or materials you react to, make sure your optometrist is aware so they can advise you.
It's not just the lenses themselves that can cause problems, though. Other allergies such as hay fever could stop you wearing contacts if they have a significant effect on your eyes, so it's something you should mention when you see your optometrist.
Particularly poor vision
Contact lenses can be used for a vast range of prescriptions, but they're not capable of correcting vision quite as strongly as glasses are. If you're extremely short-sighted, you may not be able to get lenses strong enough, but trying a few different types can sometimes yield good results.