Should I Try Contact Lenses Again?

DAsk America's best icon for blogear America’s Best,

I’ve been an allergy sufferer for years. I wore contacts in my twenties, but my allergies seemed to make them uncomfortable for six months a year, so I switched back to wearing eyeglasses full time.

Now, I’m almost forty. I haven’t worn a pair of contact lenses in a decade. But, I’m wondering, do you think it could be worth trying again? Is there a chance that newer lenses would work better with my dry and sometimes irritated eyes than the contacts of ten years ago?

Thanks for your help,

Jani in Texas


Dear Jani,

Contact lens technology is always changing. Think back to what your cell phone looked like ten years ago, you can get an idea of how quickly technology can morph over a full decade. This applies to contact lenses too!

In addition to changes made to the actual lenses, there are great new prescription eye drops available for allergy sufferers. Adding these types of specialty eye drops may help you wear contact lenses during most of the allergy season.

There may also be some practical things you can do to eliminate the impact of allergens on your contact lenses. For example, most professionals would recommend you talk to your primary care physician about taking an over the counter allergy medicine and washing your hair before you sleep every night (so you don’t put pollen and other allergens from your hair, onto your pillow, which can then get into your eyes!)

I suggest you have a conversation with your America’s Best optometrist. Talk to him or her about the problems you experienced that led you to give up contacts in the first place. Your optometrist may be able to suggest a specific brand of lenses that would meet your unique needs. And, as you said in your question, he or she will also be able to tell you how the technology has improved and how these changes may solve some of your previous challenges.

It’s also important to know that you aren’t going to risk anything to try contact lenses again. At America’s Best they offer trial contact lenses. This means your doctor can send you home with a few different samples of different brands for you to test out for comfort and fit. This means you aren’t going to spend a lot buying new boxes of lenses that you never wear because they don’t feel right. You really have nothing to lose!

 – Dr. John Bankowski

John Bankowski, O.D.

John Bankowski headshotDr. John Bankowski is the clinical director for National Vision, Inc. in Duluth, GA (parent company of America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses). He received his Doctor of Optometry degree at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and became a supervising doctor in the Washington D.C. area. After 10 years in this position, he assumed the position of clinical director for National Vision.

In addition to his duties as the clinical director, he holds 20 active licenses and is the president of 6 Doctor Exchanges, offering doctor support to America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses and other National Vision entities throughout the country.

He enjoys traveling to exotic locations throughout the world and is an avid scuba diver and skier. He currently resides in Washington D.C.

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