It’s estimated 125 million people wear contact lenses worldwide. That’s not surprising when you consider how many people need vision correction. In fact, one study projects that by 2050, close to half the global population will be nearsighted.
Many people prefer contacts over prescription glasses. The reason is they’re almost invisible and free of frames that hinder your vision.
Plus, they give you more freedom to enjoy your favourite activities without them bouncing around. If you want to avoid that, you have to remove your glasses and store them safely.
When it comes to daily contact lenses vs monthly lenses, which one’s better? Read on for a look at the differences between the two so you can make the right choice for your lifestyle.
Daily Contact Lenses
Daily contact lenses, or daily disposables, come ready to insert in individual blister packs for one-day use. At the end of the night, you simply dispose of your lenses in the trash. Then when you wake up, you open another blister pack for a fresh new pair.
With daily lenses, you don’t need to worry about cleaning or storing the lenses for next time. They’re generally very thin and have a high water content. If you remove these contacts during the day for any reason, you would need to replace them with a fresh pair.
Monthly Contact Lenses
Monthly contact lenses are thicker and more durable than daily lenses. That’s because they have to resist drying out while you store and use them for 30 days. When you aren’t wearing them, you can store the contact lenses in a small two-sided container with some contact solution.
People who choose monthly contact lenses need to disinfect them to avoid infections and protein buildup.
There are various contact solutions you can use to clean monthly lenses. But you should only use the ones recommended by your eye doctor. This is because different brands and types of solutions use different chemicals that can be incompatible with, even destroy, a contact they’re not designed for.
Next, let’s consider how your prescription affects which type of contact lenses you can choose.
Look at Your Prescription
Your prescription might determine whether you choose monthly or daily contact lenses. Not all types of contacts are available for every prescription. Some are only available in monthlies, for example, if you need multifocal lenses.
If your prescription is available in both daily and monthly lenses, the next thing to think about is your lifestyle.
Consider Your Lifestyle
How do you plan to use your contact lenses? If you’re involved in contact sports or are often exposed to sweat, dirt or water, dailies may fit you best.
If your lifestyle makes it likely that something may get in your eye, having daily disposables means you can just take out the lens and throw it out. You don’t have to bother with trying to clean the contact of any contaminants. This is handy if you work outdoors or don’t have easy access to facilities to clean and store contact lenses.
You also don’t have to carry around cleaning solution and storage containers with dailies. But you may want to have extra pairs with you in case you need to replace them at some point in the day.
If you have a controlled lifestyle and always have access to a washroom and mirror to remove and clean your lenses if needed, monthlies could work well for you.
How Often Will You Wear Contacts?
The next question to think about is how often you plan to use your lenses.
If you think you will only use your contacts occasionally, daily lenses will probably be a better choice. You can get a 30-day supply of daily disposables, whereas the smallest monthly option is a three month supply. Also, you don’t have to worry about cleaning and storing lenses that you only wear once in a while.
If you’ll wear contacts infrequently and choose monthly contacts, they’ll spend most of the time stored in your case. You may have a hard time keeping track of them. And there’s always the risk that they’ll dry out or get contaminated while in storage. Then, you’ll have to throw them out before the 30 days are over.
On the other hand, if you plan to wear your contacts daily, monthlies will be more economical. This is also the case if you want to switch between glasses and contacts throughout the day. You can pop monthly contacts out and back in several times a day if needed.
Comfort and Risk of Infection
Your tears contain proteins, lipids and calcium. As you wear your contact lenses, these substances can build up on them. Any buildup will make the contacts less comfortable.
These deposits aren’t always 100% removed during cleaning. Often, traces remain on monthly lenses, especially as you get to the end of wear time.
Daily contacts give you less risk than monthlies for infection. Some contact wearers aren’t so diligent about cleaning their lenses. With a fresh pair of contacts every day, you don’t have to worry about contamination besides when you put the lenses in.
So the more often you replace your contacts, the better the chances of good health and comfort for your eyes.
Daily Contact Lenses vs Monthly Cost
The daily contact lens cost is comparable to that of monthly lenses. But daily contacts can become more expensive if you’re often using more than one pair a day.
Monthlies, on the other hand, come with the added cost of contact lens solutions and cases that are used to both clean and store your contacts.