An estimated 3.5 million people in the UK and Ireland wear contact lenses, a number that’s been steadily increasing since the 1990s1. In part, this is due to evolving technology that has made them more comfortable and easier to use.

There are many different types of contacts available, and it can be daunting to choose the right type. Your optometrist will guide you in this decision by taking into consideration your requirements such as usage, comfort, lifestyle, prescription needs and convenience.

Going to your contact lens appointment with a thorough understanding of the different lens types will help the optometrist recommend what might be best for you. Here, we go through the basics of monthly contact lenses.

What are monthly contact lenses?

These are a type of daily-wear, reusable soft lens that can be worn every day over the course of a month. They are made from a material that allows oxygen to pass through the lens to the cornea, making them breathable and suitable for everyday use, ensuring maximum comfort.

What are twice monthly contact lenses?

These are also usable lenses, but are discarded and replaced with a new pair every two weeks rather than every month. They’re also known two-weekly contacts or weeklies.

As with monthly contacts, they require daily cleaning and overnight storage in a special disinfecting contact lens solution. Twice-monthlies tend to be recommended for people who are prone to deposits or comfort issues towards the end of the month with a regular monthly disposable lens. Twice-monthly contacts may also benefit people with dry eyes who might find monthly contacts uncomfortable and daily disposables cost-prohibitive.

Are monthly contact lenses safe?

The monthly contact lenses that your Specsavers optician will recommend are made using the latest optical technology and are very safe when they are cleaned and stored properly and used according to the recommended schedule.

The biggest safety issue may be the slight risk of infection due to the nature of ‘putting something in your eye’. However, studies also show that many wearers tend to use their monthly contact lenses for up to twice as long as recommended.3 Also, it’s not uncommon for some people leave them in overnight, increasing the risk of infection by twentyfold.3 This is why we encourage our wearers to attend aftercare appointments with their optometrist to ensure they’re using their contact lenses correctly and safely.

How long do monthly contact lenses last?

They last for 30 days and need to be replaced with a new pair. Sticking to the planned replacement schedule is important to prevent eye infections and other complications.

How do you clean monthly contact lenses?

Reusable lenses must be cleaned every day after removing them. They should be gently rubbed and rinsed with the recommended solution and stored in fresh solution overnight. The disinfecting solution should never be reused, or topped up with water or with fresh solution. You can buy smaller bottles for holidays and travelling from your store.

Along with the lenses, the storage case should be replaced monthly. If you’re considering monthly contact lenses, discuss proper care with your optician and follow all instructions for cleaning and storage carefully.4

You can learn more about how to take care of your contact lenses here.

What are the benefits of monthly contact lenses?

The advantages of monthly disposables include:

  • They require relatively simple cleaning and disinfection
  • They’re available in most prescriptions
  • They’re positive for eye health and allow longer continued wear
  • Monthlies are a more cost-effective option compared to twice-monthlies and daily disposables2

Monthly contact lenses for astigmatism

People with astigmatism have blurred vision due to an irregular curvature of the cornea or lens. This is a very common condition which can be corrected with a type of lens called toric. Monthly toric contact lenses for astigmatism take care of this problem and provide the user with clear vision.

Monthly coloured contact lenses

There are three types of coloured contacts available. Lenses with a visibility tint can be seen better during application and removal but do not alter the user’s eye colour. Coloured contacts with an enhancement tint accentuate the natural eye colour of the user. Lenses with an opaque tint change the user’s eye colour completely. Monthly coloured contacts are available with or without prescription power and are designed for use up to 30 days.5

Monthly single-vision contact lenses

Single-vision contacts have one prescription across the entire lens. They help improve vision for a specific task, such as driving or reading. Monthly single-vision contacts can be reused for one month from opening before they need replacing.6

Monthly varifocal contact lenses

Varifocals are also called progressive contact lenses. They have different prescriptions to address a range of vision problems. They are recommended for people with both near and distance vision difficulties. Monthly varifocal contact lenses can be used for one month from opening before they need to be replaced with a new pair.6

How much do monthly contact lenses cost?

Prices can vary for reusable contact lenses depending on your prescription, they start from as little as £5 per month when joining easycare, your healthcare professional will recommend the best choice for your vision and lifestyle needs.

Specsavers offers various types of contact lenses from different brands. Our opticians can help you decide which one is the right choice for your prescription and lifestyle. If you’re interested in monthly contact lenses, Specsavers has several options, including single-vision, multifocal, toric, and coloured.

Frequent contact lens users can become a member of the Specsavers easycare package, which includes free delivery, and provides several benefits, including free eye tests and contact lens appointments, free glasses, free replacement lenses, and access to a dedicated contact centre. You can book an appointment with one of our opticians here.

References

1. Statista Research Department. (no date). Number of contact lens wearers in the UK and Ireland 1992-2014. [Online]. Available at: https://www.statista.com/stati... [Accessed 25 September 2019].

2. American Optometric Association. (no date). Advantages and disadvantages of various types of contact lenses. [Online]. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/patients-a... [Accessed 25 September 2019].

3. The Guardian. (no date). How safe are contact lenses? [Online]. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/li... [Accessed 25 September 2019].

4. NHS. (no date). Contact lens safety. [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/h... [Accessed 25 September 2019].

5. All About Vision. (no date). Choosing the right coloured contact lenses. [Online]. Available at: https://www.allaboutvision.com... [Accessed 25 September 2019].

6. Specsavers Australia. (no date). What are the different types of contact lenses? [Online]. Available at: https://www.specsavers.com.au/... [Accessed 25 September 2019].