Frequently Asked Questions
How to put in contact lens?
Step 1: Take the lens out from the packet gently after washing and drying your hands.Then make sure you are holding the correct side of the lens.
Step 2:Hold up your upper eyelid and pull down your lower lid,then use the index finger to gently place the lens.
Step 3:Look up and down, left and right after putting the lens in so that it will settle into place, then close your eye in a while.
Step 4:Do again for the other eye through simple steps!
How to remove contact lens?
Step 1: Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes.
Step 2:Use your clean hand to gently pull down your lower eyelid, then pull up your upper eyelid.
Step 3:Using your index finger and thumb to pinch the lens gently.
Step 4:Look up and slide the lens down gently so that the lens will be kept in your eye, then pinch it off onto finger. Do it again for the other eye.
Do your lenses come with prescription?
Yes! All of them are available with prescription. If you have normal eyesight or you simply need a decoration, choose -0.00.
Consult your eye doctor to confirm the diopter counts before ordering.
Why is the actual color different from that on website?
Due to variable factors, such as light, camera lens filters, surrounding colors, original eye color/ eye shape/ makeup, etc, the color of the lenses may vary and look different. Such cases should be acceptable.
Please contact us within 24 hours after you have received your lenses if you have any doubt about your lenses. Please don’t forget to enclose the lens picture so that we can check for you.
What to do when lenses irritate eyes?
Please soak your lenses in care solution which is exclusive for contact lenses for 24 hours, then rinse and scrub your lenses gently.
Check the two sides before wearing lenses to avoid uncomfortable experience, such as irritation, dry eyes，blurry vision, etc.
Safety information about wearing contact lenses.
1.Always wash your hands before wearing, removing or handling your contact lenses.
2.Do not lend, borrow or share used contact lenses, otherwise, it may lead to infection or even blindness to eyes.
3.Please take off your lenses before sleeping.
4.Insert lenses before putting make-up on around eyes, and take off lenses before taking make-up off.
5.Please do not attend any water sports when wearing lenses.
6.New contact wearer wears less than 4 hours a day. When your eyes adapted to the lenses, you can wear them longer, but do not exceed 8 hours a day.
How to take care of contact lenses.
1.Clean and disinfect the lens with moderate care solution (Place the contact in the palm of your hand. Wet your lenses with a few drops of care solution and carefully rub the lenses).
2.Use fresh care solution each time and discard solution from lens case after each use.
3.Remember to change solution regularly if you do not wear the lens often.
4.Rinse and scrub your lens every 2-3 days to prevent protein precipitation effectively.
5.Keep the lens away from sharp objects because the lenses are very thin and vulnerable.
Can I amend my order?
Our staffs work speedily to get all orders processed and shipped out,therefore we are unable to change anything once order have been processed, such as shipping details, quantity of item, color and diopter counts.
Please make sure all the information is correct when you checkout.
When can I get the parcel?
It will take 10-30 days for shipment on normal situation. Actually we are unable to control the shipping speed, it depends on destination country handling time.
When can I get the parcel?
It will take 10-30 days for shipment on normal situation. Actually we are unable to control the shipping speed, it depends on destination country handling time.
Where is my order and How can I track?
1.All of placed orders will be processed and dispatched within 1-2 business days. Some items with high prescription and shortage may expereince possibly delayed dispatch for 3-5 days because of customization and stocking. Please understand.
2.Get your tracking number through your own account, and Track your Order here: https://www.17track.net
Can I exchange or return my order?
It is a pity that we do not provide exchange service for anyone. If your order have any faulty or issue, contact us within 24 hours once you get the parcel.
Please turn to Return/Refund Policy and get more details.
Our customer service team will solve your problems as soon as possible.
If the goods have any faulty and issue with your order when you get the parcel, contact us within 24 hours!
Please enclose the picture and tell us the details of issue,we will check and solve it for you as soon as possible.
#1 Who can wear contact lenses? At what age can you start?
Contact lenses are available for just about any prescription. They can correct your astigmatism, and multifocal contacts can help those with presbyopia to have crisp near, intermediate, and distance vision.
Numerous studies have found that children as young as eight years of age can adapt to, handle and care for contacts. Maturity, personal hygiene and motivation on the part of the young person are important factors to consider when assessing suitability for contact lens wear.
#2 Should I wear contact lenses while playing sports?
Sports vision doctors agree that contact lenses are the best vision correction option for athletes. They can enhance visual skills like depth perception, peripheral awareness, and eye-hand/eye-foot coordination.
Unlike glasses, contacts offer athletes a competitive advantage because they stay in place under dynamic conditions, provide a wider vision field, and eliminate the risk of glasses-related injuries. Contact lenses also make it easy to wear protective goggles.
#3 Are contacts hard to take care of?
Daily disposable soft lenses are worn once, then discarded, with no maintenance required.
Other disposable soft lenses are usually cleaned at the end of the day, then soaked in disinfecting solution until they're worn again, and may be replaced weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Soft lenses that are replaced quarterly or annually might require weekly enzyming in additional to daily care.
#4 How can I get contact lenses that change my eye color?
Soft contact lenses are available that will change the color of your eyes, even if you don't require vision correction. Costume lenses for Halloween or theatrical purposes are also available.
All color contacts are prescribed medical devices that must be fitted and followed up by your eye care professional. And remember, even though such lenses might provoke curiosity by your friends and family members, never share them with anyone. Sharing lenses can lead to dangerous health problems.
#5 Should I see an optometrist or ophthalmologist for contacts?
Optometrists (Doctors of Optometry, or ODs) perform eye examinations, treat eye disease, prescribe vision correction, fit contact lenses, and dispense eyeglasses.
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors (MDs) who specialize in eyes. Many concentrate on eye surgery and treatment of disease, but some specialize in contact lenses.
Also, in some states specially trained opticians or contact lens technicians are licensed to fit contact lenses. Since they must fit the lenses from an optometrist's or ophthalmologist's prescription, they often work with them in the same office.
#6 Can I sleep in my contact lenses?
Ask your doctor. It depends on the type of lens you're wearing, the composition of your tear film, your general eye health, and other factors.
#7 I'm nervous about putting something in my eye. Can you help?
This is a common and natural concern, more often experienced by males, since females are accustomed to touching the eyelids when applying makeup.
It helps to first get used to touching your eyes without applying a lens. One very successful technique is to place a warm (not hot) drop of water on your index finger and bring it up to the eye and actually touch your eye. The water has a numbing effect such that you may not even feel your finger against your eye. Your eye care professional may also decide to use a numbing drop immediately prior to applying contact lenses for the first time.
It's easier than you think to get used to lens application. If fact, often when people get used to inserting and removing lenses, they question why they did not make the commitment to contact lenses sooner.
#8 I'm interested in wearing contact lenses. How long does it take to get used to them?
It depends on the type of contact lenses you choose. Most people find soft contacts — hydrogel or silicone hydrogel contact lenses — are immediately comfortable. In rare cases, a person might not ever feel comfortable wearing contact lenses.
#9 Can a contact lens get lost behind my eye?
No. At worst, you might have trouble finding it under your upper eyelid if you rub your eye and dislodge the lens from its proper position. If necessary, your eye care practitioner can help you locate and remove the lens.
#10 What kinds of contacts are available?
Contact lenses come in various material types, replacement schedules and wear schedules. Many wearers find disposable contact lenses and extended wear contacts are the most convenient.
Replacement schedules. Your eye doctor will prescribe your replacement schedule. It depends on the contact lens material and design, as well as your lifestyle and the condition of your eyes.
- Reusable hydrogel and silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses can last up to a year.
- Frequent or planned replacement soft contact lenses last one to several months.
- Disposable soft contacts last from one day (daily wear) to up to two weeks (extended wear).
- Wear schedules. Daily wear contact lenses must be removed before sleep. Extended wear contacts can be worn continuously (day and night) for up to a certain number of days, usually seven to 30 days.
- Special contact lenses. Special contact lenses include bifocal contact lenses, colored contacts, orthokeratology contact lenses that correct your vision while you sleep, theatrical contact lenses, contact lenses for astigmatism and UV-blocking contacts.
#11 Are Contacts Bad For Your Eyes?
The answer to the question, "Are contacts bad for your eyes?" is, "Mostly it depends on you."
Contact lenses have been popular for decades, and the risk of contact lens-related eye damage is very low if you follow your eye doctor's advice and recommendations.
Still, all contact lenses reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the cornea of the eye and thereby increase the risk of eye problems to some degree.
Potentially serious contact lens complications include corneal abrasions, eye infection(including Acanthamoeba keratitis and fungal eye infections), dry eyes and corneal ulcers. Some of these complications can cause permanent vision loss.
How To Prevent Contacts From Being Bad For Your Eyes
Your best defense against eye damage from contact lens wear is to follow the advice of your optometrist or ophthalmologist about how long to wear your contacts and how frequently you should replace them.
Your eye doctor will also tell you how long you can wear your lenses safely and whether your eyes can tolerate using extended wear contacts on a continuous basis or if you should wear contact lenses only for limited periods during the day.
Also, be sure to care for your lenses as directed, and use only the contact lens solutions your eye doctor recommends.
If there is a chance you might not keep up the daily lens care, ask about daily disposable contacts. You can simply discard these lenses after each use, eliminating the need for daily lens cleaning and disinfection. One-day disposable contacts also save you money on contact lens solutions.
To avoid serious contact lens-related eye problems, ask yourself this three-part question at the start of each day of contact lens wear: Do my eyes look good, see good and feel good?
- If your eyes are red or bloodshot, you may be developing dry eyes or an eye infection from your contacts.
- If your vision is not as clear as it once was, your lenses may be dirty, or your eyes may be swollen from lack of oxygen.
- And if your eyes are uncomfortable, you may have a corneal abrasion, the beginnings of a corneal ulcer, dry eyes or an eye infection.
- If your daily self-assessment suggests you have a contact lens-related eye problem, remove your lenses immediately and call your eye doctor for an urgent appointment. If you do have an eye problem caused by your contacts, the sooner it is evaluated and treated by an eye care professional, the better.
Even if you have no symptoms of eye problems from your contacts, be sure to see your eye doctor for routine annual eye exams. He or she can detect potential eye problems before you notice them and help you continue wearing contact lenses safely and comfortably for years to come. What truly is bad for your eyes is to neglect them.
#12 Are contact lens and eyeglass prescriptions the same?
Contact lens prescriptions and eyeglass prescriptions are not the same. They are significantly different because eyeglass lenses are positioned approximately 12 millimeters from your eyes, whereas contact lenses rest directly on the surface of your eyes.
If you want to wear both contact lenses and eyeglasses, you will need two separate prescriptions.
What's the difference between a contact lens and glasses prescription?
Like an eyeglass prescription, a contact lens prescription includes the lens power required to correct your refractive error — whether myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and/or astigmatism.
But, depending on the degree of your refractive error and the type of contacts prescribed, the powers specified on your contact lens prescription may be significantly different than those on your glasses prescription to give you the best vision possible.
Also, a contact lens prescription contains additional specifications that are not included on a glasses prescription, and these can be determined only after a comprehensive contact lens exam and fitting. They include:
Base curve. This measurement (abbreviated BC) is the curvature of the back surface of the contact lens. The proper base curve is determined by the shape of your cornea and produces a fitting that is not too loose or too tight.
Diameter. The lens diameter (DIA) specifies the overall size of the lens and, along with the base curve, determines how the lens fits. In most cases, the diameter of soft contact lenses ranges from 13.5 to 14.5 mm, and the diameter of rigid contacts ranges from 8.5 to 9.5 mm.
Lens brand or material. The lens brand and material also must be specified on a contact lens prescription, because each lens material has a specific degree of oxygen permeability ("breathability"). This is especially important if you want extended wear contact lenses or you occasionally fall asleep while wearing your contacts.
Expiration date. Generally, a contact lens Rx is valid for one year. You will need to revisit your eye doctor when your prescription expires, for a checkup of the health of your eyes before you can purchase additional lenses. Eyeglass prescriptions are regulated under state law, and most expire after two years.
You are entitled to a copy of both your glasses and contact lens prescriptions. It is illegal for your doctor to withhold your prescription from you.
You can request a copy of your glasses prescription at the conclusion of your comprehensive eye exam. But a contact lens prescription cannot be written by your eye doctor and given to you until he or she performs a contact lens fitting or has access to your previous prescription and has evaluated the fit of your current lenses.
#13 Can anyone get a contact lens prescription?
No, not everyone who needs eyeglasses can wear contact lenses successfully. Conditions such as dry eyes or blepharitis can make contact lens wear uncomfortable or unsafe.
Even with no pre-existing eye conditions, some people have sensitive corneas and simply cannot adapt to contact lenses.
A note about colored contact lens prescriptions
A contact lens fitting and a prescription written by a licensed eye care professional are required even if you have no need for vision correction and want only "non-prescription" (plano) colored contact lenses or special-effect contact lenses to change the appearance of your eyes.
A contact lens, regardless of whether it is used for vision correction or cosmetic purposes, is a medical device, and selling any type of contact lens without a prescription is illegal.
#14 Are Contacts Hard To Put In?
In most cases, properly fitted contacts are not hard to put in. In fact, they are easy to apply to and remove from the eye. It just takes a little practice. And patience.
If Kids Can Put In Contacts, So Can You!
The potential difficulty in putting contacts on is a concern many parents have when their children express an interest in wearing contact lenses. But recent research shows most kids do just fine when it comes to handling and caring for them, and they don't seem to find contacts hard to put in.
In one recent study, 169 children (84 kids ages 8 to 12 and 85 teenagers ages 13 to 17) were fitted with soft contact lenses for the first time. A significant majority of even the youngest children in the study mastered applying, removing and handling their contact lenses. And 83 percent of the pre-teens and 89 percent of the teenagers said the contacts were easy to take care of.
Their parents concurred. At the end of the study, 86 percent of parents of the pre-teens and 89 percent of parents of the teenagers agreed with the statement, "My child is demonstrating that he/she is responsible enough to wear contact lenses and properly care for them."
A Good Fitting Ensures That Your Contacts Won't Be Hard To Put In
Whether you are the parent of a child who wants contacts or an adult desiring to try contacts yourself, during a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting your eye doctor will take a number of measurements to select the contact lenses that are best for you or your child.
During the fitting, your doctor will note the amount of space between your upper and lower eyelids when your eyes are open normally.
If this space is limited (as it may be with people of Asian heritage or people with small or deep-set eyes), your doctor may choose a soft contact lens with a smaller-than-average diameter to make it easier for you to insert and remove your contacts.
If you have trouble handling soft contacts when trying to put them on your eye, often it is because you are blinking before the lens touches your eye. Your eye doctor or optician performing the contact lens fitting may suggest this exercise to help you become more comfortable touching your eyes, which will make applying your contacts easier:
After washing your hands thoroughly, look in the mirror, open your eye widely and try touching the white part of your eye with the soft pad of your fingertip without blinking.
Use the same motion you will use to apply your contacts, and keep your finger on your eye for a second or two before removing it.
It may take a little practice, but once you master this skill, putting on your contact lenses will go much easier.
If you still have trouble putting on soft contacts, your eye doctor may recommend gas permeable contacts instead. Though wearing these rigid lenses takes some getting used to at first, they are much smaller in diameter than soft contacts, and many people find they are easier to put in.
But whether you choose soft contact lenses or rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) contacts, don't give up easily when first learning how to apply and remove your lenses. Even if you struggle initially, just set the lenses aside and try again a few minutes later.
With each successful attempt, putting in contacts becomes easier and easier.
#15 Are contact lenses safe for kids?
Yes, contacts are safe for kids. The human eye can tolerate contact lenses at a very early age. In special cases, even infants are fitted with contacts, to overcome eye conditions such as congenital nystagmus.
A key factor in determining if contact lenses are safe for your child is evaluating how willing he or she is to wear contacts responsibly and take proper care of them.
Over-wearing contact lenses, especially sleeping while wearing contacts designed for daytime use only, can greatly increase the risk for contact lens-related eye problems.
Also, your child must demonstrate an ability to apply and remove the lenses without significant difficulty and to clean and disinfect the lenses with appropriate contact lens solutions after each use.
Often, a child's success in wearing contacts depends on how motivated he or she is to wear them. Even if you wear contact lenses yourself, don't assume your child wants to wear contacts. Some children are perfectly happy wearing eyeglasses and may not have an interest in contacts until they are young adults, if at all.
At What Age Are Contacts Safe For Kids To Wear?
Many parents wonder when it's safe for their child to start wearing contacts. A study called the Contact Lenses in Pediatrics (CLIP) study that was conducted in 2008 found that children as young as 8 years old are capable of properly inserting, removing and caring for contact lenses and had no increased risk of contact lens-related eye problems compared with teenagers enrolled in the study.
Also, 83 percent of children ages 8 to 12 in the CLIP study said contact lenses were easy to take care of, and 92 percent chose to continue wearing contacts at the conclusion of the study.
Results from another study suggest contact lenses may have an additional benefit for young children — they may boost self-esteem.
A total of 484 children ages 8 to 11 were enrolled in the Child Health Initiative to Encourage Vision Empowerment (ACHIEVE) study and were randomly assigned to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses for a period of three years. The study was conducted between September 2003 and October 2007 at five clinical centers in the United States.
At the end of the study period, all the children completed questionnaires that assessed their self-perceptions in a number of areas. Results suggested children's self-perceptions of their physical appearance, athletic competence and social acceptance are likely to improve with contact lens wear.
Proponents of contact lenses for children also point out that kids who wear contact lenses that block the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays may have a significantly lower lifetime exposure to UV radiation, which has been associated with eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. So wearing contact lenses at an early age may help prevent certain eye problems later in life.
#16 Can wearing contact lenses cause headaches?
Clean, properly fitted contact lenses should be very comfortable and should not cause headaches.
If you are fitted with contact lenses and you start having headaches shortly thereafter, see your eye doctor immediately to find out if your discomfort is eye-related.
Your eye doctor will be able to tell if your contact lenses are playing a role in your headaches. Possible contact lens-related causes of headaches include:
- Wrong prescription. It doesn't happen often, but if an error was made in your contact lens prescription and you are wearing lenses that are too strong, too weak or otherwise incorrect, this could cause eye strain and headaches. If this is the cause, replacing the lenses with contacts of the correct power should eliminate your headaches.
- Poorly fitting lenses. It's possible your contact lenses may start to dry out after you have been wearing them for several hours. This can cause them to tighten up, causing eye discomfort and possibly headaches. Discuss the onset of your headaches with your eye doctor. Does the pain start early in the day or after you've been wearing your contact lenses for several hours?
- Dry eyes. If you have dry eyes, sometimes this can cause eye discomfort and possibly headaches. Dry eyes can make you more sensitive to light, causing you to squint, and constant squinting can cause a muscle tension headache. Headaches from dry eye discomfort and squinting usually occur later in the day.
- Computer vision syndrome. If you work at a computer several hours a day, you are at risk of developing computer vision syndrome. Common symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome are headaches and eye strain. Though contact lens wear doesn't necessarily increase your risk of computer vision syndrome, your contacts may dry out during computer work, adding to your discomfort. When discussing your headaches with your eye doctor, be sure to mention how often and how long you work at a computer, and whether your headaches occur more frequently during and after computer work.
- Sinus congestion or infection. Things that cause sinus congestion — such as allergies or infection — also can cause headaches. And because your sinuses are located around and behind your eyes, headaches and sinus pain are often incorrectly thought to originate in the eyes.
It's a good idea to see your eye doctor immediately if you start having headaches — especially if your headaches occur shortly after being fitted with contact lenses or changing contact lens brands.
Even if your eye doctor determines your headaches are not caused by your contacts or your eyes, a thorough eye exam is a good way to rule out one potential cause of your head pain.
Also, your eye doctor will be able to refer you to the proper specialist if he or she feels you need additional care.
#17 Can a Contact Lens Get Lost Behind My Eye?
Usually when someone asks, "Can contacts get lost in your eye?" they are wondering if it's possible for a contact lens to become dislodged from the front of the eye and get lost or trapped behind the eye.
Here's good news: That's impossible.
The inner surface of the eyelids has a thin, moist lining called the conjunctiva. At the back of the eyelids, the conjunctiva folds back and becomes the outer covering of the white part of the eyeball (sclera).
The continuous nature of the conjunctiva from the eyelids to the sclera makes it impossible for a contact lens to get lost behind your eye and become trapped there.
What to do if you think a contact is lost in your eye
- Sometimes, if you rub your eyes or get bumped in the eye when wearing a soft contact lens, the lens might fold in half and dislodge from the cornea. The folded lens might get stuck under your upper eyelid so that it seems to have disappeared.
- Usually if this happens, you will get the feeling that something is in your eye. Eye doctors call this feeling a foreign body sensation.
- If this occurs, you can usually find the lens by adding a few contact lens rewetting drops to your eye and then gently massaging your eyelid with your eye closed. In most cases, the folded lens will move to a position on your eye where you can see it and remove it.
- If the lens remains folded in half, soak it in contact lens solution for a few seconds, then gently rub the lens to return it to its original shape.
- If you can't find your "lost" contact lens with this technique, try to gently turn your upper eyelid inside out. (It's really not as gross as it sounds.)
The best way to do this is to place a Q-Tip horizontally over the outside of your lid. Then, while looking down, grab hold of your eyelashes, gently pull the lid down and quickly evert (flip inside out) the lid by folding it over the Q-Tip.
Keep looking down and tilt your head back. With your other eye open, you should be able to see the lost contact lens. Gently move the contact with your everted eyelid until it moves onto the front of your eye so you can remove it.
If you cannot remove the lens from your eye with either of these methods, ask someone to help you, or call your eye doctor for assistance.
But don't worry: The contact lens won't get trapped behind your eye or completely lost in your eye. That's impossible.
#18 Can contact lenses damage your eyes?
Contact lenses are very safe. Still, wearing contact lenses can damage your eyes if you wear them too long, fail to clean them properly or do not replace them as directed by your eye doctor.
Contact lenses are considered medical devices and are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For safety reasons, they cannot be purchased without a professional fitting and a contact lens prescription written by a licensed eye doctor.
- Keep The Oxygen Flowing To Your Eyes
Because contact lenses rest directly on the eye and cover the entire cornea (or, in the case of gas permeable contact lenses, part of the cornea), they decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches your eyes from the environment. A good oxygen supply is essential to keeping your eyes healthy.
You can limit the potentially harmful effects of oxygen deprivation from contact lens wear by doing the following:
Adhere to the wearing schedule your eye doctor recommends; discard and replace your contacts as directed.
You also may want to choose modern silicone hydrogel contact lenses. These soft lenses are made of a material that transmits more oxygen than conventional soft contact lens materials and may be safer for your eyes in the long run.
Another option is rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses. Gas permeable contacts are smaller in diameter than soft or silicone hydrogel lenses and therefore cover less of the cornea. Also, GP contacts move a significant amount with each blink, allowing fresh tears to move under the lenses. These two factors decrease the risk of eye problems with gas permeable lenses, compared with wearing soft contacts.
- Clean Your Contact Lenses And Case
Contact lenses also increase the risk of eye damage because bacteria and other infection-causing agents can accumulate on them. This is especially true as the lenses get older and deposits accumulate on the front and back surfaces of the lenses.
According to the Brien Holden Vision Institute, eye infections occur only in about 4 of every 10,000 daily contact lens wearers (0.04 percent) and 20 of every 10,000 people who wear extended wear contact lenses on an overnight basis (0.2 percent), but the effects can be devastating.*
You can significantly reduce the risk of contact lens-related eye infections by properly cleaning and disinfecting your contacts after each use. Use only the contact lens solutions your eye doctor recommends, and don't change brands without first consulting with your doctor.
Also, though most contact lens wearers use "no-rub" contact lens solutions, recent studies show these products clean your lenses significantly better if you rub your lenses while rinsing them with the solution. (These one-step products are also called "multipurpose solutions," because they contain ingredients that both clean and disinfect contact lenses.)
It's also very important to rinse your lens storage case with fresh contact lens solution and let it air dry while you are wearing your contacts. This reduces the risk of the case getting contaminated with microorganisms that can damage your eyes. You also should discard and replace your storage case at least every three months.
Also, use fresh multipurpose solution each time you store your lenses. Do not simply "top off" solution you've left in the case from the previous day. Doing so decreases the effectiveness of the solution, possibly leading to lens contamination and a serious eye infection.
- Follow Your Contact Lens Replacement Schedule
Avoid over-wearing your contact lenses and be sure to discard and replace them as directed by your eye doctor.
Even if you care for your lenses as directed, lens deposits continue to build up on your contacts over time. The longer you go before replacing your lenses, the greater potential these lens deposits have to reduce the oxygen supply to your corneas and damage your eyes.
Finally, be sure to see your eye doctor as directed for routine contact lens eye exams. Your eye doctor can detect small problems before they become big ones, and help you keep your eyes safe and healthy while you wear contact lenses.
#19 Can Contacts Be Stored In Water?
You should never, ever store your contacts in water. Despite being purified, tap water can still contain bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause serious eye infections.
And water does not disinfect your contact lenses. If you store your contacts in water, in a matter of minutes or hours, bacteria, fungi and other harmful pathogens can grow on your lenses and then get transferred to your eyes.
In fact, this is why eye care professionals recommend that you take your contact lenses out of your eyes when you go swimming, whether in a pool, a lake or the ocean. The many microorganisms that live in the water can easily stay on your lenses and cause you problems later.
At the very least, you should wear swim goggles to protect your lenses and eyes; or, if you wear daily disposable contacts, you could discard the pair you just swam in and replace them with a new pair. (Read more about the best strategies for swimming with contact lenses.)
Storing Contacts In Water Is Dangerous — And Uncomfortable
This is serious business. Contact lens-related eye infections caused by failure to properly clean and disinfect your lenses with an approved contact lens solution can cause permanent eye damage and vision loss, even blindness.
Also, water — including bottled water and distilled water — is not salty like your tears, and it is not buffered to match the acidity of your tears.
Because of these differences, water can cause your contact lenses to change shape and stick to your eyes when you apply them, often causing significant discomfort and blurred vision.
#20 Can I Buy Contacts Without a Prescription?
You cannot order contacts without a prescription, at least in the United States. You will need to have a prescription written by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist to buy contact lenses. The seller will also verify your prescription to make sure it's valid.
You can't legally order contacts with an expired prescription either. Contact lenses are classified as medical devices in the U.S., so your prescription needs to be current to have it filled.
These guidelines apply to both physical locations and online retailers.
Getting a comprehensive eye exam and a contact lens fitting once a year is the best way to make sure your prescription is valid and provides the right correction for your eyes.
SEE RELATED: Which eye doctor should I see for my eye prescription?
You are entitled to your contact lens prescription
The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act gives you the right to request and receive a copy of your contact lens prescription from your eye doctor after your exam.
This protection allows you to shop around for contacts, whether you base your decision on price, convenience, or any other factors. You do not have to order contacts from the location where you got your eye exam, unless you want to.
Congress passed the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act in 2003 and required the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to develop guidelines that spell out the act's requirements and enforce its provisions.
In July 2004, the FTC issued guidelines called the Contact Lens Rule. The rule establishes requirements for both eye doctors who prescribe contact lenses and retailers who sell them.
The conditions of the Contact Lens Rule apply to so-called "non-prescription" contacts — color contact lenses or special-effect contacts with no corrective power — in addition to standard contacts.
Rules for contact lens prescribers
The Contact Lens Rule says that eye care professionals permitted under state law to fit and issue prescriptions for contact lenses must:
Give a copy of the contact prescription to the patient at the end of the contact fitting — even if the patient doesn't ask for it.
Provide or verify the contact lens prescription to anyone who is designated to act on behalf of the patient, including contact lens sellers.
Correct any inaccuracies in the prescription being verified and inform the seller if the prescription has expired or is otherwise invalid.
Rules for contact lens sellers
The Contact Lens Rule requires contact lens sellers to:
Provide contact lenses only in accordance with a valid contact prescription that is directly presented to the seller or has been verified by the contact lens prescriber.
If verification is required, sellers must contact the prescribing doctor to verify the accuracy of the prescription before filling the order.
Never buy contacts from unauthorized retailers
It's against the law to sell contact lenses in beauty parlors, convenience stores, flea markets or other non-optical outlets. Why? Because you could be buying unregulated lenses from producers that can lead to serious eye problems.
If you're not sure about a particular retailer, don't be afraid to ask your eye doctor for help.
How and where you buy your contacts is up to you. Remember, it's all about finding the contact lenses that best suit you and your lifestyle.
#21 Can You Swim With Contact Lenses?
Swimming with contact lenses should be avoided whenever possible to help prevent bacterial contamination of your eye. Swimming with contacts can result in eye infections, irritation and potentially sight-threatening conditions such as a corneal ulcer.
The FDA recommends that contact lenses should not be exposed to any kind of water, including tap water and water in swimming pools, oceans, lakes, hot tubs and showers.
Water can be home to countless viruses and dangerous microbes. One of the most serious is the Acanthamoeba organism, which can attach to contact lenses and cause the cornea to become infected and inflamed. This condition, called Acanthamoeba keratitis, is associated with wearing contact lenses while swimming and can cause permanent vision loss or require a corneal transplant to recover lost vision if not treated early enough.
Swimming with contacts can irritate and even damage your eyes. Wearing swim goggles is a safer way for you to see clearly both above the surface and underwater.
If water gets in your eyes when swimming, you should remove, clean and disinfect your contact lenses as soon as possible to reduce your risk of eye irritation and infection.
Proper contact lens care reduces further the chance of contamination. Remember to replace your contact lens case at least every three months and always follow your eye doctor's recommendations.
While soft contact lenses are more likely to remain on your eye when swimming, they are porous and can absorb chemicals and bacteria, increasing the risk of eye irritation and infection.
Also, fresh water and water in swimming pools can cause soft lenses to tighten on your eyes, causing significant discomfort.
Getting water in your eyes when swimming also rinses away the natural tears that lubricate your eyes and can worsen existing eye conditions such as chronic dry eyes.
If you do decide to swim with contact lenses, daily disposable lenses are the safest option. They are meant to be worn and thrown away after a single use, eliminating the need to clean and disinfect them.
To be safe, it's a good idea to discard daily disposable lenses immediately after swimming, rinse your eyes with rewetting drops or artificial tears approved for use with contact lenses, and then replace the lenses with a fresh pair of daily disposables.
If you use daily disposables for occasional wear, they offer good value for money when comparing the cost of contact lenses.
Always contact your eye doctor immediately if you experience prolonged eye irritation or sensitivity to light after wearing your contact lenses in water.
Can You Swim With Contact Lenses While Wearing Goggles?
If you're going to swim while wearing contact lenses, the best way to reduce your risk of eye irritation and infection is to wear waterproof swim goggles.
In addition to protecting your eyes from waterborne contaminants, swim goggles reduce the risk of your contacts dislodging from your eyes.
Prescription swimming goggles are another good option. Prescription goggles are custom-made to correct your refractive error, just like eyeglasses or contact lenses, enabling you to see clearly underwater without any of the risks associated with swimming with contacts.
Some brands of swim goggles come in ready-made prescription versions as well. While they may be an option for you or your children, they do have drawbacks. For example: they don't correct astigmatism; they come in only the most common prescription powers; and both lenses have the same prescription, while many people's eyes do not.
#22 Could I use water as contact solution?
No, you can't use water for contact solution. You should never use tap water, bottled water or distilled water as a substitute for contact lens solution.
In fact, you should even be careful about getting water splashed in your eyes when swimming (including swimming in chlorinated swimming pools), soaking in a hot tub, surfing in the ocean or waterskiing or boating on a lake or river.
Dangerous microorganisms, including the parasite that causes Acanthamoeba keratitis, can be found in these environments, and if they adhere to your contact lenses or get trapped under your lenses, they can cause sight-threatening eye infections.
If you do swim or get water splashed in your eyes while wearing contacts, remove your contact lenses as soon as possible, thoroughly rinse the lenses in contact lens solution and store them overnight in the same multipurpose solution to thoroughly disinfect them.
As with all potential eye problems, the best treatment is prevention. If you think it's possible you might find yourself in situations where you won't have access to contact lens solutions, avoid the problem by wearing daily disposable contact lenses instead of reusable contact lenses.
Carry several pairs of daily disposable contacts with you wherever you go, and you'll never have to worry about being without solutions. At the end of the day (or after you get off the beach or out of the pool) simply remove and discard the lenses and replace them with new ones. Nothing could be easier.
#23 Contact Lenses vs. Eyeglasses: Which Are Best For You?
Whether you choose to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses for vision correction mostly depends on personal preferences. Lifestyle, comfort, convenience, budget and aesthetics should all factor into your decision-making process.
Before deciding between contacts and glasses, keep in mind that one is not necessarily better than the other; each has its pros and cons in terms of vision, ease of use and eye health.
Eyeglasses offer many benefits over contact lenses. They require very little cleaning and maintenance, you don't need to touch your eyes to wear them (decreasing your risk for eye infections), and glasses are cheaper than contact lenses in the long run since they don't need to be replaced as often.
Also, eyeglasses can do something contact lenses cannot — they can adjust the amount of light entering your eye for optimum comfort and vision. Specifically, photochromic lenses are clear indoors and at night, and darken automatically in sunlight for clear, comfortable vision in any light. Although some contact lenses can block some UV light from entering the eye, photochromic eyeglass lenses block 100 percent UV and protect not only the inside of the eye from UV, but the exterior of the eye and eyelids as well.
Glasses also can act as an extension of your personality and make a great fashion statement!
That being said, contact lenses have many advantages over glasses. Contacts sit directly on your eye, so vision, particularly peripheral vision, is unobstructed. You can participate in sports and outdoor activities without fear of eyeglasses getting in the way, falling off or breaking. You can even change the color of your eyes with color contact lenses.
So which are better for your particular needs and lifestyle — glasses or contacts? Here's a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of eyewear to help you choose.
- Contacts conform to the curvature of your eye, providing a wider field of view and causing less vision distortions and obstructions than eyeglasses.
- Contact lenses don't get in the way when playing sports and exercising.
- Contact lenses won't clash with what you're wearing.
- Contacts typically aren't affected by weather conditions and won't fog up in cold weather like glasses.
- If you want to see how you would look with a different eye color, you can experiment with color contact lenses. You can even purchase special-effect contacts to match your Halloween or fancy dress costume!
- Some contact lenses can reshape your cornea while you sleep. Overnight orthokeratology (Ortho-k) temporarily corrects myopia, so you can see clearly the next day without the need for glasses or contacts.
- Some people have trouble applying a contact lens to their eye (but proper technique and practice should rectify this in most cases).
- Contacts reduce the amount of oxygen reaching your eye and can cause or increase the severity of dry eye syndrome.
- If you work at a computer often, wearing contact lenses will likely contribute to symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
- Contacts require proper lens care and lens case cleaning each day, to avoid potentially serious eye infections. If you can't commit to the care and recommended replacement cycle of your contacts, consider daily disposables.
- If you accidentally fall asleep while wearing daily wear contacts, your eyes typically will be dry, gritty, red and irritated when you wake. If you find yourself frequently falling asleep with your contacts in, consider extended wear contact lenses — some extended wear contacts are approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear.
EYEGLASSES PROS AND CONS
- Wearing glasses reduces the need to touch your eyes, which in turn reduces the likelihood of irritating your eyes or developing an eye infection.
- If you have dry or sensitive eyes, glasses won't exacerbate the problem like contact lenses can.
- Eyeglasses generally are cheaper than contact lenses over the long term. You don't need to replace glasses as often (unless you break them!) and if your prescription changes over time, you may be able to keep your current frames and just replace the lenses.
- Frames are fashionable and can speak volumes about your personality and style — the look of your glasses can make a bold statement.
- Glasses offer some protection from environmental factors such as wind, dust and debris.
- Eyeglasses sit about 12mm (about a half inch) from your eyes, so peripheral vision can be distorted. Many people also report difficulty focusing on objects and blurry vision when they first start wearing glasses or change prescriptions.
- Some people don't like how they look in glasses and feel it detracts from their facial aesthetics or hides their features.
- If you have a strong prescription, the edges of your lenses may be thick and unappealing or your glasses might make your eyes appear unnaturally minified or magnified.
- Eyeglasses can be affected by the elements — your vision can be obstructed or blurred by precipitation collecting on your lenses or when they fog up in cold weather.
- Some frames can exert constant pressure on your nose and behind your ears, leading to headaches and general discomfort.
Contact Lenses, Eyeglasses... Or Both?
Thanks to advances in contact lens technology, most people these days can wear contacts successfully, even if they prefer to wear glasses as their primary form of vision correction.
So the decision to wear either contacts or glasses — and when to wear them — usually is a matter of personal preference.
Keep in mind, though, that if you wear contact lenses full-time, you also should have an up-to-date pair of glasses — in case you need to stop wearing contacts due to an eye infection or irritation, or you simply want to give your eyes a break.
#24 How to Remove a Contact Lens That's Stuck in Your Eye
Having a contact stuck in your eye happens to nearly all contact lens wearers sooner or later. Removing a stuck contact lens is easy once you learn a few tips.
And don't worry — a contact lens cannot get lost behind your eye.
Removing a stuck soft contact lens
Usually, a contact lens that gets stuck in the eye is a soft lens. The first step is to wash your hands thoroughly. Then, determine the location of the contact lens in your eye.
If the contact stuck in your eye is properly centered on your cornea, the lens has probably dried out. This can happen if you fall asleep while wearing your contact lenses.
If your contact is in the center of your eye:
Rinse the stuck contact and your eye for a few seconds with a steady stream of sterile saline, multipurpose contact lens solution or contact lens rewetting drops.
Close your eye and gently massage your upper eyelid until you feel the lens move.
If the lens is still stuck, repeat the rinsing step several times, blinking frequently after each rinse to help the lens move. It may take several rinses and up to 10 minutes for the lens to become rehydrated and movable.
Once the lens moves freely, remove it as you normally would.
If your eye feels dry or irritated after removing the contact lens, lubricate your eye with sterile saline or artificial tears.
If your eye remains irritated, see an eye doctor immediately. This may be a sign that you have a corneal abrasion that may need medical attention.
If the stuck contact is off the center of your eye:
Move your eye in the opposite direction of where you think the lens may be. For example, if you think the lens is stuck under your upper eyelid, look down.
Gently massage your eyelid and blink frequently to move the lens to the center of your eye so you can remove it.
If necessary, rinse your eye with sterile saline, multipurpose solution or rewetting drops to loosen the lens.
If an off-center soft contact lens remains stuck far behind your eyelid, try putting a new contact lens on the eye and blink normally. This can help "draw out" the stuck lens to the center of the eye where it can be easily removed.
Removing a contact lens stuck in your eye
If the contact stuck in your eye is a hard contact lens, the removal technique is different. You'll want to avoid massaging the eyelid, since this can cause the hard lens to scratch the eye.
If the lens is stuck on the white of the eye, use the pad of your fingertip to gently press your eye just outside the edge of the lens to break the suction that is keeping the contact stuck in the eye.
Another option is to use a small "suction cup" device sold in the contact lens care section of drug stores.
When you can't remove a stuck contact lens
If none of these techniques work, call an eye doctor to have the doctor or a member of their staff remove the lens as soon as possible.
#25 How do contact lenses work?
How contact lenses work to correct vision is the same way eyeglasses do: They alter the direction of light rays to focus light properly onto the retina.
If you are nearsighted, light rays focus too early within your eye — they form a focus point in front of the retina instead of directly on it. Contact lenses and eyeglasses correct nearsightedness by diverging light rays, which reduces the eye's focusing power. This moves the eye's focus point backward, onto the retina where it belongs.
If you are farsighted, your eye does not have adequate focusing power — light rays fail to form a focus point by the time they reach the retina. Contact lenses and glasses correct farsightedness by converging light rays, which increases the eye's focusing power. This moves the eye's focus point forward, onto the retina.
Contact lens and eyeglass lens powers are expressed in diopters (D). Lens powers that correct nearsightedness start with a minus sign (–), and lens powers that correct farsightedness start with a plus sign (+).
So why are contact lens so much thinner than eyeglass lenses?
In large part, it's because contact lenses rest directly on the eye, instead of roughly a half-inch (12 millimeters) away from the eye's surface like eyeglass lenses.
Because of their proximity to the eye, the optic zone of contact lenses (the central part of the lenses that contains the corrective power) can be made much smaller than the optic zone of eyeglass lenses.
In fact, the optic zone of eyeglass lenses is the entire lens surface. The optic zone of contact lenses is only a portion of the lens, which is surrounded by peripheral fitting curves that do not affect vision.
It's something like looking out a small window in your house: If you are standing very close to the window, you have a large, unobstructed view of the outdoors. But if you are standing across the room from the window, your view outside is very limited — unless you have a much larger window.
Because contact lenses rest directly on the cornea, their optic zone only needs to be roughly the same diameter as the pupil of the eye in low-light conditions (about 9 millimeters). In comparison, to provide an adequate field of view, most eyeglass lenses are greater than 46 mm in diameter. This larger size makes eyeglass lenses much thicker than contact lenses.
Also, eyeglass lenses must be made much thicker than contact lenses to keep them from breaking upon impact. Lenses for nearsightedness in eyeglasses must have a minimum center thickness of 1.0 mm or greater to meet impact resistance guidelines.
Contact lenses can be made much thinner. In fact, most soft contact lenses for nearsightedness have a center thickness that is less than 0.1 mm.
So it's the combination of significant differences in wearing position, optic zone diameter and minimal thickness to ensure structural integrity that makes contact lenses much, much thinner than eyeglass lenses of the same power.
#26 How do I choose the best contact lenses?
Choosing the right contact lenses is a decision you should make with your eye doctor. The right choice depends on many factors, including your refractive error, how much contact lens wear your eyes can tolerate, your expectations and how willing you are to properly care for your lenses.
Here are some things to consider prior to your eye exam for contacts:
- How Often Will You Wear Contacts?
Are you planning to wear contact lenses every day, or just on weekends or for special occasions?
Most people wear soft contact lenses, which usually can be worn comfortably either full-time or part-time. Rigid gas permeable contacts, on the other hand, must be worn on a consistent daily basis for them to be comfortable.
- Are You Willing To Care For Your Contacts Properly?
To avoid serious contact lens-related problems, including fungal eye infections and corneal ulcers, it is essential that you use the contact lens solutions your eye doctor recommends.
Though disposable contacts have reduced the risk of some eye infections, daily lens care is still essential to keep your eyes healthy when wearing contact lenses.
If you prefer to avoid the task of cleaning and disinfecting your lenses each day, consider daily disposable lenses. With these "one-day" soft lenses, you simply discard the lenses after a single use and put on a new pair the next day.
- Is Overnight Wear Important To You?
Do you like the idea of wearing contact lenses continually, including overnight? Some contact lenses allow high amounts of oxygen to pass through them and have been FDA approved for overnight wear.
But continuous contact lens wear is not safe for everyone. If you are interested in extended wear contacts, your eye doctor will evaluate how well your eyes tolerate overnight wear to determine if it is safe for you.
- Do You Want To Change Your Eye Color?
Color contact lenses are available to give you a new look. These specialty soft contact lenses can enhance your eye color or change it altogether, even if you have dark eyes.
Special-effect contact lenses (also called theatrical contact lenses or costume contacts) can dramatically change the appearance of your eyes. Special-effect contacts called gothic contact lenses can even make you look like a vampire in the popular film series, The Twilight Saga.
Theatrical contact lenses are especially popular at Halloween and also are available without corrective power if you don't need vision correction.
But all contact lenses, even non-corrective (or "plano") special-effect contacts, are considered medical devices and cannot be purchased without a professional fitting and a contact lens prescription written by a licensed eye doctor
- Do You Wear Bifocals?
If you are over age 40 and need bifocals, multifocal contact lenses can reduce or eliminate your need for reading glasses.
Another option is monovision, where one contact lens is prescribed to give you good distance vision and the contact lens for the other eye is prescribed for good near vision. It may seem odd, but most people with presbyopia find monovision contacts provide clear, comfortable and natural-feeling vision.
- What About Contact Lens Costs?
Contact lenses don't eliminate your need for eyeglasses, so you need to consider the cost of contact lenses and how this affects your budget. When considering contact lens costs, don't forget to add the cost of contact lens solutions.
- Do You Have Allergies Or Dry Eyes?
Eye allergies or dry eyes may affect the comfort of your contacts or limit your ability to wear contact lenses. If you have either of these conditions, discuss them with your eye doctor prior to your contact lens fitting.
Daily disposable contacts can help reduce contact lens-related allergy symptoms and there are specific brands of contact lenses for dry eyes that may help you wear contacts more comfortably.
#27 What are contacts made of?
There are three main categories of contact lenses, based on the materials they are made of: soft contacts, rigid gas permeable contacts, and hybrid contact lenses.
What soft contact lenses are made of
Soft contacts are made of pliable hydrophilic ("water-loving") plastics called hydrogels. Hydrogels absorb significant amounts of water to keep the lenses soft and supple.
Because of this water-loving characteristic, the water content of various hydrogel contact lenses can range from approximately 38 to 75 percent (by weight).
Generally, hydrogel soft lenses are available in these categories, based on their water content:
- Low water content (less than 40 percent water)
- Medium water content (50 to 60 percent water)
- High water content (more than 60 percent water)
The water content of soft lenses allows oxygen to pass through the lenses and keep the cornea healthy during contact lens wear.
Different brands of soft contact lenses have different water content and lens thickness. Generally, hydrogel lenses that have a low water content are thinner than soft lenses that have a high water content.
There is significant variation in thickness and water content of hydrogel contact lenses because people will respond differently to the materials. Some contact lens wearers are more comfortable wearing thin, low water content lenses; others are more comfortable wearing thicker, moderate and high water content lenses.
Another feature of hydrogel materials used for soft contact lenses is their surface charge, which can affect how quickly protein deposits form on the lenses during wear.
Hydrogels are classified as either ionic or non-ionic. Ionic materials have a negatively charged surface and therefore may attract positively charged proteins in the tear film. Non-ionic hydrogels are treated to reduce this negative surface charge and therefore may be less prone to attract protein deposits.
The FDA uses four categories to classify soft lens materials:
- Category 1 = low water, non-ionic
- Category 2 = high water, non-ionic
- Category 3 = low water, ionic
- Category 4 = high water, ionic
New soft contact lenses called silicone hydrogel lenses are fast becoming popular. These lenses include silicone within the hydrogel material to increase the oxygen transmissibility of the lenses.
In fact, studies show that silicone hydrogel contact lenses transmit up to six times more oxygen to the cornea than regular soft lenses. This feature makes silicone hydrogel lenses safer for use as extended wear lenses.
Many new soft lenses also include surface treatments to help the lenses better retain their water content and avoid drying out for greater all-day wearing comfort.
Because of their hardness and because they do not fluctuate significantly in their water content, gas permeable contacts generally have superior optical characteristics and provide sharper vision than soft lenses.
However, despite advances in GP lens technology, some people cannot adapt to wearing rigid GP lenses and choose soft lenses for comfort reasons.
What Hybrid Contact Lenses Are Made Of
Hybrid contact lenses have a rigid GP central optical zone, surrounded by a peripheral fitting zone made of a soft contact lens material.
SynergEyes is the current market leader in hybrid contact lenses sold in the United States. The company offers a variety of hybrid contacts, including multifocal hybrid lenses for presbyopia and hybrid contacts for keratoconus and other conditions that cause irregular astigmatism.
#28 How do I choose the best contact lens color?
Color contact lenses are a fun way to change your appearance by enhancing or changing your eye color. The toughest part is choosing the best color.
A good way to start is to look in your closet. What color clothing do you think you look best in? Which colors do you wear most often? What colors fetch you the most compliments?
The answers to these questions will usually give you a good idea which contact lens colors will be the most attractive on your eyes.
Also, consider your skin tone and hair color. Just as certain eyeglass frame colors work with your skin and hair color and others don't, so it is with color contact lenses.
Warm skin tones
If you have warm skin tones (yellow or gold undertones) and yellow-blond or golden brown hair color, contacts that often look best are those that include highlights of light brown, honey, hazel and green.
Cool skin tones
If you have cool skin tones (blue undertones) and strawberry blond, blue-black or salt-and-pepper hair color, similarly "cool" eye colors of ice blue, violet or plum may be most appealing.
When choosing color contact lenses, it's also very important to assess how natural the lenses look on your eyes. After all, you want the lenses to be essentially invisible to others for the most natural appearance.
Color contacts from different manufacturers are made in different sizes, and the colors are applied to the lenses in different patterns and densities.
Though some movement of the lenses during blinks is desired for a proper fit, if the lenses move too much, your eyes won't look natural. Also, if the colored portion of the lens does not superimpose perfectly over your iris, this too will create a less-than-natural appearance.
Opaque color contact lenses that completely change your eye color (unlike some color-enhancing lenses that simply deepen your natural eye color) have a clear zone in the center of the lens so no light is blocked from entering your eye through the pupil.
If this central clear zone is not roughly the same size as your pupil or is not perfectly centered over your pupil, the color contacts will not give you the natural look you want.
#29 What Contacts Are Right For Me?
The best contact lenses for you depend on many factors, including your visual needs and your reasons for wanting to wear contacts:
- If you want the sharpest vision possible, gas permeable contact lenses (also called RGP or GP lenses) usually are the best choice. Because they have a hard, polished surface, they typically have better optical qualities than soft contact lenses.
- If you have astigmatism, gas permeable lenses or special soft lenses called toric contact lenses are usually the best choice. These lenses have special features to correct blurred vision caused by unequal corneal curvature (the most common type of astigmatism).
- If comfort is your primary consideration, conventional soft contact lenses usually are your best choice. Most people find soft lenses are immediately comfortable, whereas gas permeable lenses usually require a period of adaptation (that can be several weeks) before the lenses are perfectly comfortable.
- If you don't want to bother with lens care and contact lens solutions, daily disposable contact lenses probably are your best choice. With these soft lenses, you wear them just once and then throw them away. It doesn't get any easier than that!
- If you are over age 40 and have presbyopia, the best lenses for you may be bifocal contacts or multifocal contact lenses. These lenses often can restore a full range of vision and reduce or eliminate your need for reading glasses.
- If you are comfortable wearing eyeglasses and want to wear contacts only occasionally for sports or social events, soft lenses usually are the best choice. Most people can comfortably wear soft contacts on a sporadic basis, whereas gas permeable lenses usually have to be worn every day to maintain comfort.
Other factors also come into play when determining the type of contacts that are best for you. For example:
You may want extended wear contact lenses so you can wear the lenses continuously and not have to remove them before sleep. But your eyes may not be able to tolerate extended wear, so daily disposable lenses may be a better option.
You may need bifocal or multifocal contact lenses because you have presbyopia, but you find your vision with these lenses is not as good as you hoped it would be. In this case, maybe monovision, where your eye doctor uses regular (monofocal) soft lenses to fit one of your eyes for distance vision and the other for near vision, is a better option.
Or perhaps a modification of monovision contacts, where one eye is fitted with a monofocal lens and the other eye is fitted with a multifocal lens, is the best solution.
If you want the sharpest vision possible but you find you can't wear gas permeable lenses comfortably, perhaps hybrid contact lenses will satisfy your needs. Hybrid lenses have a GP center for clarity, surrounded by a "skirt" of soft lens material for greater comfort.
The first step in determining which contacts are best for you is to schedule an eye exam and discuss available options with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Keep in mind, though, that initial plans may change during your contact lens fitting. Depending on your comfort, your vision and how well your eyes tolerate the initial lens choice, changes may need to be made.
#30 Why Do Contacts Burn?
Clean, properly fitted contact lenses should be very comfortable — to the point that you forget you are wearing them.
If your contact lenses cause a sensation of burning eyes, something is wrong. There are several possibilities, including:
- Eye allergies. Eye allergies can make your eyes burn, especially if you are wearing contact lenses. Common eye irritants that cause allergies — dust, pollen and pet dander — can accumulate on and under your contacts, causing irritation and discomfort. Eye allergies typically also cause redness, itchiness and watery eyes.
- Sensitivity to preservatives. It's possible your eyes are burning because you are sensitive to the preservative or other ingredients in your contact lens solutions. Even if you have used the same contact lens solution for months or even years, it's possible to develop a delayed sensitivity reaction that can cause a burning sensation.
- Dirty contact lenses. Protein deposits and other debris accumulate on contact lenses over time, even if you properly clean and disinfect your contacts. These accumulations reduce the oxygen permeability of your lenses, which can cause eye irritation and a hot or burning sensation.
- Dry eyes. Burning and other contact lens discomfort may be caused by dry eyes. Other symptoms of dry eyes include redness, scratchiness or a feeling that something is "in" your eyes (called a foreign body sensation) and watery eyes. This last symptom may seem odd, but dryness often leads to eye irritation that can cause the tear glands to produce very watery "reflex" tears that are not the same as normal tears.
The only way to know for sure what is causing your eyes to burn when wearing contacts is to visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist for an eye exam.
The treatment your eye doctor prescribes will depend on the cause of your contact lens-related burning:
- If the cause is allergic, he or she may recommend restricting where and how long you wear your contacts or switching to daily disposable contacts.
- If your eye burning is caused by sensitivity to your contact lens solutions, switching to a preservative-free contact lens care system should help.
- If protein or other contact lens deposits are the cause, adding a separate lens cleaner to your care regimen or replacing your contacts more frequently should solve the problem.
- If you have dry eyes, your doctor may recommend using lubricating eye drops, possibly combined with other dry eye treatments including eye vitamins, to eliminate the burning sensation. He or she might also recommend changing to a brand of contact lenses designed for people with dry eyes.
In some cases, a combination of some or all of the above treatments may be the best solution for improving your contact lens comfort and eliminating your symptom of burning eyes.
#31 Why do contact lenses hurt my eyes?
Contact lens discomfort is a symptom that something is wrong, and you should always take it seriously.
Eye pain from contact lens wear is particularly worrisome, because it may mean you are developing a contact lens-related eye infection or other serious problem.
If you develop sudden eye pain when wearing contact lenses or your contacts hurt, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Remove and clean the contact lens
If one of your contacts hurts, remove the bothersome lens and rinse it thoroughly with multipurpose contact lens solution. Also, rinse your eye with sterile saline, and/or apply lubricating eye drops that are approved for use with contact lenses. Then reinsert the contact lens.
If the contact feels perfectly comfortable, it's likely something such as an eyelash was caught under the lens and this was causing the discomfort.
But to be sure, remove the contact lens again. If you have eye pain when the lens is removed, you may have a corneal abrasion or other eye problem that may need immediate attention. If this is the case, skip Step Two and proceed immediately to Step Three below.
If you have no eye discomfort after removing the contact lens, but the contact hurts after rinsing and reinserting it, proceed to Step Two.
- Step 2: Inspect the contact lens
Sometimes, a contact lens deposit or a partially torn contact lens can cause sudden eye discomfort.
If your eye still hurts after cleaning and reinserting the contact lens as described in Step One above, remove the lens again and carefully inspect it. If something appears adhered to the lens surface or the lens is partially torn, discard it and replace it with a new one.
If the new lens feels perfectly comfortable, the discomfort likely was due to the lens deposit or defect.
But if the new contact hurts, proceed to Step Three:
- Step 3: Remove your contacts and visit your eye doctor
If your eye hurts after removing the contact lens or after replacing it with a new one, remove both contacts, put on your eyeglasses and immediately call your eye doctor to schedule an emergency eye exam.
It is possible you have a serious contact lens-related eye problem, such as a corneal abrasion, a fungal eye infection or even a corneal ulcer. With any of these problems, your eye may also be sensitive to light and watery.
Be sure to tell the doctor's office that you are experiencing eye discomfort and that you want to be seen as soon as possible.
If it turns out an eye infection or other serious problem is why your contacts hurt your eyes, the sooner you are seen and receive medical treatment, the less risk you have of permanent vision loss.
#32 Why Do Contact Lenses Expire?
You should discard soft contact lenses when they expire. Soft contact lenses are medical devices that must be sterilized and packaged in sealed containers before being sold to eye doctors and consumers. Since they touch the eye, they have the potential to harm the eye if they are contaminated.
Just as packaged foods display an expiration date, so do packaged medical devices, as a consumer protection measure.
Contact Lens Expiration Date
Though soft lenses are sealed in an airtight container, it's possible that over time the seal of the container can become compromised, possibly leading to contamination of the saline solution and lens inside.
The expiration date on the lens package indicates the last month and year that the container should be considered free from contamination and the lenses inside safe to wear.
It is not unusual for the expiration date of a soft contact lens to be four years from the date the lens was manufactured and packaged.
Generally, the expiration date on contact lens packaging is written in a yyyy/mm format. For example, an expiration date of 2020/08 means the lenses should be considered safe for wear until the end of August 2020.
Soft Contact Lens Packaging
Most soft contacts sold today are packaged individually in small, plastic "flat pack" containers with a sealed foil cover. The containers usually are filled with non-preserved buffered saline (salt water) and a wetting agent to keep the lens fully hydrated.
For cost and weight reasons, these plastic containers are much more common now than the traditional glass vials that once were the predominant packaging method for soft lenses.
Contact Lens Prescription Expiration Date
The expiration date on your contact lens prescription is the last date that your eye doctor has authorized you to purchase new contacts with the prescription.
Contact lens prescriptions generally expire in one year. This is because you should have an annual eye exam if you wear contact lenses to make sure your eyes are remaining healthy and your refractive error is unchanged.
Hope the above can be helpful to you.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Contact us.