Q I’ve heard people tell me they change their contacts every month, or even every day. I remember having the same pair for at least a year! What has changed?
A The technology of contact lenses has changed greatly over the years. Contact lenses that are designed for regular disposal are simply healthier for your eyes. Contact lenses replaced more frequently will result in less contact lens related eye infections and complications, and ensures that the cornea will receive the highest amount of oxygen possible.
Q My eyes are incredibly dry. I use artificial tears often throughout the day. Can I still wear contacts?
A There are a variety of contact lens brands designed to stay wet on the eye, and lenses that can be replaced every day for patients who may not tolerate the same lens in the eye for more than a day. Daily disposables also work great for patients with extreme allergies. It is important to remember that not everyone may achieve the comfort they need in order to wear contact lenses all day, every day. A patient may do best with part time wear, and still enjoy the many benefits contact lenses have to offer.
Q I can see at a distance just fine. But recently I’ve needed over the counter reading glasses to see my phone, etc. What are my options for contact lenses?
A A variety of bifocal contact lenses exist on the market today, in both soft and hard designs. Another option for some patients is called monovision. This is when one eye is used for seeing at a distance, and the other eye for seeing up close. Both bifocal and monovision contact lens patients may require weeks of adaptation.
Q How do I know which contacts are right for me?
A There are many things for our doctors to consider when fitting a contact lens patient. Through our comprehensive eye examination and contact lens fitting procedures, we can determine the power and size of contact lenses a patient may need. It is important that we ask questions regarding a person’s lifestyle that will help them determine which brand, material, and type of replacement will best suit the patient. What a patient does for work and what hobbies they have will all play a critical role in the doctor’s recommendations for the type of contact lenses.
Q My friend sleeps in his contacts all the time. I keep telling him it isn’t healthy. Am I right?
A Yes and no. Some contact lenses are designed to be breathable enough for “extended” or overnight wear. Contact lenses approved for extended wear may be worn anywhere from 2-3 nights in a row, up to 30 days straight. If you are interesting in sleeping in your contacts, be sure to mention it to the optometrist. In order to maintain eye health, it is important to follow the optometrist’s instructions for proper wear of these lenses. Contact lenses worn overnight that are not FDA approved for overnight wear are a major cause of preventable vision loss. When the cornea does not receive adequate oxygen many complications can arise. Problems not only include painful ulcers on the cornea, but also permanently impaired vision in some cases.
Q At what age do you start fitting children for contacts?
A This is a great question! It is certainly something that can be discussed in detail between the optometrist and parents. We have fit very young children with contact lenses. It is highly recommended that they have the abilities to physically insert and remove the contacts on their own, and that they can take proper care of the contacts and maintain proper hygiene. This will insure they have a great experience with their contacts without any complications or danger to their eye health.
Q I saw some crazy white contacts online. I want some for my Halloween costume. Do I need an eye exam in order to get those?
A There are numerous websites that sell cosmetic contact lenses. It is important to remember that contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the FDA. Any sale or dispense of contact lenses without an optometrist’s valid prescription is illegal. Because we are highly concerned about your eye health and vision, we recommend having a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting before purchasing cosmetic contact lenses. We will help determine the size of your eye and the contact lens that will fit your eye the best. Cosmetic contact lenses are not intended for daily wear, and can easily cause devastating eye problems and even blindness if not cared for properly. It is never advisable to wear someone else’s contact lenses. To find out if contact lenses will work for you, schedule an appointment today for your contact lens fitting!