Tips and information caring your contact lenses
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How do I read my soft contact lens prescription?
The prescription for contact lenses is different to the prescription for your spectacles since it includes the sizes required to fit the lenses to your left and right eyes. The prescription for your spectacles since it includes the sizes required to fit the lenses to your left and right eyes.
Can I wear soft contact lenses if I have astigmatism?
There is a special type of soft contact lens called a toric lens which will correct your astigmatism. However, these lenses are more expensive and there are fewer types and colors available than there are with regular (spherical) lenses.
Can 2-week disposable contact lenses be worn part time?
The 2-weeks refers to the actual amount of wearing time so they can last longer than 2 weeks if you are not wearing them full time. However, they should not be used for longer than 4 weeks to prevent infection.
Is there a difference between rigid gas permeable (RGP) and soft contact lenses?
RGP´s are smaller and made out of a harder, less pliable material than soft contact lenses which makes them less comfortable initially. RGP´s correct astigmatism whereas soft spherical lenses do not. Soft toric lenses (see question 2 above) are now available
Can I swim while wearing my contact lenses?
Yes, but you should wear tight-fitting goggles because there are microbes in the water that can stick to your lenses. You should disinfect your lenses afterwards. If you don´t wear goggles, the contact lenses may float from your eyes or they may absorb the pool water, which can result in them adhering firmly to the eye. If this occurs, it is advisable to leave the lenses alone for 10-15 minutes until the water in them has been replaced by natural tears before trying to remove them. Exposing your contact lenses to pool water can be uncomfortable due to chlorine.
Is it necessary for contact lens wearers to have regular eye examinations?
A regular eye examination is useful to check your prescription and to evaluate the health of your eyes. This is important for soft contact lens wearers because wearing lenses can occasionally stress your eyes without necessarily causing any sensitivity or loss of vision.
Presbyopia develops in later life and means that the eye cannot focus properly on objects close-up. This makes it difficult for middle-aged people to read easily without wearing spectacles. A good new development is the bifocal soft contact lens. It allows the wearer to focus on both distant and close-up objects. Such lenses have been much more expensive in the past but recently Johnson and Johnson has released their new Acuvue Bifocal lens which is a disposable bifocal lens that is reasonably priced and becoming very popular.
Can colored contact lenses be fitted on dark eyes?
They are called opaque contact lenses as opposed to enhancer tints opaque contact lenses are available in many different colors and shades but there is currently only one brand that offers 2-week disposable opaque lens. These are Freshlook Colors by Wesley Jessen - follow this link to see the tints and colors available!
Daily-Disposable lenses are produced to be discarded after a single day´s use. Can they be used for another day?
These lenses should not be worn for longer than one day. They obviate the need to clean and disinfect the lenses in a storage case saving time, effort and expensive disinfecting solutions.
Can patients with dry eye problems wear soft contact lenses?
Yes. However, you are less likely to have less success with contact lenses than someone who does not have this condition. This does not mean that you cannot wear contact lenses at all. It simply means you may have a shorter contact lens wearing period than normal or that you may choose to wear your lenses only occasionally. You can increase the comfort of your lenses by inserting eye lubrication drops. As always, it is best to consult your eye care practitioner for the best advice regarding whether you should wear contact lenses and what type of lenses may be suitable. Extreme H2o and Proclear Lenses for dry eye are especially made.
Which type of soft contact lens is best for occasional wear once or twice a week?
It is best to use a daily-disposable soft lens so that there is no need to disinfect the lens between intermittent wearing sessions when contamination can occur. Daily-disposable lenses such as 1-Day Acuvue and Focus Dailies are ideal for sports wear.
Can contact lenses be worn while travelling on an airplane without discomfort?
The low humidity in an aircraft cabin contributes to dry eye symptoms and contact lens discomfort. It may help to put lubrication drops in your eyes before you enter the airplane or during flight. If symptoms persist or become severe, it will be easier and more comfortable for you to wear spectacles.
Is it OK to play sports while wearing contact lenses?
Yes. Wearing soft contact lenses for sports is more flexible and stable than use of spectacles. If your sport involves vigorous exercise, the soft contact lens is the best choice. If contact lenses are not worn apart from sports, then use of a daily-disposable lens is the simplest and safest way.
Which type of lens care system is best?
Recently, the one-bottle systems have become popular. These All-in-One solutions are the easiest and quickest ways to rinse-and-rub and then store and disinfect your soft lenses. However, if you are particularly sensitive to chemicals, it may be better to use a hydrogen peroxide-based system.
Is it necessary to use protein remover tablets in addition to my normal daily cleaning procedure?
Only if you are wearing a yearly-replacement lens. The need to use protein remover tablets depends on the amount of protein deposits your eyes produce. Protein deposits are normal but they change in chemical composition with age. These deposits contribute to discomfort and poor vision or toxic allergies. If these deposits become a problem, your eye care practitioner can recommend types of contact lenses for you that are replaced more frequently, either on a daily, two weekly or four-weekly basis. Daily cleaning should be performed with your multi-purpose solution as recommended by the manufacturer. Those wearing yearly-replacement lenses may also need to purchase a separate protein-removing enzyme cleaner to remove deposits from their lenses.
Can a contact lens be "lost" behind the eye?
A thin strong membrane, called the conjunctiva, lines the inside of your eyelids and curls back on itself to cover the white part of the eye. Lenses cannot pass through it. However, your contact lenses may slide under your eyelids or become displaced. If this occurs, try looking in the direction of the lens to move it back to the correct position. Soft contact lenses tend to center automatically on the cornea.
Can contact lenses block UV light?
Only partially, some manufacturers have added UV blocking properties to some lenses but none block all of the harmful UV light. Health organizations state that contact lenses are not a substitute for UV absorbing eyewear such as UV absorbing sunglasses in part because contact lenses cover only a portion of the eye. It is recommended you wear UV absorbing sunglasses over your prescription contact lenses, even if they contain UV blocking properties.
How often should contact lenses be changed?
The recommended life of soft contact lenses varies, depending on the type of lens, from 1-day, 1-week, 2-weeks, 1-month, and longer up to 1-year. With any contact lens, you should follow the prescribed wear and care instructions given by the manufacturer.
Can contact lenses be worn if the eyes are sensitive or tender?
It is not advisable to wear contact lenses if your eyes are bothering you, particularly if the discomfort is related to contact lens wear. If you experience discomfort related to contact lens wear, consult your eye care practitioner.
What are contact lenses made of?
Today´s contact lenses are made from a number of different materials called polymers. These polymers ensure comfortable lens wear by allowing the eye to absorb oxygen from the air and maintain their shape on the eye. Modern soft lenses offer excellent comfort and are soft because they contain water. Typically, the water content of lenses varies from about 40% to 70%. If the lenses are worn on an extended (overnight) wear basis, then the eye can become short of oxygen (hypoxic) and its surface may become swollen reducing vision.
How long can a contact lens be stored after it has been removed from its package?
This varies according to the frequency of wear and the cleaning and disinfection routine that you use for storing the lens. For specific details consult the package insert of your lens care system.
It is important to adhere to the wearing schedule prescribed by your lens manufacturer. The main advantage of wearing disposable lenses is that you are putting a fresh new pair of lenses in your eyes every 2 weeks. This provides better vision. The convenient cleaning regimen of a disposable lens is only adequate for a maximum 4-week wearing schedule.