Key things you should know about contact lenses
Bringing clarity to contacts
Contact lenses have been a brilliant advancement for eye care, and a gift for those who would previously have had to wear glasses. They’re convenient, give you a full range of vision, and can be tailored to each individual.
However, with plenty of myths and misconceptions surrounding their use, it can be hard to get your facts straight.
We’ve all heard the horror stories, from people’s eyes drying out to ‘losing lenses’ behind their eyeballs. Fortunately, most of these stories are nothing more than myths. In fact, it’s physically impossible for your contact lenses to get lost behind your eyes. There is a membrane between your eye and your eyelid which your contact absolutely cannot pass.
There are many benefits to wearing contact lenses over glasses or laser surgery, and they’re a low-risk option when used responsibly.
Plus, with technology in eye care moving so quickly, prescription contacts are becoming more and more comfortable. These days, there are plenty of choices available so you can fit your contacts around your needs.
Whether you’re new to contact lenses or considering coming back to them, I’ve put together some helpful information so you can make the right choice for your eyes.
The basics behind prescription contacts
- Contact lenses move with your eye, allowing a natural field of vision
- There’s less distortion than with glasses, and of course, they don’t have frames to disrupt your vision
- Most contact lenses are made from hydrogel (a soft, water-absorbing plastic), combined with silicon, which allows more oxygen to get through to your eye. This is important, as your cornea needs oxygen to stay healthy.
- Other, ‘hard’ contacts, are made of Rigid Gas Permeable plastic (RGP), and don’t absorb water like soft contacts.
- Contact lenses are designed with a large range of parameters, which must be fitted correctly to ensure the most comfortable fit.
- There’s a full range of both daily disposable and reusable prescription contacts. Talk to us about which option is best for you.
Tips and best practice for first time users
If you’re using contacts for the first time, or are just having trouble easing them into your daily routine, here are some tips from the experts:
- Relax. A lot of people get nervous about touching or scratching their eye – but this can simply make the process harder. As long as everything is clean, there’s nothing to worry about!
- Keep everything clean. This means both your lenses and your hands – this is not somewhere to take shortcuts. Wash your hands thoroughly, and follow all our instructions, like always using fresh contact lens solution for reusable lenses. In addition to this, you should never wash your contact lenses in water, as this can contain harmful bacteria.
- Stay hydrated. To start with, keep your fluid levels up by drinking plenty of water – this goes for those who don’t wear contacts, too! If you’re susceptible to dry eyes, or are exposed to a lot of screen time or dry air, ask us which eye drops are suitable for you.
- Follow the rules. Wearing contact lenses is low risk, if you follow instructions and use a responsible attitude. If you’re wearing reusable contacts, keep an eye on the schedule so you know when you need to replace them.
Remember: Never wear your contacts while sleeping. This is damaging to the cornea as it restricts oxygen flow.
Contacts versus glasses
The great news here is that there’s no strict ‘Team Glasses’ versus ‘Team Contacts’. You can alternate between the two! However, contacts can offer a lot of freedom to glasses-wearers.
Prescription contacts are great for participating in sport, and physical activity in general. They stay put, aren’t troubled by dirt and sweat, and can be worn with sunglasses or other protective eyewear.
Quick tip: Remember, a prescription for your contact lenses will be different to your glasses prescription.
Come in and talk to the experts
The best way to find out whether contact lenses are right for you, and which ones are suited, is to come in for an eye exam and consultation.
Whether you are a contact lens newbie or previous wearer who would like to try updated lenses, a contact lens fit appointment and trial lenses are the best place to start.
We recommend popping in for an eye exam every 2 years, or 12 months if you wear contacts. Eye exams let us check in with your eye health and are opportunities to identify early signs of eye conditions before they become major issues.
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