You’ve read the leaflets, the websites and the reviews of different types of contact lenses, but you’re still not quite convinced they’re suitable for you. Wouldn’t it be great if you could sit down with an experienced and knowledgeable contact lens professional, and ask them all the questions you really want to know?
Worry not – here at Eye Emporium we’re here to help. We’ve grilled our outstanding contact lens practitioner Keith Pearse on everything from reordering your supply to how to avoid discomfort during lens use; simply read on to benefit from his expertise!
Keith has had over 20 years’ experience in optics, and he currently works in our Kent practices providing a consistently excellent service to all our contact lens patients. When it comes to contact lens use, there’s very little Keith doesn’t know, which makes him the ideal person to answer all those essential questions you might have.
How long can you safely wear contact lenses for on a daily basis? Does the expiry date really mean anything?
The ‘safe’ wearing time will be different for everyone, as it depends on several factors like the quality and quantity of your tears, the material the lenses are made of, and whether you suffer from any allergies. A good contact lens optician will fully examine your eye health and let you know the maximum recommended wearing time per day for your specific situation.
As this is based on your personal circumstances, it is strongly advised that you stick to these guidelines to avoid damaging or irritating your eyes.
However, you should never wear specific types of lenses for longer than their intended use, even if you think they still look and feel all right. For example, daily lenses must be disposed of at the end of each day, rather than being kept and reused the following day. Their material and composition are not meant for extended use and in the worst cases this could cause serious damage or infection to your eyes.
What are the main dangers involved in sunbathing and swimming whilst wearing contact lenses if you shut your eyes or fall asleep?
You can wear contact lenses in the pool or the sea, but only if you’re also wearing goggles. Without goggles the lenses are far more likely to be washed out of your eyes, and the risk of bacterial infection is significantly increased as chlorine does not always kill all of the germs in the water.
There is no danger involved in sunbathing while wearing contact lenses, but it is recommended that you also wear sunglasses and stay hydrated to help prevent your eyes drying out. You should not keep your eyes closed over the top of your lenses when out in the sun. In this case there is a serious risk that the lenses could dry onto your eyeballs, and in the worst scenarios a surgical procedure might be needed to remove them.
How do I know that my lenses are properly fitted to my eyes?
The short answer is that if your lenses feel comfortable and don’t irritate your eyes, they are positioned correctly. Of course, you should also notice that your vision is clearer and sharper too! You don’t need to worry about fitting your own contact lenses though – this is something that your contact lens practitioner will do for you to ensure that they’re perfect before you leave the practice.
What are the benefits of contact lenses over glasses?
If you enjoy playing sports in your spare time, you will probably find that lenses provide a much wider and unrestricted field of view, without the arms of your glasses getting in the way of your peripheral vision. Lenses are also much less likely to fall down your nose or steam up in cold conditions, as glasses tend to do. And finally, wearing contact lenses means you don’t have to worry about carrying your glasses or case around with you from the car to the office and back home again – once your lenses are in, you’re ready for the day!
My prescription is quite strong – can I still wear contact lenses?
Recent advances in contact lens technology means that there are now lens varieties available for several different visual prescriptions and strengths, including patients with astigmatism. The main criteria are that your tears are of good enough quality and quantity, and that your corneas are a suitable shape and condition to withstand lens use. I have previously fitted contact lenses for a patient with a prescription of -29, so don’t assume that a strong prescription automatically means that your options are limited!
Is it important to order replacement lenses from my optician, or can I get them online for ease?
As a contact lens patient, you should attend a check up with your contact lens optician at least every six
months, or even more frequently depending on your lens type and circumstances. The reason for this is to ensure that your eyes are still healthy, the type of lenses you’re wearing is still suitable for you, and the lenses aren’t causing any damage or irritation.
Despite popular opinion, ordering new lenses online isn’t necessarily any cheaper or faster than getting them from your optician, and you’d be missing out on crucial professional experience too. Many opticians practices run offers on contact lenses from time to time, like the current promotion we have at the moment here at Eye Emporium. You can get an eye test, a contact lens consultation and a two months supply of colour contact lenses (that are included in the package) for only £59! (click here to learn more about it! http://www.eye-emporium.com/lets-start-the-new-year-right-with-colour-contact-lenses/#.VrNR0hHtlHw)
It is recommended that you attend a check up at least every year or preferably six months. To book an appointment with Keith or to find out more information about anything to do with contact lenses, simply give us a call on 0800 020 9209 or pop into one of our practices.