04 Apr Unionville’s Top 10 Contact Lenses FAQ
Did you know that the history of contact lenses goes all the way back to Leonardo da Vinci in the early 1500’s, who first suggested we could alter our vision by putting the cornea directly in contact with water? Over 350 years later Sir John Herschel suggested making a mold out of a person’s eye, and another 50 years later the first contact lenses were actually created.
Since then, contact lens technology has come a long way and today as many as 10% of Canadians wear contact lenses.
As a trusted vision care centre in Markham and Unionville Ontario, our optometrists are asked many questions about contact lenses. Below are answers to some of the most common contact lenses questions we are asked. If you still have specific questions that relate to your eye health or prescription contact lenses and would like a reply, please contact our optometrists directly.
What are the basic types of contact lenses?
There are two general types of prescription contact lenses:
- Soft contact lenses – made from a flexible plastic that allows oxygen to pass through to the cornea. Soft lenses are generally more comfortable and may be easier to adjust.
- Rigid gas permeable (RGP) – made from a harder material that is more durable, resistant to deposit build up, and provides a clearer, crisper vision.
There are several pros and cons to both hard and soft contact lenses that our Unionville Optometrists would be happy to explain to you during a contact lens consultation.
What can I do about dry eyes and contact lenses?
Dry eyes caused by contact lenses seem to be a top complaint that we get from our eye patients. The best way to approach this problem is visit your optometrist first. He or she can help identify why you are experiencing dry eye discomfort. They may suggest you modify how frequently you wear your contact lenses. Other solutions may be to change your contact lens solution and care products, try eye drops, or even try a different contact lens brand altogether. Today’s new lens technologies help reduce dry eyes and in fact, contact lens manufacturers now offer contact lenses for dry eyes.
Do contact lenses expire?
Yes, contact lenses do expire. Check your contact lens package for its expiration date. Typically, a contact lens will expire four years after being manufactured. Did you also know that your contact lens prescription expires? This prescription expiry date is the last date that your eye doctor has authorized you to purchase new contact lenses using that particular prescription. Contact lens prescriptions typically expire in one year so we encourage our patients to revisit our eye clinic to make sure their eyes are staying healthy and update the lens prescription if necessary.
Can I get contact lenses for astigmatism?
Yes. Contact lenses for astigmatism are called Toric contact lenses and have different powers in different meridians. This means that the contact lens rotates on your eye to the proper orientation for clearer vision.
Why do my contact lenses get blurry?
As your optometrist, our goal is to help you achieve clear and comfortable vision with contact lenses. From time to time people can complain about blurry vision. This can be caused by a number of factors:
- There may be buildup and protein deposits on the surface of the lens.
- The contact lens is being worn past its replacement date.
- Either the contact lens or the eye is dry.
- If you have astigmatism, the lens could have moved or rotated.
- Your contact lens prescription could have recently changed.
- You may have developed an eye health problem.
If you are experiencing ongoing blurry vision with your contact lenses, please book an eye appointment with our Markham eye doctors immediately.
Help! I ran out of contact lens solution, what should I do?
First things first, do not put your contact lenses in water. Water (even purified and distilled) can contain bacteria and microorganisms that can cause serious eye infections. Furthermore, water will not disinfect your contact lenses and is not the proper pH to match the acidity of your tears. If you absolutely cannot go out and buy more contact lens solution it is best to throw out your contact lenses and start with a new pair the next day.
My rigid gas permeable lenses are sticking, what should I do?
For those who wear gas permeable contact lens follow these steps to get your contact lens unstuck:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Do NOT massage the eyelid.
- Use your fingertip to press just outside the edge of the hard lens in order to break the suction.
If you still find that your contact lens is stuck in your eye, call your eye doctor immediately to have it removed.
Is ordering contact lenses online safe?
There’s been a trend over the last several years to order contact lenses online. While this may seem convenient you are likely putting your eyesight and vision health at risk. More often than not, people who order contact lenses online end up ordering the wrong type of lenses in the wrong prescription or base curve. Regular annual eye exams are highly recommended for contact lens wearers to make sure they are wearing an up-to-date prescription and to prevent damage to the corneas. When you purchase contact lenses from us we can monitor your eye health as well as review the latest contact lens technology with you. Unionville Optometry is Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agent (TPA) certified. Our optometrists will also ensure that you select the right brand, fit, and prescription of contact lenses, plus our contact lenses are competitively priced with those sold online.
Contact lenses or glasses – what are the benefits of wearing contact lenses?
Only your optometrist can best recommend what is right for you and your vision. There are several benefits of contact lenses to consider in the great debate concerning contact lens vs. glasses. Contact lenses are:
- Less obvious than glasses
- May provide better vision than glasses
- May be more comfortable than classes
- Do not interfere with peripheral vision
- Don’t slide down your nose
- Don’t fog up in winter
Glasses may be a better option for you if you are prone to frequent eye infections, seasonal allergies, or dry eyes caused by low tear production.
Our Unionville optometrists recommend that all contact lens wearers also have an up to date pair of glasses. Contact lenses are not meant to be worn 100% of the time as our eyes need a break. Glasses are also important in the case that there is a contact lens related complication, such as an eye infection, or any other reason that you may need to discontinue contact lens wear for a period of time.
What contact lens brands do you recommend?
At Unionville Optometry we carry several brand name contact lenses including Acuvue, CIBA Vision, Coopervision, and Bausch & Lomb. The brand and fit we recommend will depend on your individual prescription and eye health.
All of our optometrists have extensive training in all types of contact lenses including soft disposable lenses, Toric contact lenses for astigmatism, multi-focal lenses, and hard gas permeable contact lenses.
If you any concerns or more questions about contact lenses, call our Unionville optometry office in Markham ON at 1-905-477-4488 to make a contact lens appointment with Dr. David Innamorato, Dr. Krista Innamorato, or Dr. Mark Innamorato.