Do you have questions about contacts? Have you been thinking of getting them, but aren’t sure if they are safe? August 22-26 is Contact Lens Health Week, so we have taken seven common myths about contact lenses and dispelled them.
1. “I can’t wear contact lenses.”
Many people believe that they cannot wear contact lenses due to conditions such as astigmatism. However, due to recent advances in contact lens technology, contact lens manufacturers are designing lenses to fit all eye shapes and requirements, so more people than ever can wear contact lenses.
2. “Contact lenses can get lost behind my eyes.”
A thin membrane called the conjunctiva covers the white of your eye and connects to the inside of your eyelids, making it impossible for a contact lens to get lost behind your eye.
3. “Contacts are uncomfortable.”
After a brief adaptation time, most people do not realize they are wearing contact lenses. Contact lens discomfort is often caused by something other than the lenses themselves, such as dry eye syndrome or accidental contamination.
4. “Taking care of contacts is hard.”
Taking care of contacts can be quick and easy with a one-bottle lens care system. Simply follow these steps each time:
- Wash your hands to avoid transferring dirt and germs into your eyes.
- Remove one lens and clean it with the recommended solution. The FDA recommends that you rub the lens in the palm of your hand with a few drops of solution, even if you are using a “no-rub” product.
- Rinse the lens again to remove the loosened debris, making sure to take as long as the package directs. This is an important step.
- Place the lens in your clean lens case or lens holder and fill with fresh solution; don’t “top off” your old solution. This sanitizes the lenses.
- Repeat steps 2-4 for the second lens.
Additionally, you can always opt for disposable lenses. Want even easier care? Try daily disposable contacts where you discard after a day and begin with a fresh lens the next.
You have also heard the term ‘extended wear’ contacts, which can imply leaving them in the eyes for weeks at a time. We never encouraged this as the risk of infection rises dramatically. Always remove contacts at the end of the day to give your eyes a break.
5. “I’m too old to wear contact lenses.”
With the introduction of bifocal contacts as well as lenses specifically designed for dry eyes, aging is no longer a barrier to wearing contacts. Ask your eye doctor if you are a good candidate for contact lenses.
6. “Contacts can pop out of my eyes.”
When contact lenses were made of hard glass or plastic, they could pop out when the wearer was taking part in a sport or other vigorous activity. However, today’s contact lenses, including rigid gas permeable contacts, fit closer to the eye so it’s rare for them to fall out.
7. “Contact lenses cause eye infections.”
It’s true that contact lens wear can increase your risk of certain eye problems. But, if you follow the directions given to you by your eye doctor, replace the lenses when needed and care for them properly, wearing them is very safe.
Overall, when worn correctly, contact lenses pose little threat to your eyes. If anything ever feels uncomfortable, vision suddenly changes or redness develops with contact lenses, stop using them immediately and contact your eye doctor. If you are interested in talking to an eye doctor about getting contacts, book your appointment today!