Contact Lens Advice

I feel I can see clearly through my contact lenses do I really need to have my eyes examined?

Any contact lens sitting on the eye is a foreign body and can cause damage to the surface of your eye or eyelids. Most of the changes associated with contact lens wear will not have symptoms, initially.

For example abnormal growth of blood vessels on the cornea (neovascularisation) is usually not associated with any visual change or symptoms but does represent deterioration in the overall health and integrity of your cornea. It is therefore recommended that you have your eyes regularly examined by your Optometrist to monitor your eyes for these changes and make recommendations as needed, earlier rather than later, when the wear of contact lenses may be prohibited.

How often should I have my eyes examined?

It is our recommendation you have your eyes examined annually especially if you use your contact lenses full time (approx 4-7x a week more than 6 hours per day). Since you are placing your fingers into your eyes on average twice a day, in a year you would have placed them in your eyes on average about 700 times. Wouldn’t you like to make sure there is no damage taking place to your eyes because of this?

Could I buy contact lenses without a prescription?

It is strongly recommended that you purchase contact lenses that have been fitted by a registered optometrist, that best suit your eyes. They will provide you with an official contact lens prescription outlining the specific parameters, brand and prescription of your contact lenses.

If you would like to try contact lenses for the first time, please contact your eye care professional. We are more than happy to provide you with that service and advice should you require it.

I have a red/irritated eye. Should I keep using my contact lenses?

NO!

It is best to cease using your contact lenses and revert to spectacles until your eyes settle. The red eyes can be a result of dryness, allergy, infection or dirty/torn/chipped contact lenses. If you have a sticky gunky discharge especially in the morning on waking it is best to consult your eye care professional as you may be developing an eye infection.

IF IN DOUBT TAKE THEM OUT!

Do I need to use drops with my contact lenses?

Approximately 50% of contact lens wearers experience dryness or irritation during some time of their contact lens wear.

Your tears are responsible for lubricating your eye and reducing friction between your eye and eyelids for comfortable clear vision. The same tears would need to lubricate your contact lens as well so there is a greater chance of the eye becoming dryer with the extra surface of your contact lens.

Lubricating your eyes is like applying moisturiser to your skin for dryness. You would not apply it once in your lifetime and hope it will fix the dry skin for life. Similarly your eyes would require at lease 1 drop 3 times a day for those patients who are experiencing dryness in an air-conditioned environment as well is when in front of a computer for long periods of time.

I have a flu/cold. Can I still use my contact lenses?

It is best you refrain from using you contact lenses until you feel better as you are at greater risk of getting an eye infection with contact lenses than when you are well.

Do I need spectacles since I use my contact lenses most of the time?

It is best that you have a pair of spectacles as backup as it is not recommended that you use your contact lenses when you have a cold of flu due to increase risk of infection.

It is also recommended to remove your lenses in the evenings, and wear your spectacles. This allows the cornea to breath better while your eyes are still open. While asleep you do not get the same amount of oxygen absorbed into the cornea, as your eyelids are closed.

Can I use my contact lenses whilst swimming?

It is best you don’t swim with your monthly or two weekly disposable contact lenses. Daily disposable lenses are perfect for swimming and it is best you discard the lenses soon after you finish swimming.

Water, be it fresh or seawater carries a large number of bugs that your natural eye would be able to deal with the natural wiping action of your eyelids. Your contact lens is a barrier to the natural action of the eyelids and can give a bug an opportunity to cause infection if it found its way behind a contact lens.

Daily disposable lenses reduce this risk since you will be discarding the lens together with any bugs soon after your swim. The risk of the lens coming off your cornea is dramatically increased when the eyes are opened under water.

Consult your eye care professional to see if daily disposables are suitable for your eyes.

I have a chip on my contact lenses. Can I still use my contact lenses?

You should never use a chipped or torn contact lens even if it still is comfortable. Your skin is covered by adverse bacteria called Staphylococcus epidermidis (and others).

This bacteria normally would not cause disease on your skin, but can cause infection if it enters part of your body through cuts your skin or into your cornea through scratches.

This bacteria has also been found to eat into plastics like your contact lens. A tear in your contact lens increase the chance of this happening and also increases your risk of eye infection. It is best practice to change your contact lens if you find a tear or chip in it.

I’ve run out of contact lens cleaning solution! Can I store my contact lenses in water?

NO! Never store your contact lenses in water. Tap water may contain amoebas that can cause very nasty eye infections that can lead to blindness. Your digestive system can deal with these bugs without causing any problems but your eye may not be able to fight off this infection. Re-order your contact lens solution when you are about half way through your last bottle. Making this your practice would ensure you never run out of contact lens solution.

Do I need to rub my contact lenses when cleaning them?

Most contact lens cleaning solution state that “no rubbing” is needed when cleaning your contact lenses. Your contact lenses would be allot cleaner if you rub them approximately 10 times backwards and forwards AFTER removal of your contact lenses.

When should I clean my contact lenses?

It is best practice to clean your contact lenses soon after removing your contact lenses and NOT just before placing them into your eyes. Your contact lens cleaning solution is better able to penetrate the contact lens after you remove them and rub them clean followed by storing them in your recommended solution for at least 6 hours overnight. After inserting your contact lenses throw the solution from your contact lens case away and rinse your contact lens case + lids under your hot water tap. This should then be left to air dry on a clean lit free towel or tissue.

How often should I change my contact lens solution and case?

Most contact lens solutions need to be discarded 3 months from opening. Replace your contact lens case every 1 to 3 months depending on your contact lens solution. There is usually no need to keep your old contact lens cases as many new packs of contact lens solutions come with at least one contact lens case.