Advice For First-Time Contact Lens Wearer
Contacts can make a world of difference for someone who is craving greater comfort and more natural vision than glasses could provide. However, getting used to contacts can take some time, and it is important to take things slowly and carefully. When you are fitted for contacts for the first time, be prepared to allow some time (usually, a week) for your eyes to adapt. Here is the recommended schedule for first time wearers, based on current medical research and our patients' experiences:
- DAY 1: Exciting! You can try on your new lenses, but wear them no longer than 2-4 HOURS.
- DAY 2: Experiment! If you are comfortable, try extending wearing time to 4-6 HOURS.
- DAY 3: Great progress! You can last a full day of work (6-8 HOURS) in your contacts (but remember to use eye-drops in dry and air-conditioned places).
- DAY 4: Show off your new look to friends! With 8-10 HOURS wearing time, meet them after work for a Happy Hour.
- DAY 5: Congratulations! You've graduated to maximum (10 TO 12 HOURS) wearing schedule.
As you are adjusting to your new lenses, please remember that you ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT:
- put contact lenses in your eyes if there is REDNESS/PAIN OR IRRITATION. PLEASE SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR if redness/irritation or pain lasts more than a few hours.
- SLEEP WITH YOUR CONTACT LENSES. This can result in a serious eye infection (even with extended-wear contacts).
- USE TAP WATER to clean contacts. Tap water isn't sterile, and does not clean your contacts well enough.
- PLACE CONTACTS IN YOUR MOUTH to clean or moisturise them. Do you know how many bacteria are there in your mouth?! Ugh!
- SHOWER OR SWIM WITH CONTACTS. The chlorine can damage your contacts and hurt your eyes, plus the water may make your contacts fall out.
- SWITCH CONTACT LENS SOLUTIONS without checking with your doctor first. Some contact lens solutions may cause irritation and allergic reactions.
If you follow these precautions, you will probably minimize your initial discomfort, but may still experience some. So, DO NOT BE ALARMED if at first:
- you have trouble handling your lenses
- your one eye’s vision is better than the others
- your eyes itch or feel funny for a few minutes
- your vision is fuzzier than with glasses
On the other hand, please be sure to REMOVE LENSES IMMEDIATELY IF:
- you experience PAIN OR REDNESS
- you experience FOGGY OR CLOUDY VISION
- your VISION DECREASES and does not clear up
- you think SOMETHING IS WRONG
- you are MORE AWARE OF ONE LENS than the other
But, hey! Fear not! Millions of people are wearing lenses successfully for years, and if you are following the proper rules, you will hopefully enjoy your new contacts. And please be sure to ask us if you have any more questions!
Getting fitted for contacts
Contact lenses have become more and more popular over the last couple of years. With the latest advancements in technology, almost anyone can take glasses off even those people who have been told for years that they were not candidates for contact lens wear. Contact lenses are extremely comfortable and when used properly are very safe even for children.
Contact lenses offer a number of advantages over glasses especially for people who are active in sports. Contact lenses will provide an unobstructed view of the playing field that enables you to react faster to other players and objects such as a soccer ball or baseball approaching from a side.
If you are interested in or already wear contact lenses, make sure you say so when you schedule your appointment with us. While there, you will need to go through vision test, and some additional tests such as an evaluation of your eye's surface, so that doctor can make sure you receive a proper contact lens fitting.
You will first undergo a routine eye exam in which Dr.Batushansky will use a bright light and a magnification lens to view and assess the structure of your eyes. She will also use drops to check the health of your eyes. A standard visual acuity test will be given to determine your ability to see letters or numbers on an eye chart. If you do require vision correction, then the doctor will determine the corrective lens prescription that will give you the best vision.
What To Expect During a Contact Lens Fitting
Now that the standard eye exam has been completed, doctor will need additional information before you can be fitted for contact lenses. You may be asked general questions about your lifestyle and preferences regarding contact lenses, such as whether you might want to change your eye color with colored contacts or if you're interested in other options such as daily disposables or extended wear contacts.
Many people wear contact lenses for sports only. They appreciate the improved peripheral vision that eyeglasses do not provide. They also enjoy not having to constantly wipe perspiration off their glasses or look through fogged up lenses.Typically, a large lens is the best for sports, because it is less likely to move around and cause fluctuating vision. It is also less likely to fall out during strenuous activity or windy conditions. There are a number of contact lens brands made with the sports enthusiast specifically in mind. Some contact lenses are specifically designed for outdoor sports. These lenses have a selective optical filter that dramatically increases the contrast. These lenses also block 90% of UV rays.
Wearing Schedules For Contact Lenses
First-time users are often puzzled by the abundance of various types of contact lenses : daily, weekly, hard, soft, -- so which one is best? Well, the answer truly is "It depends on you". Everyone has a different lifestyle and to reflect this, there are different wearing schedules for contact lenses:
Daily Disposable Lenses
These soft contact lenses are worn for a day and then thrown away. The is no need for solutions to clean them, although it is worth having some saline to rinse them once they have been temporarily removed should the eye become irritated. Under no circumstances should these lenses be used for more than a day. These lenses are usually more expensive if worn every day, but they are ideal for sport and occasional wear.
Two Weekly / Monthly Disposable Lenses
These soft contact lenses are worn daily for up to a month and must be removed each night and cleaned with the solutions recommended by your contact lens practitioner. They are now the most popular type of soft lenses.
Extended Wear Lenses
Some lenses offer the comfort and convenience of up to 30 nights of continuous wear. These lenses are made of a material containing a fluoro-silicone hydrogel. This breakthrough lens material provides a high level of oxygen to the eyes. These lenses are generally more expensive but are ideal for people with busy life styles, athletes, young adults etc.
This schedule of soft contact lens wear is becoming less common although some speciality lenses are usually available in this form. The lenses must be removed each night and cleaned with the solutions recommended by your contact lens practitioner.
Contact Lenses at a Glance
|Vision||Good||Good||Good||Excellent (inc astigmatism)|
|Comfort||Excellent||Good||Excellent||Good (after adaptation)|
|Replacement||Daily - 1 month||3 - 12 months||1 month||6 - 24 months|
|Solutions||No - for daily |
Yes - others