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Contact Lens FAQs

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Dr. Marc Weinstein

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Contact lenses are by no means a new trend, but there is never a shortage of new people considering the purchase of a pair! With consideration comes inquiries, so let us dive into 5 common questions that are useful to know the answers to!

What is a good age to start wearing contact lenses?

Though it is reported that one can safely wear contact lenses as young as eight years old, many parents may typically want to wait until their children are a bit older. Due to the responsibility it takes to properly maintain contact lenses, it is more likely for someone to begin wearing contacts in their teen years versus the younger childhood stages; it is extremely important to keep contact lenses clean in order to avoid infections to the eyes! That said, there are reasons other than aesthetics for which it may be convenient for a younger child to have a set of contact lenses, such as in the case that they are involved in sports or other active extracurriculars.

Do contact lenses offer UV Protection?

Contact lenses that provide UV Protection do in fact exist! With some claiming to block at least 97% UVB rays and 81% of UVA rays, there are great options if this feature is attractive to you. When deciding if selecting a set of contact lenses that offer UV Protection is ideal for you, keep in mind that the lens only offer protection for the inside of the eye, not the outside. It is important to still have some sort of UV protection for outside and around the eye area. UV Protecting Sunglasses can provide the extra protection the outer areas of your eyes need. Consult with your eye care professional about options which are best for you.

What is a normal adjustment period for wearing contact lenses and what concerns would require me to call a doctor?

New contact lens wearers may find that it takes a bit of time to adjust to their new method of better vision. This is normal within a reasonable period of time. When first starting out, it may feel a bit strange to put something foreign in your eyes! Just as you would with eye drops, when putting in your new contact lenses, give yourself a few minutes of rest to allow your eyes to adjust. Make sure that your contact lenses are always properly cleansed, stored and that you are applying them with clean hands. Within a couple of weeks your lenses should feel so natural that you should feel as though they are not even on. However, don’t literally forget of course! If at any point during or after your adjustment period your eyes feel pain, redness or excessive dryness unrelievable by moisturizing drops, you should contact your eye doctor immediately. Initial discomfort may be normal, but pain is never a good thing! Don’t forget, your period of adjustment should not last more than two weeks!

Should I still have a pair of eyeglasses?

To have or not to have? Though it would be perfectly reasonable to believe this is a matter of preference, since wearing contacting lenses are completely safe for regular use, your eyes require a balance between contact and non-contact lenses. Let’s highlight some of the key benefits of keeping a pair of eye glass lens handy!

·   Allergies:

Whether it be seasonal allergies, dust or other irritants such as the occasional mascara, eye make-up or lotion sensitivities, wearing contact lenses while your eyes are irritated is simply not comfortable.  Having a pair of glasses provides the ability to reduce discomfort due to allergies as much as possible!

·   Infection:

From styles to pink eyes and any other condition in between, just like other parts of our bodies, our eyes may develop infections from time to time. It is important to not touch your eyes and allow them to breathe. Thus, use of contact lenses is not recommended until your eyes are fully healed, requiring a need for eyeglasses!

·   Rest:

Speaking of breathing, your eyes also need to simply rest and, you guessed it, breathe. Despite the many conveniences of contact lenses, it is still necessary and beneficial for your eye health to allow them to breathe naturally without any barriers. It is ideal to do this regularly and for several hours a day. Squeeze in some time in the morning while preparing for your day and during your evening activities after you return home. Your eyes will thank you for developing a healthy balance between wearing contact lenses and traditional glasses!

·   Fashion:

With all of the gorgeous and affordable frames available, what fashionista can resist the bonus of a chic, trendy or personalized look from time to time? Enough said!

What is the water content in contact lenses?

The water content in a contact lens varies across the board. Generally, you can find this information on the contact lens package. The higher the water content, the more oxygen that reaches the eyes.  Typically, this is the healthiest option for your eyes! Now, if a higher content of water is what is healthiest for the eyes, you may be wondering, “Why not create all lenses with a higher water content?” There is a great reason for this. If you are prone to dry eyes, using a pair of contact lenses that contain a greater percentage of water could make the condition worse.  The water content in the lens can cause the eyes to dehydrate by drawing out the moisture in your eyes. Lower water content may also be more beneficial for those with sensitive eyes. It is very important to discuss the best options for your personal needs with a professional when purchasing the right pair of contact lenses for you!

Now that you are empowered with the right questions to ask and hottest topics regarding contact lenses covered, it is time to get out there and enjoy selecting your first pair of contact lenses!