Contact Lens Frequently Asked Questions
We have put together a list of the most common questions received by
doctors and staff.
- Can I wear soft contact lenses if I have astigmatism?
Yes, you can wear a special type of soft contact lens called a toric
lens which will correct your astigmatism. However, these lenses are
typically more expensive and there are fewer types and colors available than
there are with regular (spherical) lenses. Recently, Wesley-Jessen
introduced a 2-week disposable toric lens, the Freshlook
Toric. Several manufacturers including Ciba (Focus) and Coopervision (Preference) produce 1-3
month frequent replacement toric lenses.
- Is a contact lens prescription different than a glasses prescription?
Yes. When you order contact lenses, you must have a current contact
lens prescription which specifies the power of the lenses, the size of the
lens, the type and brand of lens.
- If my 2 week disposable lenses are still comfortable and in good
condition beyond 2 weeks, can I continue to wear the same pair?
In order to maintain optimal eye health and comfort, it is important
to adhere to the wearing schedule prescribed by your doctor. The main
advantage of wearing disposable lenses is that you are putting a fresh new
pair of lenses in your eyes every 2 weeks. Also, the convenient cleaning
regimen of a disposable lens is only adequate for a 2 week wearing schedule.
- If I only wear my 2 week disposable contacts part time, do I still have
to replace them every 2 weeks?
No, the 2 weeks refers to the actual amount of wearing time so they
can last longer than 2 weeks if you are not wearing them full time.
- What's the difference between rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses and soft
RGPs are smaller and made out of a harder, less pliable material than soft
lenses which makes them less comfortable initially. RGPs correct astigmatism
whereas soft spherical lenses do not.
- Can I swim with my contact lenses in?
It is best if you don't because there are bacteria in the water that can
adhere to your lenses and cause infections. If you do swim in your lenses,
you should wear goggles over them and you should disinfect them immediately
- Why is it necessary for contact lens wearers to have regular eye exams
even if their prescription hasn't changed?
Regular eye exams are important not only to check your prescription but also
to evaluate the health of your eyes. This is especially important for
contact lens wearers because the contacts could be causing damage to your
eyes without necessarily causing any obvious symptoms.
- I wear contact lenses and in order for me to read, I have to wear
reading glasses over them. Are there any other alternatives whereby I don't
have to wear glasses at all?
Yes, the most common option is called monovision where one eye is
corrected for viewing distant objects and the other eye is corrected for
reading and close work. Monovision is a good solution for some people, but
not everbody can successfully adapt to the arrangement. Another alternative
is bifocal contact lenses which are available in both rigid gas permeable or
soft lens designs. However, these are typically very expensive. Recently,
however, Johnson and Johnson released the Acuvue
Bifocal which is a two-week disposable lens and is more reasonably
- Do colored contact lenses work on dark eyes?
Yes, they are called opaque contacts as opposed to enhancer
tints which work only on light colored eyes. Year-long (daily wear and
extended wear) opaque contacts are available in many different colors and
shades but there is currently only one brand that offers a 2 week disposable
opaque lens. These are Freshlook Opaques by Wesley-Jessen.
- Do I still need a prescription if I just want contacts to change my eye
Yes, you still need to be fitted for the lenses even if you don't
need vision correction. This is because contact lenses are medical devices
and wearing them can affect the health of your eyes.
- How does the Federal Law "Fairness To Contact Lens Consumers" Act affect me?
On February 4th, 2004, a Federal Law
called the "Fairness To Contact Lens Consumers" act went into effect.
This law made it much easier for you to
enjoy the savings and convenience of ordering on-line.