Contact lenses have become popular for vision correction, offering convenience and comfort to millions worldwide. However, several myths and misconceptions surrounding contact lenses may deter potential users or lead to improper use. In this comprehensive guide, we will debunk common contact lens myths and provide the facts to help you make informed decisions about your eye health.
Section 1: Contact Lenses are Suitable for All Ages
Myth: Contact lenses aren't for all ages
Fact: Contact lenses can be worn by anyone, regardless of age. While some may believe contact lenses are only suitable for adults, children as young as eight years old can safely wear contact lenses. The decision to wear contact lenses depends on motivation, responsibility, and maturity. Some older adults often prefer contact lenses over reading glasses for vision correction. Older patients may have stopped wearing contacts due to dryness with contact lenses, but new advances in contacts have made the wearing experience much more comfortable.
It’s essential to consult with an eye care professional who can assess whether contact lenses are a suitable option for your eyes and specific age group.
Section 2: Contact Lenses Getting Lost or Stuck
Myth: Contact lenses can get lost behind your eye
Fact: It is physically impossible for a contact lens to get lost behind your eye. The eye is protected by a thin membrane called the conjunctiva, which covers the eye’s outer surface and connects to the inside of the eyelids. This membrane acts as a barrier, preventing anything from entering behind the eye. So, rest assured; your contact lenses will always remain on the front surface of your eye.
Myth: Contact lenses can get stuck on the eye
Fact: When proper wear, care, and removal instructions from your eye doctor are followed, contact lenses cannot get stuck on your eye. If you experience any dryness or discomfort, applying rewetting drops can help loosen the lens and facilitate easy removal.
Section 3: Comfort and Convenience of Contact Lenses
Myth: Contact lenses are uncomfortable
Fact: Modern contact lenses are designed to be thin and soft, providing excellent comfort for the wearer. Advances in material technology, such as water gradient and silicone hydrogel lenses, allow more oxygen to reach the cornea, making them even more comfortable to wear. It’s important to note that discomfort may occur if the lenses are not correctly fitted or if there is an underlying eye condition. Consulting with an eye care professional can help address discomfort issues and find the most suitable contact lenses for your eyes.
Myth: Contact lenses are too much trouble to take care of
Fact: While contact lens care was more complex in the past, current advancements have made lens care much less complicated. The most hygienic contacts are daily disposable contact lenses and they eliminate the need for lens care entirely, as you wear them for a day and discard them. For reusable contact lenses, proper care involves cleaning and storing them using a multi-use contact lens solution. Your eye care professional will provide detailed instructions on lens care, ensuring that it becomes a routine part of your daily habits.
Section 4: Putting in and Taking Out Contact Lenses
Myth: I'll never be able to put in contact lenses
Fact: Learning to put in and take out contact lenses may seem daunting initially, but with proper guidance and practice, most people can master the process. Optometrists and eye care professionals have extensive experience teaching patients how to handle contact lenses. They will provide step-by-step instructions, allowing you to gain confidence and proficiency over time. Boerne Vision Center has helped many people who were “never able to put in contacts,” succeed in contact lens wear.
Myth: Contacts can pop out of my eye
Fact: Properly fitted contact lenses should not pop out of your eye during regular wear. Contact lenses adhere to the eye’s surface through tear film and natural suction. However, if you experience any movement or shifting of the lens, a few blinks or gently pressing on your eyelid can help reposition the lens. If the contact lens persists to be moving, dry, or uncomfortable, come into Boerne Vision Center for a contact lens evaluation and eval, perhaps the contacts that you are in are not suited for your eyes anymore. This is why buying a contact lens brand online not prescribed by the doctor is not recommended.
Section 5: Affordability of Contact Lenses
Myth: Contact lenses are too expensive
Fact: The cost of contact lenses can vary depending on brand, replacement schedule, and wear frequency. However, contact lenses are generally comparable in price to a new pair of glasses. Additionally, there are various options available to suit different budgets and lifestyles. Consulting with your eye care professional can help you select contact lenses that align with your needs and budget.
Section 6: Contact Lenses and Children
Myth: Children and teenagers cannot wear contacts
Fact: There is no age restriction when it comes to wearing contact lenses. Children and teenagers can wear contact lenses, provided they are responsible and mature enough to handle them. Contact lenses can offer numerous benefits for children, such as improved self-esteem and better engagement in daily activities such as sports, athletics, dance, cheer, gymnastics, and more. It is advisable to consult with an eye care professional who can assess your child’s suitability for contact lenses and provide proper guidance.
Section 7: Contact Lenses and Eye Health
Fact: Ill-fitting contact lenses can harm your eyes
Wearing contact lenses that do not fit properly can lead to various eye health issues. Ill-fitting lenses can cause discomfort, dryness, and even damage to the cornea, the eye’s clear front surface. Damage to the corneas can cause a lot of pain, redness, scarring, and eye infections. It is crucial to have regular eye check-ups and follow-up appointments with your eye care professional to ensure that your contact lenses fit correctly and are well-suited for your eyes.
Fact: It's best to avoid sleeping in contacts
Sleeping in contact lenses, especially those not specifically designed for extended wear can increase the risk of eye infections and corneal ulcers. Contact lenses need oxygen to maintain the eyes’ health, and wearing them during sleep deprives the cornea of this vital oxygen supply and provide a warm, dark, moist environment for germs to grow. To ensure the safety and health of your eyes, it is recommended to remove your contact lenses before sleeping/napping.
Section 8: Contact Lenses and Water Activities
Myth: It's okay to swim in contact lenses
Fact: Swimming in contact lenses is not recommended. Pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans may contain bacteria, amoebas, viruses, and other contaminants that can lead to serious eye infections. Contact lenses are light sponges and can also absorb water, causing them to swell and adhere to the eye’s surface, increasing the risk of discomfort and potential damage. The same can be said about showering, taking a bath, and hot tubs. It is best to avoid wearing contact lenses while swimming and use prescription swim goggles if necessary. Boerne Vision Center can make custom prescription swim goggles for all ages.
An exception can be made for daily disposable contacts. If you wear daily disposable contacts, those contacts must be thrown away after exposure to water. Some people will bring an extra pair of dailies lenses when they are doing watersports or on vacation, so if the contacts are exposed they can just wear the new pairs afterwards.
Section 9: Contact Lenses and Myopia Control
Fact: Contact lenses can slow the progress of myopia
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common vision condition that causes difficulty in seeing distant objects. Some types of contact lenses, known as myopia control lenses, have been shown to slow down the progression of myopia, especially in children and adolescents. These specialized lenses can help reduce the risk of complications associated with high levels of myopia, such as retinal detachment. Consult your eye care professional to explore myopia control options for your vision needs. Kids as young as 6 or 7 can benefit from myopia control.
Section 10: Conclusion
Contact lenses offer a convenient and effective way to correct vision problems, providing clear vision and improved quality of life for many individuals. We hope to empower you to make informed decisions about contact lens use and care by debunking common myths and providing accurate information. Remember to consult your eye care professional for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your needs. With proper knowledge and adherence to recommended practices, contact lenses can be a safe and comfortable option for vision correction.