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Going for an Eye Checkup? 8 Questions About Transitioning to Contacts

Woman having an eye checkup with ophthalmologist

Your annual eye checkup can be an unnerving event. You may be worried about the state of your eye health. You may also be a bit apprehensive about trying new treatment options. If you have always worn glasses, then it can be daunting to make the transition to wearing contacts. Thus, it is best to have as much information as possible: knowledge is power! There are also myths to debunk, such as a contact getting lost behind your eye. This is not anatomically possible, as your eyelid is actually connected to your eye. While a contact can get stuck to your eyelid, don’t worry! Your doctor can teach you how to realign and remove it.

We understand that it can be hard to try the unfamiliar. However wearing contacts can offer you greater flexibility in maintaining your eye health. The switch from glasses to contact lenses may seem difficult at first, but there is support for you. Your health professionals will provide the necessary information and materials for the transition.

We have compiled a list of 8 questions about contact lenses that you should be sure to ask at your next eye checkup.

1. How Quickly Will I Get Used to Wearing Contact Lenses?

Experts state that it can take between 10 to 12 days for your eyes to completely adjust to wearing contacts. You may experience some of the following side effects during this period:

Your doctor will tell you about the potential for extra side effects that you might expect from your lenses. You could experience unusual side effects such as prolonged irritation, burning sensation, double vision and headaches. If any of these happen to you, we recommend that you contact your doctor as soon as possible.

2. What Activities Can I Do While Wearing Contacts?

We all expect that using contacts will give us more flexibility in our daily activities. However you should never wear your contacts in wet environments such as the shower or the pool. These activities can introduce your eyes to harmful organisms. The organisms can get trapped between the lens and your eye, and may result in eye infections.

We also do not recommend going to sleep while wearing your contacts. When your eyes close, the lenses push against the surface of your eyes. Your corneas are unable to get the necessary oxygen. It is also likely that bacterial buildup will occur. You should remove, thoroughly clean, and store your contacts every night.

3. Will Contacts Make My Eyes Better or Worse?

Couple playing tennis

A common misconception is that contacts either improve or worsen existing eye problems. The fact is that contacts do not alter your diagnosis. This belief likely arose when children experienced reduced eye health due to disease progression. Parents then blamed the use of contacts as a factor in their children’s worsening eye conditions.

There is also the belief that rigid gas permeable (RGP) contacts can slow down myopia in children. However studies show no significant support of this hypothesis. Contacts are convenient eyesight aids, but they do not impact any existing conditions.

4. What Are the Types of Contact Lenses Available to Me?

You have a prescription for your existing pair of glasses. You will also receive a prescription for your contacts. The prescription for your glasses varies according to your diagnosis and its progression. The prescription for your contacts will also vary, so that they will be as effective as your glasses. There are many available brands and types of contacts on the market. There are contacts for daily, weekly, and monthly use, as well as colored lenses. The range of brands also gives you more options for your first set of contacts.

5. How Hard Is It to Care for Contact Lens?

The type of contacts determines the level of care required, as some are harder to care for than others. You would dispose of the daily contact lenses at the end of each day, which requires little care. However in the case of multiple-use contacts, you will need to care for them. These lenses should be cleaned after every use and stored in clean, airtight cases. You should always use the prescribed solution to clean the case and your lenses. When cleaning your lenses, you should use the tip of your index finger to gently rub them in the palm of your other hand.

The application and removal of your contact lens need great care. Be sure to follow these steps:

Hands cleaning contact lens with solution

6. Do I Have to Use a Special Solution for My Contacts?

It can be tempting to use replacement solutions to clean your contacts. Please bear in mind that your contacts cover your sensitive corneas for many hours each day. If you choose cheaper alternatives, you increase your risk of irritation and infections. We recommend that you only use the solution and eye drops prescribed by your eye doctor for the best results.

7. Do General Medications Affect My Contacts?

Some medications may discolor, or cause buildup in your contacts. Other medicines may result in increased (or decreased) eye movements. If you are using medications for other conditions, then you should tell your doctor. They will inform you of possible reactions with your contacts and vision medications.

8. How Will I Know When It's Time to Get New Contacts?

You will need to replace your contacts on a regular basis. Your doctor will let you know the schedule for getting new contacts and storage cases. You should also inspect your contacts each day. If you observe that they are cloudy, pinched or bent, then it is time for replacement. If you also experience new or worsening light-sensitivity or irritation, then you should see your eye doctor to get new contacts.

It's Always Best to Ask Questions at Your Eye Checkup!

Patient speaking with ophthalmologist

You should be proactive in getting the necessary health information at your annual eye checkup. You must be aware of all possible treatment options and the accompanying requirements. The proceeding questions within this article will jump-start the conversation with your doctor about transitioning to contacts. Please feel free to visit our blog for more expert tips on how to protect your eyes.

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