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World Sight Day: Debunking the Myths About Contact Lenses

cartoon of globe and eyeball holding hands above the words World Sight Day

World Sight Day

Held on the second Thursday of October each year, World Sight Day is an international day dedicated to eye health advocacy and communication. It is a day of awareness about vision and various topics surrounding it.

World Sight Day banner that reads 253 million people are visually impaired

This year the theme is #EyeCareEverywhere and we are proud to support this global effort to bring more awareness to eye care. In light of that, we’re debunking some of the myths about contact lenses.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions:

Myth 1: Contact Lenses Cause Eye Problems

Young boy putting in a contact lens

The myth that contact lenses cause issues with the eyes is a myth because it’s not contact lenses that cause the problems. It’s the lens wearer’s bad habits and lack of care that may increase risks and lead to problems. The risks can be mitigated, however, by following doctors’ and manufacturers’ instructions.

Similarly, cleaning your contacts as required will help keep unwanted bacteria out of your eyes. Dirty lenses can cause infections that can potentially lead to eventual vision loss if left untreated. The simple solution is to keep your contacts clean.

When it’s time to replace your contacts don’t ignore that fact by continuing to wear them. Doing so can once again cause problems. Daily, weekly, and monthly wear contact lenses should not be worn beyond those times.

So, while wearing contacts could cause eye problems, that’s really up to you. The instructions to avoid issues are pretty easy to follow. Or, with a supply of disposable contact lenses, a clean and fresh pair of contacts is never far away.

Myth 2: Contact Lenses Can Get Permanently Stuck in My Eyes

Contact lenses cannot get permanently stuck in your eyes. Soft contacts can stick to your eye surface if they dry out due to a lack of tear formation. The problem is easily fixed with a little sterile saline solution or eye drops made for contact lenses applied to the eye. This will remoisten the eye and the lens, making it easy to remove the lens.

Myth 3: A Contact Lens Will Get Lost Behind My Eye

This one is just not possible. The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the eye and connects under the eyelid. This makes it impossible for anything to float in behind your eye and get lost.

Myth 4: Contacts Can Fall Out of My Eyes

Contact lenses have come a long way over the past 60 years or so. It used to be common for contacts to fall out during active use. Today, contacts are more refined and sit on a person’s eyes better for a more snug fit. Even rigid gas permeable lenses, which are hard contacts, are much better than they used to be. It is rare for contacts to fall out nowadays.

Myth 5: Contacts Are Uncomfortable

While it’s true that wearing contacts for the first time can take a little getting used to, so can glasses, or a new pair of pants for that matter. Once they have them in for a while, most people don’t even realize they are in as they go about their day.

If any discomfort continues after a reasonable amount of time has passed, consult with your eye doctor. The problem could be anything from dry eyes to poorly made contacts. A consultation with an eye care professional can determine the exact cause and how to fix it. This will take care of any discomfort you might feel from wearing your contacts.

Myth 6: It’s Too Much Hassle to Take Care of Contacts

Pouring contact cleaning solution into a lens case

Caring for contact lenses is really easy. A simple lens cleaning solution to disinfect them, a clean lens case, and washed hands are all that is needed to make sure you are caring for them properly. Follow the instructions given to you by your eye doctor and in moments, you have cleaned your contact lenses.

If that’s still too much to deal with, you can use daily contact lenses. These are one-time-use lenses that you throw away at the end of each day. What could be easier than that?!

Myth 7: I’m Too Old for Contacts

Senior man being taught how to put in contact lenses by a doctor

The variety of contact lenses available these days is huge so finding the right contacts should not be a concern regardless of your age. You can even get multifocal contact lenses. There is no age restriction that would limit a senior from wearing contact lenses. Consult your eye doctor to find out what options you have.

Myth 8: Contact Lenses Are Really Expensive

This is not necessarily true. Just as it is the case with everything you buy, what you pay depends on what you choose. Contacts do not have to be expensive and can be cheaper than a pair of glasses. Some contacts cost less than a dollar a day.

There is also the cost of replacement glasses to consider if you happen to scratch or break them. If you lose or scratch one of your contacts, the replacement cost is minimal, especially if they are daily wear lenses.

Myth 9: I Just Can’t Wear Contact Lenses

If you’re concerned that your particular lens prescription will not suit contacts, think again. The technology behind contacts is continually advancing to provide most people with the opportunity to wear them instead of glasses. There are bifocal contact lenses to help with presbyopia. All kinds of contact lens options that correct astigmatism have been developed. Even custom contact lenses can be made for more difficult prescriptions.

These myths about contact lenses have been around for a long time. Today, though, advances in contact lens technology mean that just about every excuse to not wear them can be debated and debunked just like these have been.

We hope that if you are considering contact lenses to improve your vision, we’ve demonstrated that it’s worth talking to your eye doctor and giving them a try.

What better time than #WorldSightDay on October 11, 2018, to schedule an appointment to get your eyes tested and join in the global discussion about #EyeCareEverywhere.

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