Frequently Asked Questions.
As a practicing Optometrist I get asked a lot of questions related to our industry. Here I have included some of the most popular questions related to contact lenses. This is a very fast growing sector globally and the economies of scale are making them more and more affordable.
Daily disposable contact lenses are the fastest growing with the category of contact lenses. Daily disposable are hugely convenient and hygienic. People have busy life styles and care of their contact lenses can be erratic. The fact these Daily disposables are discarded at the end of the day negates a lot of the previous exposure to infection from storage cases, incorrect cleaning solutions, insufficient cleaning solution etc.
The perception of contact lenses being for young people is also changing. More and more middle aged and elderly are experimenting with contact lenses. After their childhood school years, adults do not experience any visual reduction until their 40’s, they then need to hold notice their near print is getting more difficult to read. They move the book closer and the words appear more blurred. Push the book farther away, and the words snap back into sharp focus.
That’s how most of us first recognize a condition that eye care professionals call presbyopia. Eye fatigue or headaches when doing close work such as sewing, knitting or painting, are also common symptoms. Because it is associated with aging, presbyopia is often met with a groan – and an expectation that reading glasses or bifocals are inevitable. The adaption of a lifestyle encumbered with a frequent search for lost glasses can be a strong motivator for considering contacts. People wearing glasses both for distance and reading have an even stronger reason for considering the convenience of contact lenses.
Recently there has been concern with suppliers online falsifying contact lenses and branding inferior contactlenses under the labels of the big branded manufacturers, etc Ciba
What is involved in a contact lens exam?
A contact lens eye exam is typically a higher fee than an exam for glasses or aroutine eye health check. The optician must perform certain tests toensure the patient is a good candidate for lens wear, spend extra time takingmeasurements and selecting a lens for the patient.
Why can’t I just change contact lens brands whenever I want?
Contact lenses are a medical device and require a prescription. Ifyour primary care Dr. were to put you on a medication or change amedication, they would write a prescription and likely follow-up to ensure thatit is working. Contact lenses should be thought of and treated the same.
The optician must assess if the lens is centering, moving and rotatingproperly, and that vision is good.
A poor fitting lens can result in very serious complications, even blindness,so follow up exams are needed to assess how the contact lens fits on the eye.There is no such thing as over-the-counter contact lenses, one size fitsall. Do not trust lenses available at a beauty shop or petrol station,these are being distributed illegally and should be reported to your optician.
When can children start wearing contact lenses?
There is no magic age that a child is ready for contact lenses. The biggestfactors are maturity and attention to hygiene. Most opticians require that thechild is able to take the contact lenses in and out by themselves withoutthe help of a parent. If you have to remind your child to brush their teeth,take showers, put on deodorant, etc., they are probably not ready to be aresponsible, healthy contact lens wearer.
Why do I need to have my eyes checked every year for contact lenses?
For an optometrist to renew a contact lens prescription or allow for morerefills, we are required, by law, to examine the lenses on the eye, ensuringproper fit, good eye health and vision. Because contact lenses set on the eyeitself, there can be serious consequences if wearing them too long withouttaking them out, not disposing of them often enough, or wearing a dirty lens.