Whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, have astigmatism, or need bifocals, we can usually meet your vision requirements and improve your quality of life with contact lenses. Choosing contact lenses over eyeglasses can give you:
• Increased quality of vision
• Improved appearance
• Increased comfort
• More freedom during sports and other activities
• Improved peripheral vision
• Ease of use with cameras and binoculars
• Weather resistance (no more dealing with eyeglasses fogging up in cold or rain)
Advances in contact lens materials and technologies mean that 80% or more of the population can now successfully be fitted for contact lens wear. So even if you were told that you couldn't wear contact lenses just a few years ago, you may be able to wear them today. We offer a wide range of lens modalities, such as daily, 2-week, monthly and yearly wear, from a wide range of companies, such as Cooper, CIBA, Johnson & Johnson and Bausch & Lomb.
If you've never worn contact lenses, you're likely to have many questions about them. Our eye doctors will be happy to answer all of your questions and make the appropriate recommendations. Here are a few common questions that we hear regularly:
Q: I was told I need bifocal or progressive spectacle lenses. Are Contact lenses also an option?
A: Yes, freedom from glasses can often be achieved with contact lenses. Bifocal contact lenses correct both your near and far vision, though there tends to be a slight compromise in your sight at both these distances - some people will still require glasses for small print. Obtaining a proper fit and having realistic expectations are crucial for success.
Q: Because of my astigmatism, I was told I couldn’t wear contact lenses. Is this true?
A: No. With improvements in technology, almost everyone with astigmatism can wear special lenses called “toric” lenses. With low and moderate amounts of astigmatism, disposable soft contact lenses can correct vision – with higher amounts of astigmatism, custom soft lenses or Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses must be used. Once again, a proper fitting should be performed to ensure that the lens is aligned properly on the eye.
Q: I wore contact lenses in the past but stopped wearing them because they were uncomfortable and dried out quickly. Is there anything that can let me resume contact lens wear?
A: Advances in contact lens materials have improved patient comfort immensely over the past 10 years. These “silicone hydrogel” lenses are much more breathable, allowing more oxygen to reach the eye which in turn improves wearing time. For some people, the issue with comfort stemmed from the build-up of lens surface deposits. Daily disposable contacts can be a good solution for these individuals. Prior to purchasing lenses, a trial fit can performed to see if these new lens options are right for you.
Q: Can I sleep in my contact lenses?
A: In the past, sleeping in contact lenses was never an option. With the advent of new, more breathable materials called silicone hydrogels, sleeping in lenses can now be done in some circumstances. However, even with these new designs, the risk of corneal swelling, infection and other complications is still much greater with overnight wear. We do not recommend this for routine use but if you do decide to sleep in your lenses, limit it to short naps. Always discuss this first with the doctor to confirm that you are indeed wearing an approved extended wear lens.
Q: Can a lens get lost behind my eye?
A: No. This is not possible. But your contact lens might shift and slide partially under your eyelid. If this occurs, look in the direction of the displaced lens and blink gently. The lens should automatically move toward the centre of the eye and into the correct position. Using rewetting drops will also help shift the lens. If you are still unable to remove the lens, come in to our office for an assessment.
Q: How do I know if a lens is inside out or not?
A: To make sure a lens is right side out, place the lens on the tip of your index finger and check its shape. If the edge appears bowl-shaped, it is right side out. If the edge has a lip or flares outward, it is the wrong side out and must be reversed. Another way to determine the orientation of a lens is to place it in the palm of your hand. Then apply a drop of contact lens solution to the centre and lightly pinch the lens. It will curl more easily if it is the right side out.
Q: Can I swim in my lenses?
A: Swimming or showering while wearing your contact lenses is very risky and is not recommended. Bacteria and other microbes in tap water and especially lake water can produce very serious eye infections. Chlorine can also become trapped between the contact lens and your cornea which can cause severe irritation and damage. If you do choose to swim in your contacts, try and wear goggles and remove the lenses immediately after you finish. Daily disposable lenses are best as they can be discarded immediately after swimming. Never wear contacts in a hot tub.
Q: How often should I have my eyes examined now that I wear contact lenses?
A: We recommend yearly exams and anytime you have concerns or problems relating to your lenses.