FAQ: Questions and Answers about Contact Lenses


Q1) Who can wear contact lenses?

Almost everyone can. Whether you're nearsighted or farsighted, old or young, you can probably wear some type of contact lens. Do check with your ophthalmologist though whether contact lenses will be suitable for you.

Q2) Is the use of contact lenses advised? Can contact lenses damage my eye?

Contact lenses have helped millions of people with eyesight problems. You should, however, consult your eye care professional to find out if contact lenses are a viable option for you. If you take proper care of your contacts and follow the instructions of inserting and removing, contact lenses will continue to be a safe and effective option.

Q3) At what age can one start using contact lenses?

The use of contact lenses may start as soon as the need for vision correction is identified. Contact lenses can be worn safely by young children, teens and adults alike.

Q4) Should I wear contact lenses while playing sports?

Contact lenses are preferred over Eyeglasses while playing sports as these eliminate the risk of glasses-related injuries. Contact lenses stay in place and provide a wider vision field. Contact lenses also make it easy to wear protective goggles.

Q5) Are there contact lenses available for Astigmatism?

Yes. Astigmatism is a distorted vision condition caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. Contact lenses that correct astigmatism are called Toric lenses.

Q6) Are contacts hard to take care of?

The amount of care required depends on the kind of lens it is:
Daily disposable contact lenses are meant to be worn once and then discarded hence no maintenance is required. Other disposable lenses need to be cleaned at the end of the day and then soaked in the disinfecting solution until they're to be worn again. These need to be replaced weekly, bi-weekly or monthly depending on the type of lenses.
Longer duration contact lenses (6-monthly or yearly disposables) might require weekly enzyming in additional to daily care.

Q7) Are there contact lenses that I can use to change my eye color?

Yes, color disposable contacts can be used to change the color of your eyes. These are generally used for cosmetic or theatrical purposes. Even those who do not have a prescription can use plano color disposables.

Q8) Should I see an optometrist or ophthalmologist first if I want to start using contact lenses?

Yes, it is strongly recommended that you take the advice of a qualified eye care practitioner first before trying contact lenses.

Q9) How much do contact lenses cost?

The cost of contact lenses varies greatly depending on the type of contact lens it is, the brand and whether these are required for special correction problems like Astigmatism.

Q10) Can I sleep while wearing my contact lenses?

It is recommended that one should take off the lenses before going to sleep and put these in the disinfecting solution. Some extended wear lenses, however, now need not be removed prior to going to sleep.

Q11) What are the different types of contact lenses?

Contact lenses can be classified based on the duration for which these can be worn – Daily disposables, 2-week disposables, Monthly disposables and Yearly disposables. These can also be classified on the basis of the eye condition solved – Bifocal lenses, Toric lenses etc. Finally we also have color disposable lenses which can be used for prescription or purely cosmetic purposes.

Q12) How long does it take for a new contact lens user to get used to the contact lenses?

The time taken to get used to contact lenses varies from one day to two weeks depending on the person's eye sensitivity and the eye condition that the lenses are trying to correct.

Q13) When should one replace the contact lenses?

Contact lenses come with a prescribed time limit within which these should be used and then disposed off. Even if the contact lenses still feel comfortable after the expiry of the prescribed time frame, these should be discarded and replaced with a fresh pair.

Q14) Can I share my contact lenses with anyone else?

Absolutely not. While there might be some curiosity amongst family members and friends particularly with new lens users, the lenses should never be shared with anyone even for small periods of time. If shared, there is a very high probability that the lenses will get infected with harmful bacteria and will lead to serious eye complications.

Q15) Can I share my contact lenses with anyone else?

Absolutely not. While there might be some curiosity amongst family members and friends particularly with new lens users, the lenses should never be shared with anyone even for small periods of time. If shared, there is a very high probability that the lenses will get infected with harmful bacteria and will lead to serious eye complications.

Q16) What are the recommendations to follow when using contact lenses?

The following are the broad DO's and DON'Ts when using contact lenses:
DO's
  • Get your eyes checked regularly.
  • Wash and dry your hands prior to handling lenses
  • Clean, rinse and disinfect lenses after use (except daily disposable lenses, which should be discarded daily)
  • Air dry lens cases/storage cases and keep dry when not holding lenses
  • Insert lenses before applying makeup
  • Remove lenses before removing makeup
  • Replace lens cases/storage cases every 3 months to prevent contamination buildup
  • Have spare lenses and solutions on hand
  • Have an up-to-date pair of glasses available in case you need to remove your lenses
DON'Ts
  • Use tap water on lenses
  • Wet lenses with saliva
  • Reuse disinfecting solution - always discard and replace with new solution each time lenses are stored
  • Sleep in your lenses unless using extended wear lenses which are made for this purpose
  • Switch the type of solution you use except on the advice of your Eye Care Practitioner

Q17) How should I clean and store my contact lenses?

The recommended steps for cleaning and storing contact lenses are:
  • Wash and dry hands prior to handling contact lenses
  • Remove the lenses and clean these with the recommended cleaning solution. Some lenses might require rubbing while others need only rinsing.
  • Place the lenses in clean lens cases filled with the appropriate soaking and disinfecting solution. Leave the lenses in the disinfecting solution for the prescribed time.

Q18) Can I wear my contact lenses while swimming?

Wearing contact lenses while swimming is not recommended because of the bacteria in the water that can adhere to the lenses and cause infections. If lenses are worn while swimming, it is advisable to wear goggles over them and disinfect the lenses immediately afterwards.

Q19) What are the recommendations to follow when using contact lenses?

Contact lens prescriptions contain standard elements and look something like:
  • Power, Sphere or Sph (the strength or amount of correction needed: -20.00 to +20.00
  • BC or Base Curve (the curve of the contact lens’ surface): 8.0 to 10.0
  • Dia or Diameter (the width of the contact lens): 13.0 to 15.0
  • Brand: Aucvue, Focus etc
  • Color: Optional
  • Add or Add Power (additional correction for bifocal contact lenses) : +1.00 to +3.00
  • Cyl or Cylinder (Used for Toric lenses only): -0.75 to -10.00
  • Axis (Used for Toric lenses only): 0 to 180
  • Left eye is referred to as OS and the right eye is referred to as OD.

Q20) Is a contact lens prescription the same as an eyeglasses prescription?

No, prescriptions for contact lenses and eyeglasses are different. A contact lens prescription contains information not found in a prescription for eyeglasses like base curve and diameter. If you have a prescription for eyeglasses but want to try contacts, it is advised that you consult with your eye care practitioner first.