Dr. Wilkins Answers Your Questions About Contact Lenses
Q: Who can wear contact lenses and at what age can you start?
There are no age limits for contacts. Younger patients can be good candidates if they are the ones who want to wear them and not the parents pushing them to wear them. We have had success fitting kids as young as 8 years old. We also have patients well into their late 70s and 80s wearing contacts.
Q: Are glasses better for my eyes than contact lenses?
Contacts are normally very safe to wear as long as people follow the correct wear and cleaning schedules.
Q: Is wearing contacts better for sports activity?
Most people prefer to wear contacts during sports activities so that glasses do not get in the way or fog up. Wearing contacts also gives a person the opportunity to wear plano sunglasses.
Q: Should I see an optometrist or an ophthalmologist for my first pair of contacts?
In most cases optometrists are more familiar with the different contacts available and fit them more often than ophthalmologists do.
Q: About five years ago, I was told I was not a good candidate for contacts. I have odd-shaped eyes. Are there new options available today?
If you have been told you were not a good candidate for contacts in the past we would love to see you and find a solution with contacts. There is a contact out there that will work for amost everyone. There have been many advancements with contacts and there are lots of specialty lenses that can be made for more difficult eyes.
Q: Do you carry contacts that can change my eye color?
We have many options for colored contacts. We have monthly and daily colored contacts to try now. These lenses do not correct any astigmatism.
Q: Can I sleep with my contacts? How often should I be changing them?
Many brands of contacts are approved for either 30 continuous days of wear or 6 nights. Each lens has a different approval for how long you can sleep in them. We do not recommend this mode of wearing because it has an increased risk for infections and complications. If someone insists on sleeping in them we will find the lens that will be the safest.
Q: I am worried about putting my finger in my eye. How does someone get used to this?
Getting the contacts in and out just takes practice like anything else. Our technicians are great at teaching people how to do this. Most people are able to get over this fear and a few can’t. We have lots of tips and techniques that can help though.
Q: I had an eye exam about 8 months ago. Do I need a separate exam in order to get contacts?
A contact lens fit can be done with an exam and it can also be done on a separate day. If done on a separate day we do not do the same tests that we do during an exam. Most of the time we have someone’s contact lenses with their powers in the office on the first visit.
Q: Can I swim with contact lenses?
Contacts are not safe to come into contact with water. If avoidable we recommend to not swim in your contacts. If unavoidable we recommend wearing goggles to keep the water out of the eyes. Contacts should not be worn in the shower, tub, or hot tubs.