Is it okay to sleep in my contact lenses?

Unless you have specific contact lenses that are approved for overnight wear, it is NOT OKAY to sleep in your contact lenses!  When you sleep in them a few things happen: bacteria adhere to the lens surface and increase your risk of eye infection, your eyes dehydrate and the contact lens can cause small abrasions, and most commonly, your eye doesn't get enough oxygen (your closed eyelids when you are sleeping means that your cornea doesn't get as much oxygen as when your eyes are open).  When this happens, you can develop serious infections that can cause discomfort, light sensitivity, scarring and even blindness.

Related: What is the harm in extending the life of my contact lenses?

Why is my contact lens prescription different than my eyeglasses?

Contact lens prescriptions can be different from glasses prescriptions for a few reasons:

 

  • The optical center of a pair of glasses is usually located about 12mm away from the front of the eye but a contact lens sits directly on the eye. For some people, this seemingly insignificant distance can actually change the optics of the prescription (In general, higher prescriptions are affected more than lower prescriptions).  Since the optometrist measures your prescription approximately 12mm away from the eye, the contact lens prescription will often need to take this into account.
  • Another reason there is a difference is due to astigmatism.  Astigmatism basically means you need a different prescription in one direction (ie: horizontal) than in the other direction (ie: vertical).  If this difference is small, the tear film between the contact lens and the cornea can correct the astigmatism. If it is a larger amount, the contact lens needs to be calculated for rotation and fit to compensate for the astigmatism.  Glasses sit predictably on the eye (the ears and nose help the glasses stay stable in a predictable spot), so the prescription does not need to be adjusted for tear film or rotation.

 

 

What is the harm in extending the life of my contact lenses?

Extending the life of your contact lenses is kind of like driving a car at 250 km per hour.  For a while, if everything goes smoothly, there is no indication of trouble.  However, if something starts to go wrong, it can go wrong in a major way very quickly. 

Some complications that can occur are:

  • Allergic Reaction – protein build-up on the lens can cause discomfort, itchiness, dry eyes and intolerance to contact lens wear.
  • Conjunctivitis – accumulated protein attracts bacteria which can easily lead to conjunctivitis.  Symptoms include redness, burning, itching, tearing, light sensitivity, blurred vision and mucous discharge.
  • Corneal Edema (swelling) – Extended contact lens wear decreases the oxygen supply to the cornea and can cause increased fluid in the cornea. It can cause blurred vision and halos around lights.
  • Neovascularization – The cornea normally doesn’t have any blood vessels. When it is deprived of oxygen (by over wearing contact lenses), the body responds by growing new blood vessels, hoping to increase oxygen to the cornea. This abnormal blood vessel growth can interfere with vision. The new vessels are also weak and can hemorrhage and cause blindness.
  • Corneal Abrasion/Corneal Ulcer – Again, due to the lack of oxygen, the surface cells on the cornea become weak and easily damaged.  Corneal abrasions or corneal ulcers can form causing very serious infection and complications that can lead to blindness.

These complications can be caused both by wearing a contact lens too long in a day (or overnight) or by not replacing your lenses according to your optometrist's recommendations.  Either way, the eye is subject to less oxygen and more irritation and bacterial growth.  The blurred vision, pain, light sensitivity and potential scarring can be greatly reduced or eliminated by responsible contact lens wear.  If any of these symptoms occur, remove your contact lenses immediately and get checked by your optometrist.

*Image found here

Biotrue - It's New!

Have you been looking for a new contact lens solution? Maybe the all-new Biotrue multipurpose contact lens solution by Bausch & Lomb will be right for you! This lens care product has been available in the United States for over a year and is set to launch across Canada in early April.

Biotrue contact lens solution is approved for use with all soft contact lenses include silicone hydrogel lenses like Acuvue Oasys w Hydraclear and Air Optix Aqua Comfort Plus. Biotrue conditions, cleans, removes protein deposits, disinfects, rinses and stores soft contact lens for up to 30 days.  BioTrue also uses the same natural lubricant found in the human eye to help improve contact lens comfort.

Product Benefits:

  • pH balanced - matches the eyes natural tears and improves initial comfort
  • Biocompatible Moisture - contains a lubricating compound called hyaluronan which is found in the eyes natural tears, and in many leading lubricating eye drops
  • Clear packaging - allows you to know when your about to run out

How to use it:

  • Remove your contact lenses
  • Place at least 3 drops of Biotrue on each side of the lens and rub for about 20 seconds
  • Thoroughly rinse each side of the lens for about 5 seconds
  • Store contact lenses in fresh Biotrue solution for at least 4 hours before re-wearing
  • If you have not worn your contact lenses in 30 days, you must remove them, reclean them and restore them in fresh Biotrue solution.

You can learn more about Biotrue multipurpose contact lens solution by visiting biotrue.com or talk to an eye-bar optometrist.

To read the Biotrue package insert & product directions – click here

Book your next eye exam in Sherwood Park with an eye-bar optometrist

Images via: Bausch & Lomb

Teens and Contact Lenses

If your child has healthy eyes, they are motivated, can follow instruction and can be trusted to take care of them, than we can teach almost anyone to wear and take care of contact lenses.

Contact lenses will not make their vision worse, and they will not become lost behind their eyes. Contact lenses can in fact be a safe and healthy addition or alternative to eyeglasses when worn responsibly. They are great for children who are heavily involved in sports, drama classes, or are hard on their eyeglasses.

For many children 1-Day disposable contact lenses may be a great alternative to conventional 2-week or 1-month disposable contacts lenses. There is no cleaning, no solutions, and no dirty lens cases to clean. If they accidentally lose or tear a contact lens, it’s no big deal, just grab a fresh one.

If your child is excited to try contact lenses, please book them in for an eye health examination and contact lenses fitting with one of our optometrists. 

eye-bar carries 1-Day disposable trial contact lenses by Ciba Vision, Acuvue, Cooper Vision and Bausch & Lomb.

Image via: Ciba Vision

eye-bar optometry in Sherwood Park - Eye Exams, Contact Lenses, Emergency Visits & Ophthalmology Referrals