10 Reasons Contact Lenses Are Better Than Glasses

Are contact lenses better than glasses, we like to think so. Don’t get us wrong, contact lenses are not the perfect answer for everyone but they definitely have some great plus points.

1. Great vision
Not only is your vision corrected with contact lenses, but because the lens is placed directly on your eye there is no frame to impede your vision you get great unobstructed vision all around.

Beautiful day

2. No one knows you are wearing them –
With contacts nothing gives away the fact you are short or long sighted and for older wearers no bifocal or varifocal glasses to give away your age.

3. Clear Vision
Say goodbye to smudges, once in your eye your clarity of vision is not compromised due to smudge marks, no hunting for tissues to clean the lenses, or scrunching the bottom of your shirt.

Glasses_cleaning

4. No pressure points-
With contact lenses you can say goodbye to  pressure points behind your ears and those unsightly red pressure patched on your nose.

eye strain
5. They match everything-
Contact lenses match any outfit you have in your wardrobe, there is no longer the dilemma as to whether your glasses match your outfit, or the need to have more than one pair of glasses just in case.

6. No risk with sports-
Contact lenses won’t slip down your nose, fall off or pose a risk of breaking whilst participating in sports.

Sport_field-hockey

7. No misting-
Everyone hates glasses misting or fogging up when the temperature changes, either opening entering a warm room from the cold, just after an intensive work out or the oven door.
Contact lenses offer great vision all the time.

Glasses_fogged

8. The option of great Sunglasses-
With contact lenses the whole range of sunglasses is open to you, simply pick the ones you love instead of being limited to the few pairs designed to go over your glasses – whoever found a pair of them they actually wanted to wear.

Sunglasses range

9. Change your eye colour-
Whether you wear daily or monthly contact lenses you can chose to change your eye colour completely or just enhance the beautiful peepers you already have.

coloured lens in eyes

10. Can treat medical conditions-
OK not for everyone but contact can be used to deliver medication to Glaucoma sufferers and also increasingly used to reshape the cornea while you sleep. Overnight orthokeratology  (Ortho-k) temporarily corrects myopia, so you can see clearly the next day without your glasses or contacts.

There could have been a point 11 as who knows the future of contact lenses, with augmented reality getting closer by the day we are sure contact lenses will be an important part of everyone’s life, whether they need to correct their vision or not.

contact lens_augmented

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Top 10 Questions for First Time Contact Lens Wearers Answered

Making the decision to move from glasses to contact lenses is a big one, there are  many questions new contact lens wearers ask, from, “Will it hurt?” to “Which contact lenses are best for me?”

Before long you’ll be a pro and wonder what all the fuss was about, but before you get there let me answer a few of the most frequently asked questions.

1. What age can I start wearing contact lenses?
By the age of 11 most eyes are developed enough to wear contact lenses, however it’s not quite a simple as that as contact lenses do need some looking after, so a child’s sense of responsibility, willingness to handle contact lenses and their hygiene level should be taken into account. An optician will help you decide which lenses are best for you and if you are ready.

Parental consent is required for children under the age of 16.
Of course, contact lenses can be fitted to babies but this is generally only carried out in exceptional circumstance i.e if the baby has congenital defects, such as cataracts or other eye disorders.

slit lampContact Lens Fitting

2. Do I need a special prescription for contact lenses?
The simple answer is yes, here’s why-
Your glasses prescription lacks vital information that is required for a contact lens prescription.

Just as with your glasses – the optician took fitting measurements such as pupil distance (PD) bridge width, and the length of arm needed. The same goes for contact lenses, because the lenses sit directly on your eye, the optician needs accurate measurements of the diameter (Dia) and the base curve of your eye (BC). You could also find the power of your lenses differ to those of your glasses.

This is also the time the optician makes the decision as to what type of lenses are best for you.

Contact lens_prescriptionOptical Prescription

3. Will contact lenses hurt?
The insertion, removal and wearing of contact lenses does not hurt.

Some people are a little squeamish about inserting and removing contact lenses because it involves putting your finger in your eye, but in reality you don’t touch your eye at all, you just place the contact lens gently on the surface of your eye.

However, if the contact lenses are unclean, you have slept too long in your lenses or some foreign body gets in your eye then they can sting, but this is a good thing, it reminds you to remove your lenses, clean them and re-insert them. If the irritability continues then it’s best to have a word with your optician.

Contact lens_insertion
Contact Lens Insertion

4. Are contact lenses hard to look after?
Some are definitely more difficult than others.

With the introduction of daily disposable contact lenses in 1995, looking after them is simple, pop them in, pop them out , throw them in the bin.

There is a cost involved with daily disposable lenses and some are saying a greater environmental impact, so many people opt for 2 weekly or even monthly disposable lenses, but even these lenses, with multi purpose solution, only take a few minutes each day to maintain great hygiene.

5. How long will it take to get use to my contact lenses?
Many people are surprised at just how quick they get use to wearing contact lenses.

Once your optician has fitted your lenses, you’ll be given a wearing schedule advising you to  gradually increase your wear time over a few days, your optician will probably make another appointment in 2 weeks to check everything is OK.

Initially it may seem odd having the lens in your eye and you may be constantly aware of their presence, although not painful, you are aware that they are there, but within a few days with a well fitting lens you can forget you are wearing them.

Contact lenses_daily disposableDaily Disposable Lenses

6. Will my contact lenses fall out?
A well fitted contact lens should not just fall out.

Your optician will have taken measurements of your eyes during your contact lens fitting so that your lenses fit perfectly, therefore it’s very unlikely they will just fall out.

Having said that it is true contact lenses can fall out, but not normally on their own, they need some sort of irritant or action to do so, such as a foreign body in the eye or excessive rubbing.

Rubbing eye
Rubbing Eye

7. Can I wear my contact lenses for sport?
Of course.

When your optician fits your contact lenses they will ask about your lifestyle as this may affect which type of lens is best for you.

If you participate in a contact or water sport, rugby, martial arts, swimming etc the optician may recommend daily lenses as should these become irritated and fall out then it’s a simple case of popping in another lens. If you want to keep the cost down on lenses then you can still opt for monthly lenses but maybe just have daily disposable contact lenses for sports use.

rugby 2
Contact Sport

8. What type of contact lenses are best for your me?
This is a big question.

The main choices are between Daily disposable lenses and monthly lenses, there is a two weekly lens and even a continuous wear lens (once in your eye you leave it there for up to 30 days) all are great options, often it comes down to cost or lifestyle:

*Daily lenses
Daily wear contact lenses are a great option if you are new to contact lenses due to their simplicity of use.

Unlike reusable lenses, there is no cleaning and storing routine, you simply pop in a new lens each morning and throw out the lens each evening, because of this, most optical experts agree that daily contact lenses are the healthiest choice for contact lens wearers.

The materials used to manufacture daily contacts are also designed to make the lenses extremely thin and comfortable to wear.

*Monthly Lenses
Monthly contact lenses come in a wide variety of fitting options, and are suitable for almost every eye care need, they are often the lens of choice for people with high power prescriptions.

Monthly disposable lenses are designed to be worn during the day and removed at night for cleaning and storage.

After 30 days, they should be thrown away and a new pair used.

*Two weekly Lenses
Two weekly disposable contact lenses are very similar to the monthly disposable lenses, they require removing, cleaning and storing every evening, however as the name suggests they are only designed to last 2 weeks i.e 14 wears, before they need to be disposed of and a new pair used.

This wearing method prevents build-up of dirt, debris and minerals, helping to keep your eyes healthy.

*Continuous Wear Lenses
Continuous wear lenses also called extended wear contacts lenses are probably the simplest of lenses to use, you simply put them in at the beginning of the month, and change them at the end of the month (approx 30 days later), there is no cleaning, disinfecting or removing your lenses. These are not for everyone though, because you wear the lenses 24 hours a day they need careful fitting by an Optician and follow up appointments to make sure the lenses are suitable for your eyes.

I’ve covered the basics here and will go into more depth in a later post.

First time contact lenses wearers will find this article really helpful What Are The Best Contacts Lenses For First Time Users?

Contact lenses- mix boxes.jpg
Variety of Contact Lenses


9. Can I sleep in my contact lenses?
Advice from the Association of Optometrists (AOP) is “You should never sleep in them unless they are specifically designed for overnight wear”.

This can seem a bit severe when you have daily disposables, no solutions and you just want a short nap.

All contact lenses pose an increased risk of infection and irritability if worn overnight or whilst napping, but for many contact lens wearers a short nap appears to pose no significant threat, but be aware of your eye health after waking, if your eyes feel dry or irritable try comfort drops or remove the lenses and give your eyes a break.
If you regularly sleep in your lenses you could speak to your optician about extended wear lenses, and make sure you have your regular contact lens check ups.

Woman sleeping by rafal-jedrzejek
Sleeping Woman
Image by Matheus Ferrero

10. How much do contact lenses cost?
The cost of contact lenses differs depending on the type of contacts you wear, but big savings can be made by purchasing your lenses online and even more so if you by own brand lenses as opposed to big brand names.

Crystal 1 Day work out at just £186 for a years supply whereas 1 Day Acuvue Trueye cost around £575

Monthly lenses can appear cheaper Crystal Monthly only cost £30 for 12 pairs, but the cost of a premium lens such as Air Optix Aqua can be as much as £124.
However, it’s not quite that simple as you need to add on the cost of solutions, this could add approximately £110 based on Optifree Replenish Twin Pack.

Surprisingly continuous wear lenses can cost as little as  £110 based on 12 pairs of Biofinity

A basic pair of prescription glasses can cost as little as £25 online but from £150 upwards if you go for designer frames.

It’s worth baring in mind that the price of your contact lenses are spread out over 6-12 smaller payments throughout the year, whereas with glasses it’s one large payment up front.

Contact Lenses_Glasses by Matheus ferrero.jpgContact Lenses or Glasses?
Image by Matheus Ferrero

Oh, and don’t worry about those scare stories, you can’t lose a contact lens behind your eye.

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Can I recycle my contact lenses?

We are all involved in recycling – card, paper, aluminium cans, plastics (where possible) etc. but what do we do about our contact lenses?

Disposable contact lenses are now the most popular type of lenses since their introduction in 1987 and with over 3.5 million wearers in the UK alone, that’s a lot of potential waste.

Disposable lenses are typically made of silicone-hydrogel, which, like most plastics, does not biodegrade making them unsuitable for compost or recycling. But it’s not all bad news many parts of your contact lens supply are recyclable.

Contact lenses come in various parts

  • The Delivery Box – if like an increasing number of contact lens wearers you buy your contact lenses online
  • The Contact Lens Outer Box
  • The Contact Lens Blister
  • The Contact Lens

Outer box and lens boxes

As you can imagine not all of these parts can be recycled the same way, let’s address them individually.

The Delivery Box

Many contact lens companies and opticians deliver contact lenses direct to your door, in almost all cases the delivery box is recyclable, simply flatten the delivery box and put it in the recycle container.

Contact Lens Outer Box

Almost all contact lenses have an outer protective box, this has muliple purposes, it is a great advertising tool, it reminding you what lenses you are wearing, their Power, Base Curve and Diameter, plus they keep your lenses together whether for 1, 3 or 6 months.

These outer boxes are easy to recycle, just like the delivery box, when you have finished your lenses simply flatten the box and put it in the recycling bin.

Recycled cardboard
Contact Lens Blister

These hold the lenses themselves and are not so simple, as you are probably aware they consist of two parts, the foil “lid” and the plastic container.

The foil lid, unfortunately, is not currently recyclable, so this part has to be placed in your general waste bin.

If you look very closely at the plastic blister you will see the recycle logo with pp05 or pp5 this means the  plastic container is made of Polypropylene (PP) which is one of the safer kinds of plastics. It is increasingly getting accepted in curbside recycling programmes. If in doubt check with your local recyclers.
Recycle plastic logo Blisters in pot

 

For US and Australian contact lens wearers Bausch and Lomb and TerraCycle run the One by One recycling program, whereby you can send Bausch and Lomb any brand of contact lens blisters free of charge and they will recycle them for you.

Contact Lens

Scientists are currently working on a soy-based biodegradable contact lens, but that technology is still a few years away. In the meantime, we are stuck with the silicone/hydrogel lenses, these are currently not recyclable.

In an effort to reduce plastic pollution, researchers in the US have been investigating the final journey made by disposable contact lenses.
The study found that approximately 15-20 percent of contact lens wearers in the US dispose of their contact lenses down the sink or toilet.

Researchers  tested 11 types of contact lenses and found that while some of the intact lenses are trapped by filters in sewage treatment plants, lenses can fragment into tiny particles which slip through the filters, and contribute to the microplastics already floating around in the world’s oceans.

Disposable contact lenses should be disposed of in the general waste bin and not down the toilet or sink.

Contact lenses (1)

So are contact lenses recyclable?

Yes and No.

You can definitely recycle much of the contact lens packaging but unfortunately not the lenses themselves.

What can you do to reduce contact lens waste?

It’s been said you could switch to two weekly or monthly lenses, however, when researchers  at Johnson and Johnson looked at daily disposables, which do not require cleaning, and monthly disposables, which are cleaned and stored at night requiring, solution bottles and storage cases they found that a pair of daily disposable contact lenses worn 365 days per year produces 1kg of waste annually, comparatively, reusable contact lenses plus care solutions produced 0.84kg of packaging waste yearly. So not a huge difference.

Switching to glasses does not necessarily save the environment with some studies suggesting the raw material in a pair of glasses can be equivalent to 4 years worth of daily disposable lenses, however, on average people wear glasses for over 2 years before replacing them. If you are looking at switching to glasses check out environmentally friendly companies such as greeneyewear who use environmentally friendly acetates in their frames.

Daily 2 weekly monthly lenses
Practical ways to reduce the impact of your contact lenses on the environment

DO Recycle the cardboard – flatten boxes and place in recycle bin

DO Recycle the plastic – collect your plastic blisters in a jar in the bathroom and recycle in your plastic recycle bin

DO Dispose of the foil lid in general waste

DO Dispose of contact lenses in the general waste

DON’T  Dispose of old contact lenses down the toilet or drain

lens waste _1 week
1 weeks supply of non recyclable waste from contact lenses

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Wild Canines with Night Vision

 

Wild Canines with Night Vision

Our contact lenses will definitely save you money right now. But, they will not help you see or smell as well as these wild canines.

 Red Fox

Big blue eyes, pointy nose, chasing mice and digging holes… The Red Fox used to be known for being sly up until 2013. Now everyone just wants to know what he says.

 

Photo credit Flickpicpete via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

 

Dingo

These Australian canines communicate with moans, barks, howls and snorts. The Dingos from down under are credited by many Australians for the extinction of the Tasmanian Tiger in the mainland.

 

Photo Credit Andy McLemore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Gray Wolf

Also called the Timber Wolf, the Gray Wolf is an avid hunter. Despite what you see in the movies, they avoid humans at all costs. Long credited for being an ancient ancestor to the modern dog, new DNA testing shows otherwise.

 

 

Photo credit: Tracy Brooks via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

 Coyote

Native to North America, these monogamous animals cackle and howl. Three coyotes can sound like 50. Sometimes they work together to trick or trap prey larger than themselves.

 

 

 

Photo credit Jared Tarbell via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

 

African Wild Dog

These social pooches are painted all sorts of colours and chase many of their prey, such as antelope, until it collapses in exhaustion. Then they kill it and let their pups eat first.

 

Photo Credit Mathias Appel via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Jackal

There are many different types of Jackals. These animals of opportunity have been bred with other dogs such as poodles, often with very poor results, which is good, otherwise we would have Jackadoodles marking their territories and dragging carcasses around.

 

Photo Credit Cristoph Strassler via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

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Geckos may provide insight for contact lenses

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Geckos may provide insight for contact lenses

 

 

 

A study of the eyes of geckos may provide insight to help develop more sophisticated contact lenses in the future.

Researchers led by Dr Lina Roth of the Department of Cell and Organism Biology at Swedish institution Lund University have found that nocturnal geckos have a series of distinct concentric zones in their eyes, a feature lacking in daytime geckos.

They are able to see colour in the dark with their vision system, which consists of large cones in their retinas which are hundreds of times more sensitive than humans”.

Nocturnal geckos can focus light in varying wavelengths on their retinas.

The study has been reported in the Association of Research in Vision and Opthalmology”s online Journal of Vision.

Dr Roth stated: “With the knowledge from the gecko eyes we might be able to develop more effective cameras and maybe even useful multifocal contact lenses.”

Established in 1666, Lund University is based in southern Sweden.

It has about 38,000 students and offers 137 undergraduate and graduate degree programmes.
ADNFCR-1853-ID-19159529-ADNFCR

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How to save money on eyecare

How to save money on eyecare

Image

Wearers of glasses can cut their expenses by buying them online, a finance writer has said.

In a MoneyWeek article, Ruth Jackson found that glasses are cheaper when they are bought over the internet as opposed to traditional bricks-and-mortar stores.

She warned, though, that consumers must be careful to get their prescription correct when they buy glasses online, as companies do not need to give refunds once the product has been delivered.

In addition, users will need to provide their pupillary distance, preferably by having an optician measure it.

Ms Jackson also pointed out that people who work with computers may be entitled to have their eyes tested free of charge.

Rick Broda wrote on CNET News” Cheapskate blog that buying glasses over the internet was a cheaper option.

He admitted that this meant they could not be tried on first but said that people in the US could pay “a fraction” of what it would cost to buy them from more traditional outlets.

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Tips on whether laser eye surgery is right for you

Tips on whether laser eye surgery is right for you

Contact lens wearers and other people considering laser eye surgery have been issued with a number of tips on what makes the ideal candidate for the treatment.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology, in cooperation with the US National Library of Medicine, states people should be at least 18 years old, but also notes in some cases a child with one very nearsighted eye and one regular one could benefit from the intervention.

Women thinking about the treatment should not be pregnant or nursing when they have the procedure carried out.

In addition, people should ensure they are in good overall health, without chronic conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, web resource WFMJ.com reports.

Concluding, the resource states individuals considering undergoing the surgery should have healthy eyes with vision prescriptions that are relatively stable.

Continuous wear contact lenses can be a viable option for those who choose not to go under the laser. They allow more air to reach the eye and can therefore be worn overnight.

Wearers of extended wear contacts can benefit from immediate and sharp vision with the flexibility of a changeable prescription later down the line.

Contact lenses can also involve a lower level of risk and hassle, as they only need changing as little as every 30 days.

Continuous wear lenses include brands such as Purevision or AirOptix Night & Day.

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