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Common Questions About Contacts

Answered by Kaiser Permanente eye doctors

Do people experience discomfort or pain when using contact lenses?

Most first time wearers are delighted with the level of comfort that contact lenses provide. The key is a good fit, which is established when you meet with your eye care specialist. After a brief adjustment period, most people report they can no longer feel contact lenses on their eyes.

Can I wear contacts when I participate in sports or work-out?

Yes. Athletes of all kinds have discovered the advantages of wearing contacts. Contacts don’t steam up from perspiration, don’t smudge and don’t get foggy if you go from cold to warm temperatures. They provide better depth perception and complete peripheral vision. Today’s close-fitting contacts stay on your eyes, even during vigorous activity.

What about water sports?

You can swim in lakes, water ski and scuba dive with your contacts, but it’s often best to wear goggles. Disposable lenses are the best idea if you are a swimmer. Putting in a fresh pair after swimming will help preserve your eye health.

Can I wear soft contact lenses if I have astigmatism?

Yes, you can wear a special type of soft contact called a toric lens that will correct your astigmatism.

In order to read, I currently wear reading glasses over my contact lenses. Is there an alternative so I don’t have to wear glasses at all?

Yes, multifocal contact lenses are available both in the rigid gas permeable material as well as the soft lens material. It offers the best of both worlds: no glasses, and good vision both close up and in the distance. Monovision is another option where one eye is corrected for viewing distant objects and the other eye is corrected for reading and close work.

If my two-week disposable lenses are still comfortable and in good condition beyond two weeks, can I continue to wear the same pair?

No. In order to maintain optimal eye health, it is important to adhere to the wearing schedule prescribed by your eye care specialist. Lipid and protein deposits accumulate on the lens over time, leading to chronic irritation. The main advantage of wearing disposable lenses is that you are putting a fresh new pair of lenses in your eyes at a regularly scheduled interval.

Many years ago I tried wearing hard contact lenses and was not able to. My eyes watered severely, my nose ran and I found everything too bright, even indoors. Is it worth trying again?

Major advances have been made with contact lenses over the last several years. Now there may be a lens that will work for you.

Is it necessary to be refitted with each change in lens type or brand?

Yes! Change in material and design affects the lens fit on your eyes and it’s very important to make sure proper fit is achieved for optimal eye health.

Can children wear contact lenses?

Yes, in most instances, if your youngster can learn to put a lens on and off then he/she can successfully be fitted. Daily disposables work especially well since it eliminates need for daily lens care.