Each month we encourage EnVision readers to submit questions to ask our panel of VSP doctors—and readers never disappoint! We see questions about eye conditions, health tips, “how tos,” and beyond. This month we teamed up with Bausch+Lomb and Jill Saxon, OD, to shed some light on the mysteries of contact lenses. We reviewed a wide variety of great questions about contacts and narrowed it down to the five most popular:
- Can you use reading glasses on top of contact lenses?
Yes, you can! But have you heard about multifocal contacts? Innovations in multifocal contact lens designs now allow you to correct both your distance vision and near vision simultaneously, without the need for reading glasses. These recent innovations in contacts provide clear vision for up-close tasks, like using your mobile phone, reading a book or using your computer, and far-away tasks like seeing road signs when driving, watching TV, or playing sports. Multifocal lenses make it easy to transition between various distances, providing you the vision you need, where you need it. Ask your VSP doctor whether multifocal contact lenses are an option for you.
- I want to wear contacts but I have dry eyes; what can I do?
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to your feeling of dry eyes. Dry eyes don’t preclude you from wearing contacts. Innovations in contact lens materials have led to the introduction of lenses that retain their moisture better than lenses in the past. Moisture retention can be important in keeping lenses comfortable, especially after long hours on digital devices, or at the end of the day. Several of these new materials have been shown to offer excellent comfort to contact lens wearers that reported having dry eyes.
- Do contact wearers usually have to stop using them when they reach an older age, or can I expect to wear them as long as I feel like it?
The ability to wear contacts over time is related to the ability of the lens to provide comfort, health, and clarity of vision. Innovations in both material chemistry and optical designs can provide people of ALL ages the benefit of a lifetime of successful contact lens wear. Advancements in materials allow lenses to retain their moisture for up to 16 hours of wear. Additionally, innovation in optical design can provide clear vision for up-close (like reading a book) and far-away tasks (like watching TV), with the ability to easily transition between these various distances.
- Are there contacts that can address both nearsightedness and farsightedness?
There are contact lenses designed for people that are nearsighted, people that are farsighted, people with astigmatism, and people that require multifocals or readers. Your VSP doctor can help you determine which contacts would be best for you.
- What can I do to ensure good eye health as a long-term contact lens wearer?
You should discuss your eye health with your eye care professional and ensure you have annual exams. However, a few key recommendations as they relate specifically to the success of wearing contact lenses are:
- Always wash and rinse hands before handling lenses.
- Be certain that the fingers or hands are free of foreign materials before touching your lenses, as microscopic scratches of the lenses may occur, causing distorted vision, and/or injury to the eye.
- Carefully follow the handling, insertion, removal, cleaning, disinfecting, storing and wearing instructions and those prescribed by your eye care professional.
- Always use fresh, unexpired lens care solutions.
- Always follow directions in the package inserts for the use of contact lens solutions.
- Do not mix or alternate lens care systems or solutions unless indicated in the lens care system labeling.
Lens Wearing Precautions:
- Never wear your lenses beyond the period recommended by your VSP doctor.
Check out this EnVision article for more info about caring for contacts.
Contacts are ever-evolving and may be a great fit for your lifestyle. If you’re interested in contacts, be sure to consult with your VSP eye doctor to see what works best for you. And if/when you’re ready to give them a go, check out these rebates for Bausch+Lomb contact lenses. Already have contacts and want a convenient way to re-order? Check out Eyeconic.
The content of this article is for general informational awareness purposes only. Please consult your eye care doctor or physician for actual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article is the work of the attributed author and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of VSP. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.