Contact Lens Guide for Beginners and Advanced Users
Whether you’ve been wearing contacts for a while, have just started or are playing with the idea of putting your glasses aside, you should definitely read the information below.
We have put together a guide that will help you navigate the world of contact lenses. You will find out what options there are, what you should be doing and what not.
We would also like to refute some myths that keep discouraging some of you from wearing contact lenses.
By the way, we have this in a pdf, if you want to read it later.
Download it now or continue reading below.
A few words about contact lenses to begin…
Contact lenses, compared to glasses, bring many benefits.
For example, you don’t have to worry about image distortions or your lenses steaming up (which you will appreciate especially in winter), you’ll have complete field vision including peripheral vision, not to mention that you can also fully enjoy all your sporting activities.
Take a look at this comparison of lenses and glasses
There is no age limit to who can wear contact lenses –
thanks to constantly developing technology and materials, contacts get more and
more comfortable with minimal (or rather, none at all) impact on your eyes.
Contact lenses are made so that you can barely feel them (as opposed to glasses that can put limitations on your eye).
Wearing contact lenses can also add to your style. Women can use a more pronounced eye make up or try the current hot trend – coloured contact lenses that come in a dioptric and non-dioptric version.
Sure, but how do I pick the right contact lenses?
Everyone expects something different from contact lenses, everyone has a different lifestyle and different demands…This is why you should listen to experts, rather than to your friend’s well-meant advice. Do not experiment with contacts, you only have two eyes, after all! Let’s check what you can choose from.
Types of Contact Lenses by Length of Wear
Some contact lens users can’t imagine being without their contacts even for a minute. Some only wear them for sports or other activities. Who are contact lenses suitable for, then? And which ones are the best for you?
As you can probably guess by their name, these contacts are worn for one day only, afterwards, you simply take them out and throw them away. Their biggest advantage is that they are really gentle to your eyes. Why?
Because you don’t have to worry about all the debris that builds up on them throughout the day – you simply get rid of them in the evening and start fresh the next day.
Daily contacts are thus a great solution for people with allergies or sensitive eyes. We also recommend this type if you are planning holidays by the sea, especially if you are going to go scuba diving. They will help you to eliminate the risk of an infection or hurting your eyes.
They are of course also suitable for sport or events that don’t allow for glasses. An added bonus is that you don’t have to carry solution and a case everywhere you go
These contact lenses are worn for 14 days and left in a solution overnight. They are suitable for both regular and an occasional use.
Their biggest advantage is that you don’t have to buy a big supply of contacts at once and they also cost less
With contact lenses intended for extended usage, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. You can either wear them during the day and put them in a solution overnight or you can wear them permanently, depending on the intended usage period.
If you still can’t choose from all the above-mentioned options, maybe so-called flexible contacts will be the ones for you.
They are designed to feel comfortable on the eye even when you sometimes forget to take them out at night. This type of contact lens is, of course, the most convenient one and, assuming you don’t get an infection, you don’t have to worry about getting a new supply immediately.
Make sure you always have a suitable solution and eye drops for cleansing at hand. As long as your eyes are not too sensitive and you take good care of the contacts, this option is definitely the cheapest one
Remember the golden rule:
“Prevention is better than the cure”.
We are here for you to give you advice and provide the best service in
choosing the highest quality contact lenses and solutions. Make the most of
Want to read this later?Download it as a pdf!
Contact Lens Material Matters
You might think that material is none of your concern. The opposite is true, though. However, we can assure you that in our e-shop, you will always find reliable products from top contact lens companies that we have tested with our own eyes!
Do you know what lenses are made from? Just like everything, contact lens materials are constantly developing and improving. The most commonly used materials these days are:
Hydrogel contact lenses
These types of contact lenses are slowly losing popularity. They provide good tear spreading which makes them comfortable, however, their oxygen permeability is low which poses a threat for the eye in a long term. These lenses are soft, almost fragile and prone to tearing.
This is currently the top material when it comes to contact lenses. It provides sufficient hydration for the eye with a good oxygen permeability.
Their development is constantly in the works and has led to a great combination of qualities that all contact lenses should have. If you wear this type of contacts, the supply of oxygen to your eye will be the same as if you didn’t wear any contact lenses at all!
Another typology of contact lenses is based on the eye defect correction. Here you’ll find spherical, toric and multifocal contact lenses. However, wait for your doctor’s prescription before buying any of these.
Whenever you have a question about which contacts to choose, feel free to ask us! Our specialists from Lentiamo.co.uk will be happy to help!
Contact Lens Solutions. Why are there so many?
You’re thinking, “Phew, I’ve picked my contact lenses, so all I need is SOME solution and I’m good to go”. Well, think again!
Just like you can’t simply pick “ANY contacts”, you also have to spend some time on choosing the right solution.
But do not worry, we’re here to help!
You might be asking – is there such a thing as the perfect solution? You probably know the answer. No, there isn’t.
Each one has slightly different qualities and capabilities and, the most important thing is what works for your eyes. Consult a specialist and be prepared that the first option might not be the right one.
So how do they differ?
It’s a bit of a vicious circle. One solution might seem quite gentle because it has a low chemicals content.
But, on the other hand, it lacks some desired qualities, such as good disinfection or lubrication. And a solution that fulfils those criteria might not be as gentle to your eyes.
The material your contacts are made of also plays an important role – the more suitable silicone-hydrogel contact lenses might not react well with the solution that your eyes would prefer. It’s close to rocket science, don’t you think? But don’t worry!
What should you be looking at in the first place?
Try to brush up on your knowledge of chemistry. The crucial thing is the chemical content, or which substances and how many are included in a solution. Then focus on the amount of preservatives and last, but not least, if the solution is suitable for your contact lens type.
When we said to brush up your knowledge of chemistry, we didn’t mean you should go over the top and most importantly, do not experiment – there simply is nothing better than a genuine contact lens solution.
No, distilled water doesn’t work. Neither does a physiological solution. Nor does boiled water and definitely not tap water (unless you fancy a protozoa called Acanthamoeba settling on your contacts – don’t google it).
Neither does…we can’t think of anything else but you know what it’s like – inventive people can always come up with “good” advice. And because practice makes perfect, we’re going to say it again – there’s nothing better than a genuine contact lens solution.
We don’t want you to buy something that you don’t really understand just based on an advertisement. Here are some criteria that you should consider when using contact lenses.
We would appreciate if you shared some of your own observations in the comment section under the individual products, or simply sent them to us by email or post them on our Facebook page. If you put your contacts in a multipurpose solution, lots of different processes occur that you can’t substitute in any other way – they disinfect the contacts, clean them from debris, lubricate and protect them from drying out. Have you ever heard of peroxide solutions?
How do peroxide solutions work? In a complicated, yet amazing way. Hydrogen peroxide can disinfect contact lenses thoroughly because active oxygen destroys bacteria and removes dead eye cells from the lens.
Don’t try making such a solution at home, though! For the right chemical reaction, you need a special contact lens case with a platinum catalyst or a biocatalyst of the catalase enzyme.
It ensures that contact lenses are cleaned and disinfected thoroughly. However, it is very important to leave them in the solution for at least 6 hours!
Otherwise it could be a big strain on your eyes. Only after six hours does the solution stabilise and make it safe to use the contacts.
- Preservatives content:
It’s logical – the fewer chemicals it contains, the gentler the solution is. If you have sensitive eyes, this should be an important criteria for you. Try the Biotrue contact lens solutions.
- Disinfecting component:
Be careful about solutions that are so gentle that they won’t really clean anything! Luckily, we only have quality ones in stock. For example, the Ao Sept solutions offers great disinfecting qualities.
- Expiration period:
Be careful about solutions with a short expiration period that you can find on sale. Always consider first how quickly you’ll be able to use them. A solution past the expiration date loses its disinfecting and moisturising qualities. Do you want a solution that will last you a long time? Check out the “Opti-Free solution”:/opti-free.html
- Rewetting qualities:
While the other specifications will only show after some time of using a solution, you will be able to tell immediately if your contacts are hydrated or not. Rewetting and lubricating are very crucial qualities when it comes to a comfortable contact lens wear. How about trying the Options Multi solution?
Not everyone can afford to spend a lot of money, that’s understandable. That’s why we have the Zero-Seven solutions in stock – they are affordable, but still provide quality care for your eyes
“Contact lens care is hard work, it’s not for me!” … does it sound familiar?
Only a very small percentage of people on this planet are lucky enough not to wake up looking all puffy with a shock of messy hair. They’re always on time, choose their clothes perfectly according to the weather and situation, their car is as clean and tidy as if they’ve only just bought it.
They always manage to open a plastic bag in a supermarket on the first try…The rest of us, ordinary people, simply have to constantly keep an eye on things, adjust, wipe and clean them…and it is exactly us who the contact lens manufacturers keep in mind!
They were expecting us to be moving around in dusty places, not always taking our lenses out with sterile hands or falling asleep with the contacts still in. They keep developing better and better products for contact lens care that make our life so much easier. Isn’t it amazing?
How do you put in contact lenses easily?
New contact lenses are kept in so called blister packaging. Before you open it, shake it first to make sure the contact lens is not attached to the wall and can be taken out easily.
Remove it with the cushion of your finger or pour it on the palm your hand together with the solution (just don’t use your fingernails as you could damage the contacts).
Gently rub the lens on your palm with your index finger and rinse it with a sterile solution.
The contact lens can sometimes fold and get stuck when being removed from its case. If this happens, put it in the palm of your hand, rinse it with a solution and rub it gently with your index finger. If that doesn’t help, put it back in the case with a fresh solution and keep it there for some time.
Try turning contact lens application into a ritual – always do everything in the same order. This will help you not to mix up the contacts or skipping an important step. This also applies to which lens (the left or the right one) will you put in first. The case always has the right ® and left (L) sides labelled. We have a guide for that too!
- Put your lens on your index finger – it should appear as a bowl
If the lens folds and the sides get stuck together, it means that it is too wet. Moving it back and forth between your index fingers should help.
- Make sure that the lens is clean and doesn’t have any signs of a damage
A damaged lens doesn’t form a bowl, it’s flattened.
- How can you tell if your contact lens is inside out?
You can tell that it’s inside out when the numbers (or letters) are in reversed order. The edge should be upright. An inverted contact lens can be very uncomfortable but is otherwise harmless.
When your contact lenses are in the case, make sure it’s been filled with plenty of solution. No need to shake the case in any way, the solution is working as it is.
However, if the lens is not dipped in the solution fully, it can dry out and become very fragile. And even the best solution is not going to help – you will have to throw the lens away.
Protect your contact lenses from getting damaged
Even though contacts may seem very elastic and flexible, there is a limit to everything. Try not to squeeze or bend the lens too much and make sure it doesn’t get stuck to any surface…in short, minimise the trajectory between your eye and the case.
Disinfect, disinfect, disinfect…
If you use daily contacts, you don’t really have to worry about this part too much. But there are still moments when you touch your eye or lens – so make sure you always wash your hands first.
If you apply the same pair of contacts repeatedly, you will have to use a disinfecting solution. That’s the only way that guarantees a proper cleansing, especially of microscopic debris that can’t be seen with the eyes.
Even though we’re sure you wouldn’t really think about it, we’re going to say it – never try to mix your own amazing “cocktail” from several solutions. This will only make things worse, not to mention your contact lenses.
In the beginning, let your ophthalmologist or optometrist help you, follow their guidance or the instructions from the contact lens and solution manufacturers – and you can do no wrong.
It might seem like rocket science at first, but in a few days, it will all become a matter of a few seconds.
Believe it or not, applying contact lenses will soon become a piece of cake for you. But before you get there, make sure to follow our advice first: clean your hands with soap (that you wash off thoroughly, otherwise you won’t get far, either).
Always dry your hands with a material that doesn’t loose any fibres or
little pieces of fabric. Have a mirror that’s well lit with a clear area
underneath to make sure you can always find your lenses in case you drop
Always put contact lenses in first, before applying makeup
How To Buy Contact Lenses
Buying contact lenses might seem easy. But when it comes to the crunch and you are faced with lots of abbreviations and parameters that you’ve never seen before, it can be a bit scary.
Don’t be afraid! That’s why we made this manual. We will help you to find your way around the world of contacts to ensure purchasing them will be a piece of cake!
You will find all the important information on your old contact lens box – make sure you have it at hand before you keep on reading.
All the information you need is written on it. But what if you don’t have one yet or have lost it? Visit your ophthalmologist who will give you all the important parameters that are needed for finishing your order.
Either way, it’s always useful to know what all the abbreviations mean. Here’s an overview of the most commonly used terms that you might want to learn to understand before purchasing your contacts:
They are the most common type of contact lenses and correct nearsightedness and >farsightedness.
Contact lenses for correcting astigmatism. What that means is, instead of the cornea being shaped in a round fashion like a basketball, it has a more oblong shape in one of its positions, one of the parts of the cornea – more like a football rather than a basketball.
Contact lenses for those who are both nearsighted and farsighted.
the parameter is sometimes listed on the box as a “diopter sphere”. Pay attention to the – and + signs (minus is sometimes displayed as the equal sign (=))
- diopters is for farsightedness
- diopters is for nearsightedness
a parameter that guarantees the highest comfort when wearing contact lenses and that ensures the lens will fit well to your cornea
or the size of the lens. If you prefer contact lenses with a certain diameter, keep using them. It’s not the most crucial feature but using different diameters might be a little risky.
a positive or negative figure that corrects the cornea curvature
Cylinder axis (AX)
it is defined with a number from 0° to 180°.
the diopter difference between your nearsightedness and farsightedness
We will get back to you as soon as we can!
Contact lenses and allergies
You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Even if you are allergic, contact lenses will be as convenient as glasses. The important thing is to provide enough comfort for your eyes in the shape of quality eye drops, solutions or by using daily contacts only for the most necessary time.
You will find a few useful tips on how to survive the unpleasant period when allergies are at their peak on our blog here and here.
Contact lenses and travelling
The important thing is to be prepared – buy a sufficient supply of quality solutions, contact lenses, cases and eye drops that will sooth your eyes.
We are repeating ourselves but daily contacts will be a good choice as they will save you a lot of trouble with hygiene and accessories. You will find tips for travelling with contact lenses in the following article.
Contact lenses and diabetes
There’s no need to write long essays about it. If you heard that contacts are not recommended for diabetics, ignore it! It’s an outdated opinion. Here's why!
Contact lenses and children
There’s no reason kids can’t be wearing them – they are suitable for correcting eye defects even in infants! But of course, there are obstacles because parents have to make sure that their children are taking good care of the contact lenses. You can find a balanced opinion on children and contacts in this article.
Contact lenses and makeup
If you are a fan of subtle makeup or simply want to see the same effects as you do in the mirror, contact lenses are a great choice for you. You will avoid the magnifying effect of diopter glasses and you’ll also have a much wider range of complementing your look.
If you like stylish frames, there’s nothing easier than buying several different coloured ones with non-prescription lenses and saving some money on dioptric glasses.
Have you ever thought what it would be like if you could match your clothes with your makeup and the colour of your eyes? Check out our range of coloured contact lenses and we promise you won’t be disappointed!
Find out more tips on makeup here.
… the sea
Simply put, there’s no need to worry. Contact lenses, as opposed to glasses, are a perfect choice! Just wear contacts that you are used to, do not experiment. Ideally, use a new pair every day (which again makes daily contacts the best option). This will prevent infections and you can enjoy your holiday in full! For more information, please read this related article on our blog
… smartphones and tablets
In this time and age, it is pointless to ask anyone to limit the time they spend staring at the display of their gadgets. For most of us, it is a way to kill some time but also an inseparable part of our work. Do not worry, simply staring at the screen is not going to make your eyesight worse. The problem is when our eyes are tired – which can happen quite easily – because they are then more prone to get infected.
Try and provide some relief for your eyes in the shape of quality contacts, a solution and good hygiene. It will be worth it!
You can find more tips about how to provide some relief to eyes that are tired from using smartphones and tablets in this article.
If you have permanent contact lenses that are intended for sleeping, you don’t have to worry. But be careful if you have a different type of contacts. Even if you might not see the immediate effects of sleeping with contacts, eventually you will be able to tell. And the impact will be irreversible. But of course, everything should be done in moderation, so feel free to nap with contacts if you want to. Do you want to know what happens with a lens when you sleep? Read about it on our blog.
There’s no need to be concerned! Contact lenses have the same temperature as your body and as opposed to glasses, they never steam up. Not to mention falling during winter sports – you don’t have to worry about breaking your contacts or getting hurt. More about the advantages of contact lenses in winter can be found on our blog.
Have you not found the answer to your question?
Simply drop us a line or give us a call!
Is there a contact lens related expression in this ebook (or anywhere else) that you don’t understand?
Do not worry! We have put together an extensive glossary.
Curvature of contact lenses
Diameter of the contact lenses
Metabolism of cornea
Continuous contact lenses
Water content in contact lenses
Indication of inverted contact lens
Toric contact lenses
Corneal contact lenses
If you still can’t find the expression there, just let us know and we will add it to the list as fast as we can.