Contact lenses are a popular option for many who prefer the option over glasses or having laser surgery. Contacts have been around for nearly one hundred years but have gained popularity in the last few decades as the costs have decreased, the ease of use has improved, and more people are able to wear the lenses. Despite many people wearing contact lenses, and even more, people have heard of them, there are still many secrets about contacts that are not common knowledge! These five contact lens facts are both interesting and important if you wear contact lenses!
#1: Contact Lenses Expire
While most people who wear contact lenses know that their lenses must be replaced after being worn for a certain amount of time, such as a day, two weeks, or a month, it is less well known that contact lenses have an expiration date just like food.
When contact lenses are manufactured, they are sealed in a plastic container with a solution that contains preservatives to prevent bacterial growth on the contact lens.
Just like preserved food expires after a set amount of time, contact lenses do as well.
This time is the estimated time that the preservatives in the solution will be sufficient at preventing any bacterial growth.
Most contact lenses do not expire for a year or longer – meaning that many people who regularly wear their contacts never encounter the expiration date.
However, if the contact lenses are older, be sure to check the expiration date as well as the prescription before wearing them!
#2: Contact Lenses can be Worn with Glasses
For most people who wear contact lenses, the primary reason for wanting them in the first place was to stop wearing glasses.
However, there are situations in which glasses can be worn over contact lenses.
If the contact lenses provide clear distance vision, anyone over forty may need to use reading glasses over the contact lenses when looking up close or reading.
This is a common way to handle an aging process known as presbyopia which affects everyone eventually and reduces the natural ability to focus at near.
Another reason to wear glasses over contact lenses is if the prescription is very high.
For anyone with an extraordinarily large prescription, glasses can be thick, heavy, and not provide the best vision.
In these cases, contact lenses are a great option – but if the prescription is too high or irregular, glasses may still be needed over the contact lenses.
If you don’t need reading glasses and don’t have a special circumstance, it is not recommended or encouraged to wear glasses over contact lenses as it will not improve vision – it may make it worse!
#3: Contact Lenses are Not Reversible
When opening a contact lens, it is important to assess the lens and make sure that it is not inside out! Contact lenses are rather flexible and can be turned inside out with relative ease.
However, when the contact lens is inside out it will not provide clear vision and will be uncomfortable.
To make sure that it is in the correct orientation, check the edges of the lens and make sure it turns up like a bowl and not out. Also make sure it does not fold like a taco, as this is a sure sign that the lens is inside out!