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Myths and Facts About Contact Lenses

Seeing well is essential to quality of life. You need good vision to perform daily activities such as driving and reading, and good vision contributes to your independence and well-being.

If you have correctable vision, various options are available to improve your sight, including contact lenses. Other options are laser surgery and glasses. The option that’s right for you depends on various factors, such as current vision and lifestyle. Below, the Valley Eye Professionals team has put together some facts and myths about contact lenses for you.

Benefits of contact lenses

There’s no substitute for seeing well as you go about your day-to-day life. Contact lenses correct vision problems like near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism. Contacts stay in place, move with your eye, and can improve your peripheral vision when playing sports and doing other activities. Children, teens, and adults report feeling better about their ability to engage in their daily activities with corrective contact lenses.

Fact: Ill-fitting Contact Lenses Can Harm your Eyes

Wearing poorly fitted contact lenses can damage the part of your eye that reflects light called the cornea. Regular eye checkups with optometrists at Valley Eye Professionals help ensure that your contacts fit properly so you can avoid damage from ill-fitting lenses.

Myth: It’s OK to swim in contact lenses

If you’ve heard from friends or family that you can swim in contact lenses, this is incorrect. It’s a common misconception that swimming in contacts isn’t a problem. We recommend avoiding wearing your contact lenses when you go for a swim.

Swimming pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans contain bacteria and other contaminants that increase your chances of getting an eye infection — and it’s bad news if bacteria or parasites contaminate your contact lenses. You should also avoid rinsing your lenses in tap water for the same reason.

Wear goggles if you must wear your contact lenses while swimming. Consider prescription swim goggles if you swim regularly recreationally or as a professional athlete.

Fact: Contact lenses can slow the progress of myopia

Commonly known as nearsightedness, myopia is an eye condition in which patients can see near objects but have difficulty seeing objects farther away. For some patients, especially adolescents, myopia is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time. Myopia can cause complications if left uncontrolled.

Most people are unaware that certain types of contact lenses slow myopia progression and in some cases stop it completely. If you have myopia, discuss special contact lenses with your optometrist.

Myth: Contact lenses are uncomfortable to wear

Some patients are apprehensive about contact lenses because they think they’re uncomfortable to put in and wear. Contact lens technology has come a long way. Soft contact lenses are made from new material like silicone hydrogel. This material allows more oxygen to pass through the lens to the front part of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. This makes it more comfortable to wear.

Learning to put your contacts lenses in your eye takes some getting used to at first. With practice, it becomes easy and shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Schedule a visit if you experience discomfort wearing your contact lenses. Your optometrist can check to ensure that you’re wearing the best contacts for your eyes.

Fact: It’s best to avoid sleeping in contacts

Most contact lenses aren’t designed to wear when you’re sleeping. If you use daily-wear contacts while you’re sleeping, you increase your risk of eye infections. It can also cause corneal ulcers.

Your contact lenses need oxygen to help your eyes remain healthy. When your eyes are shut at night, regular contacts are deprived of the oxygen they need. Combined with pollutants that can get in your eyes, this sets the stage for an eye infection to develop. It’s best to remove your contacts before sleeping, even if you plan on taking a short nap.

Myth: Contact lenses are only for adults

Despite what you may have heard, children and teens can wear and benefit from contact lenses. In some cases, children are better candidates for contact lenses than adults. If you’re wondering whether contact lenses are right for your child or teen, discuss your concerns with one of our optometrists.

A comprehensive eye exam is a good place to start in caring for your vision. We can help you choose the best corrective vision option for you. To learn more and to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, call our office in Studio City, Los Angeles.

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