Common contact lens queries and how to solve them
How to deal with uncomfortable lenses
We’re confident that you’ll be comfy wearing your lenses, but sometimes you might experience irritation, or have the feeling that there’s something in your eye. If you have any discomfort, there are a few things you can do.
- If your lenses feel uncomfortable or gritty, take them out and give them a rinse with your solution (make sure you wash your hands first).
- If you wear daily disposable lenses, just throw them away and start again with a fresh lens.
- If your lens doesn’t feel quite right, place your finger on the lens and slide it across to the white of your eye and back again to get rid of air bubbles or debris under the lens.
- Eye drops can also help make them feel more comfortable.
- Take the lens out and check it. If it’s torn or damaged, throw it away. If it’s not, rinse it with a bit of solution and try again. If it’s still uncomfortable, throw it away.
For first-time wearers
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, what kind of prescription you have, or what kind of lifestyle you lead – almost anyone can wear contact lenses. If you and your optician are happy that you’re comfortable putting them in, taking them out, and cleaning them, then there’s really nothing stopping you.
It’s true it takes a bit of practice to use contact lenses, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. If you decide to try contact lenses, we’ll sit down and do a test run with you. We’ll show you how to put in contact lenses and take them out, go over dos and don’ts, answer any questions you may have, and dispel some of those pesky rumours. We’ll make sure you leave us feeling confident with your new lenses, and we’ll keep in touch afterwards to make sure you’re getting on with them.
Over the last few years, lens technology has moved forward at an unbelievable rate. So if you tried contacts before and didn’t get on with them, it may be time to give them a second chance. Today’s lenses are made with high-tech materials, like silicone hydrogel, that lets lots more oxygen into your eye, ensuring adequate hydration and comfort. Contact lenses are now so comfortable you wouldn’t even know you’re wearing them.
If you normally wear different glasses for different things, like one pair for reading and another for distance, you may have thought that contact lenses weren’t an option. But that’s no problem. We’ve got a great range of varifocal contact lenses that combine your different vision needs into one little lens. We also have toric lenses which help correct astigmatism. Whatever your prescription, there’s almost certainly a contact lens for you at Specsavers.
Using contact lenses FAQs
Your optician will provide you with a timetable for gradually increasing the length of time you can wear your lenses, starting with a few hours each day. It can take up to a fortnight to reach maximum wear time with gas permeable lenses, but it’s usually much quicker for soft lenses.
Good hygiene and lens care are essential for keeping your lenses and eyes in good condition; always follow the care regime prescribed by your optician and make sure to attend regular aftercare visits.
Firstly make sure that the lens is still in your eye. Your eye may still feel that a lens is present if it is irritated, but it may have already fallen out.
If the lens is still at the centre of your eye, with clean hands, try sliding it down towards the bottom of your eye and gently but firmly pinch it from the edges inwards. If the lens seems stuck, then place a few drops of sterile saline solution, lubricating eye drops (specifically formulated for contact lenses) or All-in-One contact lens solution into your eye before trying to remove again.
Sometimes lenses can become stuck under your top eyelid. Looking straight ahead in the mirror, tilt your head back slightly and elevate your top lid as far as possible to determine if the lens is there try sliding it down then pinching it out.
If you are still struggling see your optician as soon as possible.
Good hygiene is essential for keeping your eyes healthy and your contact lenses in good condition.
If you drop a lens, you’ll need to rinse it thoroughly with saline at the very least, though ideally you should clean it and disinfect it again before insertion.
Some disinfection solutions will complete the process in just a couple of hours - please check your solution instructions first.
Do not wear a lens that is damaged. This could cause irritation and harm to your eye. Dispose of it and wear a new one.
A lens cannot be damaged whilst being worn, but if found to be torn or split, this almost always occurs when handling.
If you require a replacement, please contact your Specsavers store.
If you fall asleep with your lenses in, you might find that they’ve become stuck to the surface of your eye - especially if you’re dehydrated, i.e. after drinking alcohol.
Never attempt to remove your lenses if they do not come off easily. Instead, you should blink and apply lens comfort drops until your eye surface becomes moist. The lenses will then become mobile again and easier to remove.
It’s a good idea to leave your lenses out the following day to give your eyes a chance to recover.
If you have any persistent discomfort or redness see your optician as soon as possible.
If your lifestyle or work requires you to wear your lenses for long hours or even to sleep in them, then there’s a lens type that is designed to be worn in this way - the continuous wear lens. Your optician will be able to tell you if they’re suitable for your eyes or not.
Your optician will advise the best cleaning products to use.
Contact lenses should be cleaned every time you wear them and full care instructions will be provided when you are fitted with your contact lenses.
Lenses should NEVER be cleaned with tap water.
While it is possible to recover and recycle contact lens and packaging material, due to the small size, and limitations of local authority collections, this is usually not a practical option.
Where specialist recycling options for contact lenses materials are not available, the waste material should be placed with the general waste for responsible disposal by local authorities, or licensed contractors.
Contact lenses should never be disposed of by washing down the sink or flushed down the toilet.
Learn more about recycling contact lens packaging here.
Eye health related topics
You might find your lenses feel uncomfortable if your hay fever is active. We recommend discontinuing wear until your symptoms subside, or using lens comfort drops for temporary relief.
Alternatively, your GP or medical practitioner may be able to prescribe you with drugs which, taken each year before hay fever season, might prevent allergic reactions.
If you take over-the-counter hay fever remedies, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to wear lenses providing there’s not too much itching or watering of the eyes. However, you shouldn’t wear your lenses if you use topical drugs that you put into your eyes.
If you have a contact lens allergy you should stop or reduce your lens wear until the problem clears up. Make sure that you are following the proper care procedure for your lenses. If the problem doesn’t resolve within a couple of days or if your symptoms worsen, visit your optician.
They may suggest that you change your contact lens type or solution or reduce the length of time that you wear them. Occasionally you might have to avoid wearing contact lenses for a period of time.
There are three main causes of conjunctivitis - viral, bacterial and allergic - so without knowing what type you’ve had it’s hard to determine whether or not you need a new pair of contact lenses.
However, if you’ve been cleaning and disinfecting your lenses correctly and you replace your lens case, you should be safe from re-infection.
Yes. In fact many people find it easier to apply their make-up once they start wearing contact lenses because they can see what they’re doing!
For hygiene reasons, it’s better to insert your lenses before putting make-up on, and take them out before removing make-up.
You might want to avoid powdery and metallic shadows and mascara with fibres in case the particles get into your lenses. Several brands offer formulas developed for contact lens wearers and those with sensitive eyes.