Freequently Asked Questions - FAQ

If you are just considering getting contacts for the first time, you have already been wearing glasses for a while. You are probably already aware of some of the advantages that contact lenses have over glasses. However, you should read on to see other areas where lenses are superior.

Because contact lenses are positioned on your eye, rather than sitting away from the eyes like glasses, you will enjoy much better peripheral vision, and thereby a wider view in general. You will be able to see far better when you move your eyes to either side, as you are always still looking through the center of the lens. This is called the "optic zone," and contacts have the obvious advantage, as when you wear glasses you can only enjoy this zone when looking straight ahead.

In addition to peripheral advantages, contact lenses also allow you to see things in a way that is more like having perfect vision. Glasses can distort your vision, giving you a false perception of the size and position of everything you are looking at. For example, corrective glasses for nearsighted people make things appear smaller, while glasses for the farsighted cause the wearer to see everything as larger than it actually is.

One of the most annoying things about glasses is how they are affected by the weather and by your own body heat. Every glasses wearer knows how annoying it can be to deal with rain. Almost as bad is when you walk outside on a humid day, or walk inside from a cold outdoors, and your glasses fog up. Likewise, when you try to exercise or do some other activity that works up a sweat, your glasses can not only become steamy so that you can't see clearly, but they can also start to slide down your nose.

Besides sliding around due to sweat, glasses may bounce around on your face or even fall off when you are running and doing other physical activity. Imagine the freedom your contact lenses will give you from all of these unpleasant circumstances.

Glasses can be uncomfortable in general, not only in the above mentioned conditions. They may feel heavy on your nose after a while, or they can rub you the wrong way behind your ears. And it's nearly impossible to wear the latest style in sunglasses when you have to wear your regular specs all the time. Even if you go for some prescription sunglasses, there are differences between those and regular sunglasses. There are fewer styles to choose from, and the lenses must be flatter to avoid distortion.

Despite all the wonderful characteristics of the contact lens, some people simply do not care for them. If you do want to wear contacts, however, chances are that you can. No matter if you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism or presbyopia, there are lenses available to suit your needs. Contacts are obviously more convenient for when you are doing physical activities, and the best part is that when you do not feel like using them, you can always take them out and wear your glasses instead.

There are many brands and styles of lenses, but they all fall into two main categories - soft contact lenses or rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses. Either can be worn to correct any kind of vision problems. One of the main differences is that soft lenses are more comfortable.

If you are unsure as to what kind of lenses would work best for you, do not worry. Your optometrist will determine the best contacts for you after you have a complete eye exam. After the doctor decides what he or she thinks may work, you will go through a contact fitting to be sure they fit and feel right.

There will be lots of times when you will still need to wear your glasses. It may be tempting if you wear your contacts most of the time to hold onto your old glasses. However, it is best that you continue to get new glasses as your prescription changes. You will need them when you take your contacts out at night, and especially when you have any eye irritation, or worse, an infection of some kind, or even when you have a headache or other ailment that may be aggravated by your contacts.

There are a lot of reasons to wear sunglasses, some more obvious than others, but they all have to do with protecting your eyes and lessening harmful side effects of the sun.

It seems like everyone knows how harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays are for the skin, but some tend to overlook the negative effects that these rays have on the eyes. Research has found links between UV radiation and cataract development, as well as other eye problems like AMD (age-related macular degeneration). Besides protecting the eyes from these rays, they can also help prevent wrinkles from squinting and sun damage.

There is plenty that will harm your eyes besides just rays. Wind can make eyes dry, and the wind can blow dust and other particles into your eyes, which can scratch your corneas and do other damage your eyes. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from these dangers and help to keep them moist.

When you spend a lot of time in the sun, especially if you have light-colored eyes that are generally more sensitive, headaches can be a common occurrence. This is due to the fact that your pupils simply cannot constrict enough to let a comfortable amount of light into your eyes.

Under normal lighting conditions, your pupils are able to adjust as needed, but when it is very bright, you must squint your eyes to prevent too much light from getting in. Squinting fatigues your eye muscles, making you feel more tired and bringing on headaches and sore eyes.

Sunglasses, obviously, reduce the amount of light entering the retina, and thereby save your eyes a lot of strain.

One of the best effects of wearing sunglasses is that you can see better when you are in bright sunlight. When your retina is exposed to too much light, you can be temporarily blinded, or at least have your vision reduced.

This condition can be dangerous, especially when driving or participating in other outdoor activities which require you to be able to see well. Sunglasses block some of the excessive light from your eyes, and therefore help you see better, which results in more safety and comfort.

Contact Lenses may have been around a lot longer than you think. In fact, the first contacts, which were made of glass, were crafted in 1887, by a glassblower named F.A. Muller.

Of course, the idea was a long time in the making. The concept for contact lenses apparently dates all the way back to 1508, when Leonardo da Vinci sketched ideas for them. It wasn't until 1827 that Sir John Herschel expanded on the plan, with the addition of molding the glass contacts to each wearer's eye.

Not long after Muller crafted the contacts, people began to wear them, but as they were glass, and therefore fairly heavy, no one could wear them for very long. Plastic lenses were not introduced until 1936, by William Fein, an optometrist from New York, who manufactured a part glass, part plastic lens. The first completely plastic lenses were brought about in 1948, by Kevin Tuohy, an optician.

Another optometrist, George Butterfield, improved on Tuohy's design, and by the 1950s and '60s, these hard plastic lenses were being made more like the ones that are used now.

Many people found the hard lenses uncomfortable, so experimentation continued. In the late '50s, some soft plastic lenses were made from hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). This plastic was created by Dr. Drahoslav Lim, and he and Otto Wichterle developed the soft contacts. The first soft lenses to be placed on the market were introduced in 1971 by Bausch & Lomb. Soft contacts have since grown in popularity and are far more common than the hard plastic ones.

Your vision is important, so it is necessary that you make the time and effort to care for your glasses. Here are some tips on how to do it.

In order for you to be able to see clearly, the first and most obvious step is keeping them clean. You should not just rub them with any kind of cloth, as some fibers may scratch the lenses.

The best way to go about cleaning them is to use lukewarm water and a gentle soap such as a basic dishwashing liquid. You can rub soap on the lenses with your fingers and make sure that you clean the frame as well. After rinsing, you should dry them with a clean cotton fabric.

For removing spots between cleanings, you should use a lens cleaning cloth, which you can most likely acquire from your optician. It is important to clean your glasses after you have been perspiring, or have used hair spray and other products. Any of these things can cause damage to the frame or the lens coatings.

Check your glasses on a regular basis to make sure they are still sitting straight on your face and that there are no loose screws. Most of the time, you can tighten the screws yourself, but if the glasses have become crooked, it is best to visit your optometrist's office to have them adjusted.

Also check for any scratches. Luckily there are scratch-resistant lenses available so that you can avoid scratches and keep your lenses for longer.

When you take your glasses off, be sure to place them in a proper case. If you must put them down without a case, be sure to lay them upside down in a safe location. It is also best if you use both hands to remove your glasses.

If you are involved in sports or certain other hobbies, it is generally best to use a different pair of glasses, ideally one designed for such activities, so that you have a backup.

It is quite common for people to need reading glasses at some point in their lives. Many people dread the thought of glasses, but there is no reason to feel bad about it when there are so many choices of reading glasses styles these days.

You can choose from full or half-size glasses, and others who need reading glasses, but also need glasses for other vision problems, can get bifocals.

In addition to the different basic types of reading glasses, there are many colors and styles to choose from. Since they are generally inexpensive, you can even stock up on several pairs, so that you have something to go with any outfit. Or, you may just want to keep pairs in multiple locations, so you don't have to worry about transporting, or losing or forgetting them somewhere.

You can also choose between prescription and non-prescription glasses, depending on your needs. If you are in doubt of what is best for you, you can always visit an optometrist for an exam.

No matter what kind of reading glasses you choose, you must also make sure that you are maintaining your eye health. You should get regular exams as you age, in order to make sure that you are not suffering from any other issues that could affect your vision, or your well-being in general.

Eating the right foods affects more than the shape and well-being of your body. It also makes a difference in your eye health. Keeping a good diet can help your eyes to stay healthier and your vision better for the long haul.

Studies have shown that the foods and activities that affect the cardiovascular system are the same ones that can affect vision. This is due to the fact that blood supply to the eyes may become blocked due to arteriosclerotic issues, and that type 2 diabetes, which is brought on by poor diet and insufficient exercise, can cause a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Either of these problems can lead to vision loss.

Another effect of eating too many fats can be a higher risk of developing AMD (age-related macular degeneration). Obesity may also be a cause for AMD.