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Myth: My Contact Lenses Must be Healthy if I See Clearly

With many people noticing foggy glasses with each exhale, contact lenses have become a popular alternative. 

Purchasing contact lenses online has become a popular and convenient way to see clearly without leaving the house. Unfortunately there are many risks to consumers that they may not be aware of. 

A contact lens is a medical device specific to an eye’s shape and prescription. An incorrect fit may result in blurry vision, eye strain or red, inflamed eyes. All contact lenses should be fit by a licenced professional to ensure long term clear vision and healthy eyes. When you see your optometrist, here are some evaluations they will make:

  1. Oxygen permeability: Not all contact lens materials and brands are made equal. Newer materials allow more oxygen to go through the lens and to the eye. This is important because the front surface of the eye does not have a blood supply and all the oxygen needed for these cells are taken from the air. A piece of plastic that covers the surface of the eye can reduce oxygen intake. Your optometrist will be informed of the best brands and materials on the market to fit your eyes with the healthiest material. 
  2. Contact lens fit: A contact lens is shaped like a bowl to fit the curved surface of your eye. Certain eyes are flatter, whereas others are steeper. Contact lenses are also created in varying sizes to fit individuals more comfortably. A contact lens that fits too tightly might provide good vision and comfort, however this can result in long term damage of the eye. This is examined under a microscope by an optometrist to ensure the fit is ideal for long term wear. 
  3. Contact lens prescription: Similarly to glasses, contact lenses are made in different prescriptions to fit your eyes. If the prescription is too week, you will experience blurry vision. If it is too strong, you may have eyestrain and headaches. This specific prescription can change over the years and should be monitored annually. 

Contact lenses are a great way to see clearly without any frames. Many enjoy them for sports and work. Are your contact lenses healthy even if you see clearly through them? Book an appointment to have them checked. 

Dr. Rachel Ng, OD
Markham Optometrist
www.wardenOptometry.ca

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