Fact vs. Fiction: 14 Contact Lens Myths Debunked

woman-eye-detail

Contact lenses are nothing short of revolutionary. Since their inception, they’ve allowed millions of people to experience the world without the physical constraints of glasses.

But as with many innovations, contact lenses have become shrouded in a fog of myths and misconceptions. These tales range from the slightly exaggerated to the utterly unbelievable, so much so that deciphering what’s true and what’s a mere optical illusion can be challenging for many.

Luckily, Lens.com is here to help. In this post, we’ll debunk 10 of the most widespread contact lens myths. Let’s set the record straight and put these myths to rest once and for all!

1. Contact Lenses Can Get Lost Behind Your Eye

One of the most unnerving contact lens myths is the idea that a contact lens can slip behind your eye and get lost. The truth? It’s impossible.

The conjunctiva, a thin membrane, covers the white of your eye and connects to the inside of your eyelids, creating a barrier. While a lens might momentarily slide under your upper eyelid, it can’t venture far enough to get “lost.”

2. Sleeping in Contacts is Safe for Everyone

While there are certain lenses designed for extended wear (including overnight), not everyone can safely sleep with them. Sleeping in contacts that aren’t meant for overnight wear can restrict oxygen to the eyes and increase the risk of infections.

Always consult with your eye care professional (ECP) before wearing any contact lenses overnight.

3. Contacts Can Permanently Stick to Your Eyes

man putting contact lens in his eye

The myth that a contact lens can permanently attach itself to the eye’s surface is largely unfounded. While a soft contact lens can temporarily adhere if the eye becomes extremely dry, a few blinks or some sterile saline solution will typically solve the issue.

It’s always essential to ensure your eyes are moist and healthy when wearing contacts.

4. You Can’t Wear Contacts if You Have Astigmatism

This myth is a relic from the past. Modern contact lens technology has evolved, and there are now toric lenses specifically designed for those with astigmatism.

Toric lenses have a unique shape and are crafted to fit the eye’s specific curvature, providing clear vision for those with astigmatism.

5. Contacts Are Too Much Hassle for Occasional Wear

Some people believe that contact lenses are only worth the effort if worn regularly. But daily disposable lenses make occasional wear convenient and hygienic.

For those who prefer wearing glasses but want the option of contacts for certain activities or events, dailies can be an excellent choice.

6. Contacts Can Alter the Natural Color of Your Eyes

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While there are colored contact lenses specifically designed to change the appearance of one’s eye color, regular clear contacts do not have any impact on the natural hue of your eyes.

The primary purpose of most contacts is vision correction, and they won’t modify your eye color permanently.

7. Children Can’t Wear Contact Lenses

Another popular contact lens myth is the idea that children are too young to wear contact lenses. The truth? Age is not a strict barrier to wearing contacts.

Many ECPs agree that children can handle contact lenses responsibly, often by the age of 8 or even younger in some cases. It largely depends on the child’s maturity and the reason for prescribing contacts, such as for specific vision conditions or sports activities.

8. Contact Lenses Are Too Expensive

The cost of contact lenses has become more affordable over the years, with a range of options to fit various budgets.

While the initial investment might seem higher than glasses, when you factor in the lifespan of a pair of glasses and potential replacements due to damage or style changes, contacts can often be a cost-effective choice for vision correction.

9. It’s Okay to Clean Contacts with Water

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Never clean or rinse your contact lenses with tap water. Tap water is not sterile, and using it to clean contact lenses can introduce harmful microorganisms to your eyes, leading to severe infections.

Only use the recommended contact lens solution for cleaning and storing your contacts to ensure they remain safe to wear.

10. Switching from Glasses to Contacts is Difficult

Transitioning to contacts might seem daunting, but with today’s technology and the guidance of an ECP, it’s easier than ever.

Most people can comfortably adjust to wearing contacts within just a few days. And with options like soft lenses or daily disposables, there’s a suitable type for almost every lifestyle and vision need.

11. Contact Lenses Can Permanently Damage Your Eyes

While contact lenses can cause complications if not used correctly, they won’t inherently damage your eyes permanently.

Issues usually arise from poor hygiene, extended wear beyond the recommended duration, or using expired or inappropriate contact lens cleaning solutions. Proper care and following an ECP’s instructions mitigate these risks.

12. You Can Shower or Swim With Contacts

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Never shower, swim, or bathe with contacts. Tap water, swimming pool water, ocean water and the like are not sterile, so taking a shower or swimming with contacts in can expose your eyes to harmful bacteria and other contaminants. This can increase the risk of infections like Acanthamoeba keratitis, a severe and painful eye infection.

Always remove your contacts before swimming or showering. If you absolutely need them to swim, talk to your ECP about using watertight goggles.

13. You Can’t Wear Contacts During Sports or Physical Activities

This is a misconception. In fact, contact lenses can be more convenient for sports than glasses, as they won’t fog up, slip, or break upon impact. They provide a wider field of vision, which can be beneficial for many physical activities.

However, it’s essential to consider protective eyewear when participating in contact sports to avoid injuries.

14. Your Contact Lens Prescription Will Always Stay the Same

Our eyes change over time due to factors like aging, health conditions, or even pregnancy, so the notion that one’s contact lens prescription will remain constant is a myth.

Regular check-ups with an ECP are essential to ensure that your prescription remains up-to-date and that your eyes remain healthy.

Bottom Line

Navigating the world of contact lenses can be challenging, especially with the many myths circulating about them. Hopefully, by debunking several of these misconceptions, we’ve emphasized the importance of factual knowledge for the health and safety of our eyes. Remember: while contact lenses offer many advantages, they require proper care and understanding.