This FAQ is a starting point for those new to contacts or who have questions. See an eye doctor before considering contact lenses - you are solely responsible for your eyes!
If you have questions concerning contact lenses, please post them here as you are likely not the only one with that question!
Table of Contents
1.) Finding Lenses/Where to Buy
2.) Getting Started: Advice & Terms to Know
3.) Contact Lenses: You Versus Parents
4.) Contact Lens Urban Myths
5.) Inserting and Removing Your Lenses/ Makeup
6.) Bad Vision, Astigmatism, Crazy Sizes, etc.
7.) Circle Lenses
8.) Lens and Case Care
9.) Wear Time
10.) What Not to Do With Lenses!
11.) Emergency Situations & Issues: Lost lenses etc.
12.) How Lenses Look
13.) Safely Buying Lenses Online
14.) Fun Stuff - Quizzes
::: 1.) Finding Lenses/Where to Buy :::
I’m looking for _______ colored/ designed contacts for [insert character name]! Where can I find them?
Before you go posting a new thread, check out these links:
a.) Shop by character/color
b.) Shop according to starting price range!
c.) Shop specifically for circle lenses
d.) Shop for colored toric lenses
::::::::::::::: 2.) Getting Started: Advice & Terms to Know :::::::::::::::
How are lenses made? Watch this video!
Do I need to see an eye doctor to get lenses?
Yes, contact lenses are not one size will not fit all.
At your appointment you will get a prescription for vision correction if needed, base curve, and diameter. Even if your country doesn't require an eye exam, you still need a proper fitting lens made of a material compatible with your eyes
. Lenses that aren't right for you can mean discomfort, inflammation, swelling, abrasion, lack of oxygen to your eyes, or could in rare cases result in permanent tissue damage and blindness.
Your eye doctor will also show you how to insert, remove, and properly clean and store your lenses and may give you some trial lenses too. Also, your eye doctor should be able to obtain any lenses you want. It's easy, safe, and reliable.
Getting fitted for lenses is important! [a news segment]
Contact Lenses: What to Know Before You Buy [Mayo Health Clinic]
Eye Exams don't have to cost a fortune! [Discounts!]
Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act + Overseas Purchasing
Read more here
Can I get lenses without a prescription?
Contact lenses are considered medical devices and require a prescription to purchase them (US). Many foreign countries don't have this law.
My eye doctor asked me to come back after he fitted me with lenses – why?
This visit is to check that you are not experiencing any discomfortdue to the lenses. This visit is generally included in your initial lens fitting fee.
I wear glasses - can't I just use the same prescription?
No. Contact lenses are worn on the eyes versus lenses in your glasses are a set distance in front of them. The prescriptive powers will be completely different. You can wear plano lenses and your prescription glasses over them.
Should I get contact lenses? Consider the following:
are you using them for? To add to a cosplay, to get glasses off your face?
will you wear them? Just for that one cosplay or can they be used for many costumes or daily wear?
much money are you willing to spend? Initial eye exam/fittings cost $50+ and add the price of lenses
do you want them? During peak seasons like Halloween, offices and shops experience an influx of appointments and purchases, plan ahead.
you responsible enough to take care of your lenses AND your eyes?
What are some different types of lenses?
- provide clear vision at varying distances just like the glasses
– Popular in Asia, lenses that make eyes look bigger.
Cosmetic Colored Lenses
- change your eye color (natural colors)
Custom Contact Lenses
- could work for you if other options fail
- enable a healthier wearing experience. Wear them for a day and toss them
- for safe overnight wear or naps
Gas Permeable (GP)/ Hard lenses
- long-lasting way to provide crisp vision, may initially be uncomfortable
- might work for you if bifocal contact lenses don't
- mask eye injury or disfigurements
– a lens that covers the entire eye
- transmit more oxygen to your eyes
- change eye color/look dramatically e.g. crazy lenses
– lenses with weights that correct astigmatism
Enhancers vs. Opaques
Decoding your prescription - what all the terms mean
– Right eye
– Left eye
– Power for vision correction
– Base curve or the actual curve of your eye
– Diameter: Determines where the lens edges rest on your eye
– Toric lenses: will treat the cylindrical aberration
– Toric lenses: is the orientation of the cylinder of your lens
– no power (will not correct or change vision)
Why are Base Curve and Diameter Important?
People's eyes are shaped differently! Check this page for diagrams and explanations!
Is there an age limit to contact lenses?
Age is no longer a problem! There are bifocal lenses and lenses that are great for chronic-dry-eye sufferers.
::::::::::::::::::: 3.) Contact Lenses: You Versus Parent :::::::::::::::::::
I want contacts, but my parents disagree – help!
There are major factors behind many parents decisions:
– they aren’t cheap especially if you have a high prescription or astigmatism. Young people’s eyes can change a lot. Can you afford to keep updating your prescription frequently if need be?
– You have to be meticulous about cleaning your lenses or you will run into trouble. If you feel you are responsible enough to properly handle lenses but your parents are still iffy, suggest a trial period where you can “prove” that you can handle this responsibility.
::::::::::::::::::::::: 4.) Contact Lens Urban Myths :::::::::::::::::::::::
Can a contact slide to the back of your eye?
No. The eye is basically a closed pocket. Should you disturb your lens by rubbing your eye, it may slide under your upper eyelid. Try applying rewetting drops and blink a few times, the lens will usually drop down – or see your eye doc if you still can't locate it for quick & easy removal.
Contact lenses can give me eye/vision problems, right?
No! Lens-related problems can occur but they are generally related to ill-fitting/damaged lenses, wrong material/lens type for your eyes, and improper cleaning/care of lenses.
I heard Circle Lenses are really bad for your eyes and can cause eye/vision problems! Is that true?
Circle lenses are popular and as a result are sometimes counterfeited. Be sure you buy a legit pair of lenses that fit your measurements. Take care of your lenses and you'll be fine.
I heard contact lenses turn to glass and shatter in your eye if they get dry!
No-When your lenses are dry, they will be uncomfortable to wear and may pop out, that's all.
:::::::::::::: 5.) Inserting and Removing Your Lenses/ Makeup ::::::::::::::
Wash hands thoroughly & avoid using soaps with heavy oils, fragrances, and lanolin.
Cover your sink drain so you don't lose a lens.
Gently shake your lens case to free any lens that may have settled. Do not attempt to pull a lens off the side of the case as it may tear.
Handle the same lens first to avoid mixups if your lenses are powered