An annual exam at the eye doctor may seem like a no-brainer, especially if you already wear contacts or glasses. Getting a new prescription may be a tradition, or maybe you only go when there seems to be a noticeable change in the way the eyes function. Perhaps night vision is getting dimmer or watching…
FAQs About Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses
It is vital for those who wear eyeglasses and contact lenses to know how to properly care for their eyewear. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that patients have regarding glasses and contacts.
Is there a difference between eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions?
Eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions are vastly different and one cannot be substituted for the other. Patients will need two different exams if they want a prescription for both contact lenses and eyeglasses. The difference in the exam is due to the position of the corrective lenses; contact lenses are measured for lenses that are on the surface of the eye while eyeglasses are measured for lenses that are 12 millimeters from the eyes.
How often are eye exams needed for eyeglasses and contacts?
Patients are advised to go for annual eye exams to check the health of the eyes and to be sure eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions are still up-to-date. Routine eye exams can help determine even minor changes in vision that may not be noticeable so corrections can be made to avoid eyestrain. If there are any signs of vision changes, such as blurry vision and headaches, patients should make an appointment for an eye exam as soon as possible. While the examinations for contacts and eyeglasses are different, both can be scheduled during the same visit.
What are the numbers on an eyeglass prescription?
The first number is the sphere, which is indicative of the power that is needed to correct myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). If there is a minus sign before this number, it indicates the power that is needed to correct myopia. If there is a plus sign, it indicates the power needed to correct farsightedness. The second number is the cylinder, which identifies an astigmatism. The third number is the axis, which is the direction and degree of the astigmatism.
There are usually abbreviations on the prescription as well; O.S., which stands for oculus sinister, is for the left eye, and O.D. is the abbreviation for oculus dexter, which is for the right eye.
Is it safe to sleep in contact lenses?
Sleeping in contact lenses is not recommended because the cornea receives less oxygen and lubrication while the eyes are closed. There is even less oxygen flow to the cornea when contacts are worn overnight. This allows bacteria to multiply, creating an increased risk of developing eye infections that could lead to permanent vision loss.
Wearing contact lenses while sleeping can also cause eye irritation and corneal abrasions. If patients have slept in lenses and have signs of an infection, such as red or watery eyes, discharge or decreased vision, it is important to be seen by an optometrist as soon as possible.
It is crucial to learn the answers to the most common questions about eyeglasses and contact lenses to ensure proper eye care. This will result in maintaining optimal eye health.
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