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Top 12 contact lens myths

Is it really safe to clean contacts with water? And do lenses actually freeze in cold weather? To put your mind at ease (and share the truth!), we’ve busted the top 12 myths about contact lenses.

Myth: If water is pure enough to drink, then it’s safe to clean my lenses 


Although safe and healthy to drink, water can contain amoeba and bacteria that are harmful to your eyes. The same goes for bottled water, too. That’s why eye care professionals recommend removing your lenses before swimming or taking a shower.  

And remember, contact lens solution is specifically designed to clean and disinfect your lenses – something that water simply won’t do. Keep it clean by using only recommended cleaning, storing and disinfecting solutions on your lenses.  

Myth: Contact lenses can freeze in cold weather

Frozen snowflakes

Contact lenses won’t freeze, even in conditions as cold as -60°C (phew!). Experiments were carried out in the early 1980s to test this very myth, and the materials contact lenses are made from have improved vastly since then. You might feel some drying or discomfort in cold winter weather, but this can be solved by using eye drops or artificial tears. If you experience extreme discomfort, get in touch with your optician.

Myth: Wearing contact lenses causes eye problems 

contact lenses

It’s perfectly safe to wear contact lenses as long as you practice proper lens hygiene. Just follow the instructions provided by your optometrist and replace the lenses when needed, and you shouldn’t have any issues. 

If you don’t want the hassle of cleaning your lenses, consider wearing daily disposables. You can simply throw them away at the end of each day and pop in a fresh pair the next morning. 

Myth: It’s not safe for people with diabetes to wear contact lenses 

eye test

Many people with diabetes can wear contact lenses safely, but they may need to take extra precautions. Diabetes can slow the body’s ability to heal from injuries and infections, and that includes the eyes. Therefore, it’s even more important to maintain excellent lens wear and care, and attend regular follow-ups at your opticians. Daily disposables are usually a good option, but your optometrist will be able to advise you on the best type of lens to keep your eyes safe and healthy. 

Myth: Contact lenses can get stuck behind my eye

close up of blue eye

In short – it is not possible for contact lenses to get stuck behind your eye. The conjunctiva (a thin membrane) lines the inner eyelids and folds back on itself to cover the sclera (the white of the eye). Because of this, there is no way for a dislodged lens to move to the rear or either side of the eyeball.

Myth: Contact lenses are too uncomfortable

woman putting in contact lens

Today’s contact lenses are designed to be as comfortable as possible. Early examples of contact lenses could be uncomfortable for some wearers. However, rather than glass or hard plastic, they're now made of high-tech materials like silicone hydrogel. This means more oxygen can enter the eye, nourishing the cornea and other areas. For most lens wearers, they’re barely noticeable!

Myth: Contact lenses require too much maintenance

contact lenses

Caring for your contact lenses is not as difficult as you might think. The latest lenses are easy to clean and maintain, and your optician will guide you on the best ways to look after them. If you choose to wear daily disposable contact lenses, then no cleaning or special storage methods are required at all. Hooray!

Myth: Astigmatism means I can’t wear contact lenses

Woman's eye through a glasses lens

Today’s contact lenses cater to many different eye conditions. This includes astigmatism, which can be corrected by a wide range of different toric (specially-designed) contacts. Astigmatism prescriptions are available for daily disposable, extended wear and monthly lenses, so you can choose whichever suits you best.

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Myth: Contact lenses bought online are more likely to cause infections

Close up black and white photo of eyes

There is no difference between contact lenses bought online or from a high street shop as long as you use a reputable retailer. Regardless of whether you buy contact lenses online, it is important to visit an eye care professional regularly. customers are entitled to free eye tests and contact lens checkups.

Myth: Contact lenses will fall out of my eye

sportswoman's eyes

Older contact lens models were made of rigid materials, making them more likely to fall out of the eye during intensive activities like sports. Today’s lenses are designed to fit the natural shape of your eye, so it is very rare for them to fall out.

Myth: I’m too old to wear contact lenses

older man having an eye exam

There is no age limit for wearing contact lenses. Contacts now come with the option of varifocal and bifocal, meaning they are available for people who require different prescriptions for distance and reading. If you have any other requirements, ask your local optician about contact lens options to suit your eyes.

The same goes for younger adults and children. The maturity and capabilities of patients are considered when deciding whether contacts are suitable for your child. Daily disposable lenses require no special storage or cleaning, making them perfect for younger patients. But the latest monthly and extended-wear lenses are easy to clean and store.

Myth: Contact lenses are too expensive

add to cart page on website

Contact lenses are no longer a huge expense, and online ordering has made them cheaper than ever. Daily disposables, once considered a costly option, are now available for under £1 a day!

To see just how easy online ordering can be, give us a try.

Article originally posted in April 2016. It has since been updated.
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