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Contact Lens FAQ

For a more detailed explanation of any of the subjects below, please consult your eye care professional.

What are contact lenses?

Contact lenses are prescription medical devices manufactured from high-grade polymers. The contact lenses rest on the front surface of the eyes and, like eyeglasses, bend light rays so that images are properly focused on the retina.

What’s the difference between hard and soft contact lenses?

Soft contact lenses are manufactured from hydrophilic polymers (water-loving plastics). Varying from 38% to 71%, the water content is what makes soft contact lenses pliable. Hard contact lenses are not manufactured from hydrophilic plastics and therefore do not contain water. While they can provide good ocular health, they are not as comfortable initially as soft lenses.

What is a silicone hydrogel contact lens?

A silicone hydrogel contact lens is a soft lens made of a material containing silicone. Silicone is permeable to oxygen, so, when these lenses are worn, large amounts of oxygen can be transmitted to the cornea. Other benefits of most silicone hydrogel lenses (relative to traditional soft lenses) include: decreased drying of the lenses, greater resistance to protein deposits, lower risk of eye infection, easier handling due to increased rigidity of material, and a much lower incidence of complications with extended wear.

What are planned replacement lenses?

Planned replacement is a complete program of contact lens vision care in which contact lenses are replaced at planned intervals throughout the year. Your specific intervals should be determined by your eye care practitioner. It will be based on the lens chosen and your specific characteristics. Replacement cycles generally vary from one to three months.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common visual distortion caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. Approximately 45% of all patients requiring vision correction have astigmatism.

What is myopia?

Myopia is commonly referred to as nearsightedness. A myopic eye sees near objects very clearly within a certain range while distance vision appears blurry.

What is hyperopia?

Hyperopia is more commonly known as farsightedness. A hyperopic eye sees distant objects clearly while near objects appear blurry.

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a vision condition that becomes apparent during middle age, in which the loss of elasticity of the eye causes difficulty or an inability to focus sharply for near vision. Presbyopia can be corrected by wearing multifocal contact lenses.

What is the difference between daily wear and flexible wear?

Daily wear contact lenses are worn during the day and must be removed at bedtime. Flexible wear lenses are thinner or have higher water content, allowing more oxygen to pass through to the eye. They can be worn continuously, even overnight, for up to seven days. Eligibility for flexible wear use is evaluated by an eye care professional.

What is the difference between disposable and planned replacement contact lenses?

Disposable lenses are meant to be worn once and thrown away daily, while planned replacement lenses are worn for a prescribed period of time and replaced at regular intervals.

What is the appropriate wearing schedule for me?

Your eye care professional will prescribe your wearing schedule based on the health of your cornea, your lifestyle, your preference, and the type of lens you want to wear.

Can I order lenses or trial pairs directly from CooperVision or other manufacturers?

Because contact lenses are medical devices and are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, federal regulations prohibit manufacturers from selling or dispensing lenses to anyone other than a licensed eye care professional. To obtain trial lenses or a prescription, you will need to see your eye care practitioner. He/she will be able to help you with your contact lens purchase and trial lens needs.

I had laser surgery and now I want to wear contacts lenses. What should I do?

You should speak to an eye care practitioner about the feasibility of wearing contact lenses. He/she is the best person to advise you on glasses vs. contact lenses based on your individual needs.

What are specialty contact lenses?

Specialty contact lenses are contact lenses made for people who have trouble wearing regular contact lenses because of some type of eye health or vision issue. If you have dry eyes, astigmatism, corneal grafts or keratoconus, you may have been told that you can not wear contact lenses.However, we now have new technology that allows us to fit all different types of patients with contact lenses that are comfortable, and provide great vision. These contact lenses require special fittings, performed by an eye doctor who is trained in this area, and knows what contact lenses will be best for your particular condition.


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