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     Call us on 020 8305 1060
Blackheath Eyecare Opticians
16 Old Dover Road
London, SE3 7BT

Contact lens FAQs

Contact lens wearers need to have regular eye examinations to reduce the risk of complications from eye infections. While serious complications of contact lens wear are rare some conditions may not be noticed by wearers, so it is important that you are seen on a regular basis.

Please remember that you must have a valid (in-date) contact lens prescription to purchase contact lenses, whether in store or online. It has to show the complete specification of your contact lenses, if in doubt please ask you optometrist before ordering.

Some answers may be found here for the curious. For further information please contact us.

Can I come in and buy any contact lens?

Contact lenses are medical devices and only available on prescription. Each contact lens and each person’s eyes are different, so the optometrist needs to perform a specialised fitting for you.

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How long does it take to get used to new contact lenses if you have never worn them before?

The adjustment period can take from a few minutes to a few weeks depending on the sensitivity of your eyes and whether you have soft or rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses.

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Who fits the contact lenses?

Your contact lens consultation and all aftercare appointments are completed by our optometrist. Optometrists are more qualified than contact lens opticians who are more commonly employed by larger optical chains.

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Will I see the same person each time?

Yes normally this will be the case as it ensures continuity of care. We will always aim to book you in to see your regular optometrist. (see about us to find out more about our optometrist)

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What contact lens is the best for me?

Our optometrist will do a series of tests to establish which contact lens is best suited to you. A number of factors need to be taken into account including your eye health, your prescription, the eyes shape and your lifestyle.

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What are disposable lenses?

This type of lens is designed to be thrown away frequently. They can be replaced daily, two weekly or every month.

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Are disposable lenses better for me?

All wearers should change their lenses regularly for health and hygiene reasons. Disposable lenses are an excellent choice health-wise, because there is less opportunity for protein and bacteria to build up on them.

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Can I wear contact lenses if I have astigmatism?

Yes – Astigmatism can be corrected by either using a soft toric contact lens or a gas permeable lens.

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Can I wear contact lenses if I have sensitive eyes?

Yes – Over the years lens materials have improved so that most people can wear contact lenses. We have some people with very sensitive eyes that opt to wear them only part time for going out or for sports.

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Can I still wear contact lenses if I have dry eyes?

If you have mild to moderate dryness you can still wear contact lenses. Our Optometrist will perform a series of tests to gauge just how dry your eyes are. Certain materials are more suitable for dry eyes, and we will trial you with different types to find the most suitable contact lens. Only very severe dry eyes are not suited to lenses.

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Can contact lenses damage my eyes?

Serious eye infections can occur if the recommended care routine is not followed or if the lenses are over worn. If contact lenses are looked after properly they are very safe.

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Can a contact lens get lost behind my eye?

No. At worst, you might have trouble finding it under the lid; if need be, you can have your optometrist help you get it out.

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Can I sleep in contact lenses?

Yes with a new breed of contact lenses which are now available. These types of lenses allow a high level of oxygen through to the eye. Our optometrist can advise you if your eyes are suitable for this type of extended wear.

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Can I swim in my contact lenses?

Yes and No – Generally it is advised to wear swimming goggles whilst wearing contact lenses when swimming. Daily disposable can be used as long as they are removed after swimming. Supplies of daily contact lenses can be purchased specifically for swimming.

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Can you get varifocal contact lenses?

Yes you can. There are a number of other options such as having one eye for distance and the other for reading (monovision). A consultation with our optometrist and subsequent trial will determine the best type of correction for you.

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Can children wear contact lenses?

Yes – As long as they are able to insert and remove them confidently and safely, and understand the health and hygiene aspects. The individual maturity and motivation of the child is also a key factor ensuring that guidelines are being followed. Many of our younger patients use contact lenses on a part-time basis while playing sports etc. However, they can be used on a full-time basis.

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Why do I need regular checkups?

A lens fitting which is no longer suitable will probably not cause discomfort until significant damage has occurred to the cornea. This is one of the downfalls of soft lenses as they are extremely comfortable.

That’s why it is important to attend for regular check-ups to monitor your corneal health and to ensure the fitting remains correct and will not damage your eyes. We have invested in state-of-the-art equipment to check your corneal health.

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Can I buy my contact lenses elsewhere? Are there better deals to be had over the Internet?

We will look to match contact lens prices over the internet for people on our Practice Plan membership scheme; from any registered UK company (terms and conditions apply).

The monthly cost of us supplying your lenses covers both the lens cost and professional fee charges. Our Practice Plan offers great value for money. When you add up the benefits of being on our scheme it is far better than going elsewhere.

If you decide to separate your supply of contact lenses, it is still very important to have regular contact lens check-ups, expect to pay the unsubsidised rate of around £35 or more for each appointment.

     

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