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Your Guide to Contact Lenses

Can I order contact lens with eyeglasses prescription?
Expiry of contact lens prescriptions
How to order contact lenses?
Understanding your Rx
Which Way Is the Right Way?
Applying your contact lenses
Removing your contact lenses
Contact Lenses and UV Light
Eye Makeup and Contact Lenses
The basics of soft contact lens care: clean, rinse and disinfect

Many people new to contact lenses, and even some experienced wearers, have practical questions about contacts. These tips should help you to deal with some everyday contact lens concerns.

Can I order contact lens with eyeglasses prescription?
The answer is "No". Even if you already have an eyeglass prescription, you need a contact lens prescription that contains additional information in order to order contact lenses. (However, you don't need a prescription for plano contact lenses, i.e. lenses that don't provide vision correction)

A contact lens is a medical device. If it's not prescribed properly, you may not see well. A contact lens that is "swimming" on the surface of the eye can affect vision. More importantly, a poorly fitting lens or one made from a material not well-suited to your eyes can mean discomfort, inflammation, swelling, abrasion, or another problem that could, in rare cases, result in permanent eye tissue damage.

In Australia, you can be fitted for contact lenses by an optometrist. Optometrists also provide instructions on how to insert, remove and clean the contact lenses during consultation. A contact lens prescription is issued as soon as the optometrist is satisfied that the lenses fit and perform correctly.

Expiry of contact lens prescriptions
Contact lens prescriptions are valid for a maxmium of two years. Even if you buy your replacement contacts from another source, you still need to visit your optometrist for regular eye exams and contact lens fittings.When your prescription expires, it is time for an aftercare examination by your optometrist and you won't be able to buy more lenses until you get an updated prescription. Your optometrist will exam your eyes and make sure that you follow the lens care instruction properly and contact lenses aren't adversely affecting your eyes.

How to order contact lenses?
To order contact lenses, you will need a copy of a contact lens prescription that's less than 2 years old unless your prescription has zero power. You don't need a prescription if you are to order colour contact lenses with zero power. You will be required to select the base curve, diameter, power for the lenses and the quantity you wish to order. If your prescription has plano or zero sphere, please select "0.00" for power. You will be asked to select "Addition" for multifocal contact lenses. You will be asked to select "Cylinder" and "Axis" for Toric lenses.

You can repeat a previous order by going to Order Tracking page. Simply click on "repeat contact lens order" link on the page. The contact lenses you ordered will be added to your shopping cart. You can then edit your shopping cart and proceed to check out.

Understanding your Rx

This is a sample of a contact lens prescription.
  BCurve Diameter Sphere Cylinder Axis lens product
RIGHT(O.D.) 8.7 14.4 +4.25 -0.75 020 CooperVision Frequency Xcel Toric
LEFT (O.S.) 8.7 14.4 +4.75 -1.75 030

Sphere,Cylinder, Axis and Near Add
Sphere,Cylinder, Axis and Near Add in a contact lens prescription serve the same purpose as in a eyeglasses prescription. Please visit the understanding your prescription page for details. Although you will find the values in an eyeglasses prescription are not the same as in a contact lens prescription for the same patient.

A contact lens prescription is not the same as an eyeglass prescription.
In addition to the lens power, your contact lens prescription contains Base Curve and Diameter that are related to the size of the lens. It also contains the name of the contact lens product. Even the power of the lenses is generally not the same as in your eyeglass prescription. This is because: the contact lens sits on the surface of your eye, while your eyeglasses sit about 12 mm in front of your eye.

Expiry Date
Your prescription will also contain an expiration date. This is generally the date of your next scheduled aftercare examination. To purchase from us, you may only use a presription that has not expired.

Base Curve (BC or BCurve)
Base Curve values range from about 8.0 to 9.5. The optometrist fits the lens with the curvature most appropriate for your eye. Most lenses come in several different BC values. If your prescription does not contain a BC value, this is likely because your brand of lens only comes in one base curve. BC values are a bit like clothes sizes - just because you are a BC 8.6 in one brand doesn't mean you will be in another.

Which Way Is the Right Way?

A question many newbie wearers have is: "How will I know if my contact lens is inside out?" The difference can be subtle, but before placing a contact lens on your eye, make sure it looks more like half a ball than a soup bowl. Place the lens on your finger so that a cup is formed. Then, hold the lens up directly in front of your eyes so you're looking at the side of the cup. If the lens forms a "U" with the top edges flared out, it's inside out. If it forms just a "U," it's in the correct position.

If you're wearing lenses with a handling tint, another method is to place the lens on your fingertip and then look down at it. The edge of a tinted lens should look very blue (or green, depending on the tint); that won't be the case if the lens is inverted.

Some contact lenses also have a laser marking, such as the brand name, on the edge to help you. If you can read it properly, the lens is not inside out. Don't worry if you place a contact lens in your eye inside out. The lens will feel uncomfortable, but it can't do any damage.

Applying Your Contact Lenses
Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands before applying your contact lens, but avoid overly scented or oily soaps that might adhere to the lens surface. Especially avoid using products containing lanolin. It is a good idea to always apply the first contact lens in the same eye, so that you avoid the possibility of mixing up lenses for the right eye and left eye.

Gently shake your lens case containing the storage solution, to loosen the contact lens should it be stuck. (Don't try pulling at the lens with your finger, or you might damage it.)

Slide the lens out of its case and into the palm of your hand. Rinse thoroughly with the appropriate contact lens solution.

Place the contact lens on the tip of your index or middle finger, which should be dry or mostly dry.

With the fingers and thumb of your other hand, simultaneously pull up on your upper eyelid and down on your lower eyelid.

Position the lens on your eye while looking upward or forward, whichever you find to be easier. You also can apply the contact lens by placing it on the white of the eye closest to your ear.

Roll your eyes in a complete circle to help the lens settle, then blink.

Removing Your Contact Lenses
Always wash your hands before removing contact lenses. If you are standing in front of a sink, make sure you use a clean paper towel to cover the drain where the contact lens might accidentally fall.

To remove soft contact lenses, look upward or sideways while you pull down on your lower eyelid. With a finger, gently maneuver the lens onto the white of your eye. There, you can very gently pinch the lens together with your index finger and thumb and lift it off the eye. Until you master contact lens removal, you might consider keeping your fingernails clipped to avoid accidentally scratching and damaging your eye.

Rigid contact lenses can be removed by holding out the palm of your hand, bending over, and then opening your eye wide. With one finger of your other hand, pull on the skin of your eye's outside corner straight out toward your ear with your eye wide open. Then blink. The contact lens should pop right out and into your open palm.

Contact Lenses and UV Light

Researchers have linked ultraviolet (UV) light to the formation of cataracts. Exposure to excessive UV light also may result in a condition called photokeratitis.

That's why some lenses now incorporate a UV-blocking agent. You can't tell if a contact lens has a UV blocker just by looking at it — the blocker is provided in clear form, so as not to disturb vision. The contact lens packaging will specify if the product has a UV blocker.

It's very important to remember that UV-blocking contacts are not meant to replace sunglasses. A contact lens covers only your cornea, not your entire eye. However, UV-blocking contact lenses do help protect the portion of the white of your eye that is covered from formation of growths such as pingueculae and pterygia. A sunglass with UV protection can cover more of your eye and the parts of your face that surround the eye, depending on the size of the sunglass lens. That's why contacts with UV blockers are designed to complement sunglass use as an added protection.

Eye Makeup and Contact Lenses

Getting makeup in your eye is annoying. But it's even worse with contacts, because it can stick to the lenses instead of flushing right out. Follow these tips to keep your eyes looking and feeling good:

Put in your contact lenses before applying makeup. And always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your contacts, so you won't transfer any oils, creams, or lotions to the lenses.

Cream eye shadow is less likely to get in your eye than powder. However, creams can also irritate your eyes more if they do make it into your eyes. Choose water-based rather than oil-based creams.

If you prefer powder, keep your eyes closed during application. Then, brush off any excess powder before opening your eye.

Never apply eyeliner between your lashes and your eye. Apply eyeliner only on the portion of your lashes that is well away from your eye.

To remove eye makeup, wash and dry your hands. Then remove your contacts, being careful not to bump them into any makeup. Finally, use your eye makeup remover.


The Basics of Soft Contact Lens Care: Clean, Rinse and Disinfect
Wash your hands so that you don't transfer dirt and germs to your eye. Try to avoid moisturizing soaps, as they are not good for contact lenses. Dry your hands with a lint-free towel.

Remove one lens and clean it with the recommended solution. Cleaning removes eye-produced buildup, cosmetics and other debris that impairs lens comfort. The FDA recommends that you rub the lens in the palm of your hand with a few drops of solution, even if you are using a "no-rub" product.

Rinse the lens again to remove the loosened debris, making sure to take as long as the package directs: rinsing is an important step.

Place the lens in your clean lens case or lens holder and fill with fresh solution; don't "top off" your old solution. Disinfecting kills microorganisms on the lens. Disinfection time varies from product to product; check the package for details.
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