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Are you tired of wearing glasses every day and not comfortable undergoing LASIK eye surgery? If so, contact lenses may be the best option for your vision needs. Nearly 30 million Americans wear contact lenses, according to the CDC. Here in Oklahoma City, our optometrist Dr. Boaldin has helped hundreds of patients just like you make the leap from glasses to contact lenses. Below, Dr. Boaldin answers five of the most frequently asked questions about contact lenses:
How do contact lenses work?
Contact lenses, like eyeglasses, are meant to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Soft contacts are one of the most popular types of contact lenses. They are made from gel-like, water-containing plastics and cover the entire cornea. Contacts are either daily wear (remove at night for cleaning) or extended wear (can be worn for up to seven days without removal and can be worn overnight). According to Contact Lens Spectrum, the most commonly prescribed lenses are “frequent replacement lenses”, which should be discarded monthly; nearly 45% of all patients wear these. Disposable lenses (discarded every two weeks or sooner) are the second mostly commonly prescribed; 30% of all patients wear these. At 23%, daily disposables are the third most commonly prescribed. A small percentage of patients (2%) wear gas permeable lenses that are discarded annually.
Is it safe to swim with contact lenses?
If you wish to wear contact lenses while swimming, our Oklahoma City optometrist recommends wearing goggles. While swimming is not usually a problem with contact lenses, water can change the way your contact lenses fit. Additionally, even with chlorine, contaminated water in a swimming pool or hot tub could lead to a painful eye infection. Err on the side of caution and wear one-day contacts that are meant to be thrown away without ever cleaning or disinfecting them.
What are gas permeable contacts?
Gas permeable contacts, also known as GP lenses, are made from a rigid oxygen permeable material so the lenses retain their shape in your eye and do not conform to the shape of the underlying cornea. Our contact lens specialist typically recommends GP lenses for patients with mild to moderate keratoconus. GP lenses correct irregularities in the cornea with a smooth, uniform surface that significantly improves light focus on the retina.
Can I still wear contacts if I have astigmatism?
Yes, even if you have been diagnosed with astigmatism, you may still wear contact lenses. Toric contact lenses are lenses that have been specially designed to correct for astigmatism. Since fitting toric lenses is more difficult that fitting regular soft lenses, sometimes several options must be tried in order to achieve the best possible vision, fit and comfort level. Our Oklahoma City optometrist Dr. Boaldin has helped many patients with astigmatism successfully wear contact lenses.
How do I know which contacts are right for me?
Dr. Boaldin will first complete a comprehensive eye exam and then discuss your different contact lens options based on your vision needs. Our goal is to help every patient feel comfortable and confident wearing their new contacts!
Great place! Great staff! The appointment process was easy with hours to accommodate all schedules! Thank you!