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Contact Lens FAQ

How many different types of contact lenses are there?

There are many choices, as seen below, depending on your specific vision needs. Our team of doctors and clinical staff help patients achieve their goals with contact-lens wear.

  •     Soft Disposable
  •     Continuous Overnight Wear
  •     Soft Astigmatism
  •     Daily disposable
  •     Bifocal and Progressive (Soft and Gas Permeable)
  •     Gas Permeable (Daily and Continuous wear)
  •     After Refractive surgery (Post Radial Keratotomy and Lasik)
  •     Keratoconus and Corneal Disease

What are the costs associated with wearing contact lenses?

Contact-lens wearers pay the cost of the lenses themselves but there is an additional professional fee because of the testing, evaluation and followup that is outside the scope of a normal eye exam. The fee is determined by the complexity of the patient’s case and the anticipated professional time required. The fees start at $50. We will gladly help you understand your insurance contribution to these fees.

I don’t know if I can put something in my eye. Yikes!

Putting in contact lenses is a learned task. With practice and experienced trainers, nearly everyone can be taught to insert a contact lens. Motivation is key… and overcoming the eye’s normal blink reflex.

How old does my child have to be to wear contact lenses?

Since we fit infants who have had cataract surgery with contact lenses, there really is no minimum age. However, for routine cases, a child’s maturity is a critical component in deciding when the patient is “ready.” High prescriptions and/or need for better vision during sports activities may be reasons to fit a child on a part- or fulltime basis at an early age. Typically, we will start to consider contact lenses at around age 9.

Are contact lenses safe?

In general, yes, contact lens wear is very safe. Infections, even sight-threatening complications, can occur. Fortunately, these are rare. It is important to wear your contacts as prescribed and to follow your doctor’s recommendations for wearing time and replacement. Poor hygiene, improper storage or solution use or overuse are risk factors for complications.

My eyes are dry. Are there some lenses that are better than others for dry eye patients?

Dry eye is one of the most common conditions we treat in our patients. By choosing the correct material, solutions and careful treatment of dry eye causative factors, we generally can provide comfortable contact-lens wear for our dry eye patients.

Is it safe to sleep in contact lenses?

Technology has definitely changed our answer here. Newer highly oxygen permeable soft and gas permeable lenses offer dramatically improved safety versus the older “extended wear” lenses. We fit lenses that are approved for 30-day continuous wear.

What solutions should I use?

All solutions are not alike. Your doctor will recommend a solution that is most compatible with your eyes and your contact-lens material. It is important to follow the recommendations as irritating or even more severe eye problems can occur through the improper use of contact lens solutions.

Are there contact lenses that are better for sports?

First, contact lenses offer greatly improved central and peripheral vision with less distortion compared to glasses. Many of our weekend golfers prefer part-time wear with daily disposable lenses. We routinely work with amateur, professional and weekend athletes to enhance visual performance in sports.

If I wear bifocals, can I wear contact lenses?

One of the most rapidly growing sectors of our contact lens practice is the “progressive” lens crowd. Progressive sounds so much better than bifocal doesn’t it?! With older contact- lens designs, the best option was to fit patients in monovision. In this manner, the two eyes work together to provide distance and near vision, even though one eye is more focused for near, and the other for far. It is now much more common for us to choose a multifocal contact-lens design for our patients. The improvement in materials and design often affords our patients good distance, computer and near vision with less dependence on glasses. Further, with both eyes working together, we avoid one of the potential drawbacks previously encountered in monovision.

Are there colored contacts I can wear on weekends or for special occasions?

Yes, there are colored contacts that can be worn every day or part-time for special occasions. The colors are plentiful. Some change eye color in a dramatic way, while others are more subtle. We frequently use daily disposable colors which are inexpensive and very comfortable for the patient that wants to enhance her eye color to match an outfit or to go out on the town.

I have had laser surgery and still need some correction. Can I wear contacts?

In most cases, yes. You need an experienced doctor who is knowledgeable about the right contact-lens materials for your eyes and has a deep understanding of the surgical procedure you had. Armed with this knowledge and with your goals well established, most patients still can wear contact lenses comfortably after PRK or LASIK surgery.

What if I am not sure? Do you do trials?

Yes! Understand that we are far more concerned with you having contact lenses that work. For that reason, we generally offer trial periods for you to wear contacts at home and at your office. Your feedback is important to us in adjusting any fit, comfort or vision needs before ordering the final contacts. As mentioned before, in fitting, refitting or evaluating contact lenses, there are professional fees that cover the doctor and professional staff involvement and are based on the time and complexity of your case. For example, an experienced wearer changing from a traditional soft lens to a higher oxygen soft lens will usually have a lower investment of professional fees as compared to a new patient who has never worn contact lenses and wants to wear multifocal lenses. These are non-refundable service fees. Only when you and the doctor are satisfied with the success of your contact lenses will your full material fees be collected and an annual supply of lenses ordered.

I am very busy and generally like to order my full year’s supply. Is that OK?

Not only is it OK, but it is also recommended in most cases. We realize you are busy and having your full year’s supply assures you will not run out, wear your lenses too long (an increased health risk), or pay a higher price. Cool Springs and Donelson EyeCare discount any annual supply order of four boxes or more and ships for free.