Where to start?
Deciding to wear contact lenses for the first time can be an intimidating choice. The Nuvo team is here to answer any questions you may have, and highlight the key points of the process so that you feel comfortable and confident in your decision. Contact lenses are amazing medical devices, and can easily fit into your lifestyle whether it be for full-time wear or task-specific use.
If you’re interested in contact lenses, make sure to mention it at the time of booking. This way we can ensure that enough time is allotted for your eye exam and contact lens fitting. There are many different types of contact lenses that are made for different frequencies of use.
During your exam with your Optometrist, measurements and material assessment will be made to prescribe the best option for your new contact lenses. The Eye Doctor will take the time to discuss lifestyle options and understand when and how contacts will best suit your visual needs. You may want to wear them full-time, part-time or for specific tasks (ex: for sports).
After your fitting, you’ll meet with a Nuvo technician to practice insertion and removal of your contacts. We’ll take the time you need to develop the skills and confidence required for proper contact lens manipulation. You will also practice and review the recommended cleaning regime to ensure your contacts perform their best, and to keep your eyes healthy!
Q & A with the Nuvo Doctors!
We answer many questions about contact lenses every day. Here are a few key answers right from the best source!
How do I know if contacts are right for me?
“Contact lenses are an excellent choice for those looking for an alternative to traditional glasses or laser surgery. They are now available to fit almost any prescription, so most patients are able to wear them. When you come in for your routine eye exam, we can assess your needs and perform a contact lens examination in order to prescribe the best fit for your particular eyes. It’s important to note that since contact lenses sit right on your eyes, there are several essential measurements and verifications that need to be performed, beyond simply finding the right lens power. As such, our contact lens exam will assure we end up with good vision in a comfortable and safe lens.”
How old do I have to be to wear contacts?
“There is no definite age for contact lens wearers. The advice I give to patients (and parents of children exploring contact lenses) is to make sure you are ready for the responsibility. If you are willing to make the commitment to practice and learn the proper disinfecting process, there shouldn’t be any issues fitting contact lenses. When we discuss it during your exam, I will make sure you understand the benefits and requirements for proper care of contact lenses. Then, together, we will make the right decision for your vision needs.
Quick tip: If you’re worried about your kids following a cleaning routine, I suggest taking a closer look at a daily option. Other than washing one’s hands, there’s no additional cleaning required!”
What happens if I sleep with my contacts in?
“There’s no real damage if you happen to fall asleep for a quick nap, but it’s definitely not recommended to sleep overnight with your contact lenses in.
When you sleep for an extended period of time with your contacts, you’re basically suffocating your cornea. Your contact create a barrier that blocks not only oxygen exchange, but also proper lubrication and nourishment overnight. This opens you up to bacteria buildup, infections, corneal ulcers, and more. Basically, it’s very unhealthy, and puts your eyes at risk.”
Can I wear contacts just for sports?
“Yes, you absolutely can! Many people decide to wear contacts for specific tasks or sports. Contacts are a great option for sports because they eliminate any worry you might have about glasses breakage (especially in contact sports) or the inconvenience of wearing glasses under a helmet (eg. hockey).
I’ve also known many artists who prefer wearing contact lenses while they are creating. For example, they don’t have to worry about paint splatters on their frames, and they don’t have to worry about fitting their glasses under a safety mask when sculpting with metal or various materials.
Daily lenses are available in most prescriptions (including multifocal powers) and come in boxes of 30 or 90 lenses! There’s no upkeep required, since the lenses are good for one time use only and are thrown out afterwards!”
What is Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)?
“In a nutshell, ortho-K is a safe, non-surgical alternative to laser surgery and traditional contacts or glasses. With the use of custom, oxygen-permeable contact lenses worn at night during sleep, you can have clear vision for the whole day without the use of conventional eyewear!
The concept is simple, really. When you wear your ortho-K lenses at night, they reshape your corneal surface and correct your vision! Take them out in the morning, and see clearly!
The process is usually recommended for those with myopia and some astigmatism, but candidacy varies based on the individual. The best way to know if you qualify for Ortho-k is to book a consultation, and together we can see what your options are.”
Can I swim with my contacts?
“I recommend wearing goggles when swimming with contact lenses (and even without them!). Pools and other bodies or water can be contaminated with microbacteria/microorganisms which can cause infections. And you risk losing your contacts without the added protection from a good pair of goggles.
I myself go scubba diving often, and know first hand how effective contact lenses are with goggles. The experience is much more rewarding when your vision is crisp and clear!”
I want to try colour contacts... where do I start?
“Colour contacts can be a beautiful option for you with the proper prescription from your Optometrist. At Nuvo, we work mainly with Air Optix Colours. A name brand we trust and know well. These lenses come in a wide variety of colours and are available with or without prescription. Visit www.airoptixcolors.ca and check out their Color Studio to see their selection or visit either Nuvo location to try on the different colours available! These monthly lenses are available in 6 packs and 2 packs, for those who wish to wear them only part-time.
When it comes to costume/Halloween contact lenses, remember to consult your Optometrist before purchasing. Many lenses on the market are not safe to use and could cause infections, corneal abrasions or vision loss. Only a licensed professional can make a proper recommendation for trusted products, and can teach you the proper care of these medical devices.”
Contacts or laser surgery? What should I consider?
“There is much to consider when it comes to deciding between contact lenses and laser surgery. Though both options are great, here are a few key points to remember:
1. Candidacy: While most prescriptions are available in contacts, there are some restrictions when it comes to laser surgery. During your full eye exam, we can determine which choice is best.
2. Prescription Stability: For laser surgery to be most successful for a long period of time, it is necessary to see a stable trend in your vision. Your age can also contribute to the progression of your sight from year to year. If your candidacy for laser surgery falls short, contact lenses are a great way to live glasses-free! Every person is different, a quick consult with your Eye Doctor will determine what procedure is best for you.
3. Recovery Time vs Adaptation Period: With laser surgery, recovery time varies from one person to the next, through it’s usually expected to give yourself 24-72 hours for your eyes to initially heal. Regular follow ups for up to one year after you surgery are needed to ensure your vision is stable and healthy.
For contacts, new wearers can expect about a 2 week adaptation period. We recommend a gradual build in wear time after you first learn how to insert and remove your lenses. This eases your eyes into full-day use and reduces eye strain or fatigue that may accompany the new process. After all, it may take 2-3 tries before properly inserting and removing contacts during those first two weeks. But that’s normal! Practice makes perfect!
4. Freedom from Forgetfulness: The one advantage that laser surgery may have over contacts is freedom from having to remember to travel with contacts, solution or glasses.
If you’re weighing the options between laser surgery and contacts, we’ll take the time to discuss the pros and cons for your lifestyle together at your next eye exam!”