FAQ about Contacts
If you have questions pertaining to your order on Alensa, and not to contact lenses in general, please refer to our order FAQ page.
Beginning with contact lenses
- 1. At what age can I start wearing contact lenses, and are they safe for kids?
- 2. Can contact lenses fall out of my eyes?
- 3. Can I sleep in my contacts?
- 4. Do contact lenses hurt or cause discomfort?
- 5. Are contacts difficult to insert and remove?
- 6. Can a contact lens slip behind the eye, get stuck, or get lost?
- 7. How can I tell if a contact lens is inside out?
- 8. Can coloured contact lenses affect my colour vision?
- 9. How many days does one box of contact lenses last?
Buying contact lenses online
- 10. I already know the grade (strength or prescription) of my glasses. Can I use the same prescription to order my contact lenses?
- 11. Are contact lenses expensive?
- 12. How do I read and interpret my prescription?
- 13. Is there any difference between the right and the left contact lens?
- 14. Can I buy contact lenses without a prescription in the UK?
- 15. Is it safe to buy contact lenses online?
- 16. Can I get trial lenses here?
- 17. Can I order lenses or solutions I haven’t tried before?
- 18. Can I order optician brands, such as Easyvision lenses from Specsavers, iWear or Boots lenses, here on Alensa?
Caring for contact lenses
- 19. How do I take care of my contact lenses?
- 20. What is "contact lens rubbing" and why is it important?
- 21. Can I use tap water to clean or store my lenses?
- 22. Should I apply eye drops before or after inserting the contact lenses?
- 23. How can I prevent make-up from getting on my contacts?
Sports and special considerations
- 24. Can I play sports with contacts?
- 25. Can I swim wearing my contact lenses?
- 26. Can I wear my contacts in the shower or bath, or in a sauna or steam room?
- 27. Can I wear contact lenses on a sunbed or while tanning?
- 28. Can I use contacts if I have very dry eyes?
- 29. Can I wear contacts if I have allergies?
- 30. Can I wear contact lenses longer than the recommended period of time?
- 31. Can I still use my lenses once they’ve expired?
Beginning with contact lenses
If you’re just starting with lenses and have some concerns or questions about contacts, take a look at the following. You may find the answers you’re looking for right here.
1. At what age can I start wearing contact lenses, and are they safe for kids?
Contact lens wear is not limited by age. Contact lenses are worn by children as well as people of advanced age. Learn more about how your vision changes over the years on our blog.
They do take some getting used to, and you’ll need to learn how to insert and remove them, as well as how to practise good hygiene and proper lens care. Though contact lenses are perfectly safe for kids, it starts with a recommendation and some thorough instructions from your family’s optician. The motivation and willingness of children to follow a strict lens care and hygiene regimen can be a deciding factor as to whether or not they are ready to wear contact lenses.
2. Can contact lenses fall out of my eyes?
If you are wearing the most suitable lenses for your eyes and you insert and remove the contact lenses correctly, they should stay in place. In rare instances, a lens may temporarily slide out of place, but it will stay on your eye until you shift it back into place.
3. Can I sleep in my contacts?
Only contact lenses specifically designed for extended or continuous wear can be worn while sleeping. You should never wear lenses continuously unless it has been advised by your eye-care professional. In all other cases, you should follow the replacement schedule indicated by the manufacturer and take out your lenses before going to sleep.
4. Do contact lenses hurt or cause discomfort?
A contact lens that has been fitted to your eye will never be painful or uncomfortable. In fact, you should almost be able to forget you’re even wearing them. First-time users may experience some discomfort during the initial days of wearing, and you’ll probably notice some discomfort if the lens is inside out. In both cases, though, this discomfort will disappear quickly after your eye gets used to the lens or after flipping the lens right side out to its correct position. If you do experience any sustained discomfort or pain, consult your eye-care specialist immediately.
5. Are contacts difficult to insert and remove?
6. Can a contact lens slip behind the eye, get stuck, or get lost?
Good news! Your lenses can never slip and get lost behind your eyes! The anatomy of the eye makes this impossible. You can read more about these kinds of contact lens myths on our blog. A dry lens can potentially get trapped under the upper eyelid, but don’t worry. To release it, just close your eye, gently massage your eyelid, and then blink a few times. Apply eye drops or an appropriate wetting agent to help manoeuvre the lens back into place. A properly fitted lens will easily slide back into its place.
7. How can I tell if a contact lens is inside out?
Some lenses are equipped with laser engravings of letters or numbers that allow you to see whether it is inside out. However, if a lens is not engraved, or you simply cannot see it, you can also check the shape of the lens by placing it on the tip of your finger. The shape you’re looking for is smooth, with the edges facing upward, like half of a ball. When the edges face outward, like the rim of a bowl, the lens is inside out and needs to be flipped.
8. Can coloured contact lenses affect my colour vision?
The human eye sees the world through the black pupil in the centre of the colourful iris. Coloured contact lenses are clear in the centre, therefore they only modify the colour of the iris. Your vision remains unchanged. However, it is possible that your vision may be slightly affected in low-light conditions when your pupil dilates. The diameter of this clear part of coloured lenses is standardised by the manufacturer in order to suit the vast majority of users.
If you’ve considered changing your eye colour, have a look at our guide to coloured contact lenses to pick up some more tips.
9. How many days does one box of contact lenses last?
The number of lenses in the package
does not indicate a number of pairs. If you have the same prescription for both
eyes, the boxes will last as follows:
- One box of 30 daily
disposable contact lenses will last 15 days
- One box of 6 monthly
contact lenses will last 3 months
- One box of 3 monthly contact
lenses will give you one pair and a spare lens
- One box of 6 biweekly contact lenses will give you 3 pairs lasting 6 weeks
Buying contact lenses online
Buying contact lenses online is easy and cost-effective. If you have a valid prescription from your optician, you are free to buy your lenses online, and not just on the high street. If you have more questions about online ordering, we’re here to help.
10. I already know the grade (strength or prescription) of my glasses. Can I use the same prescription to order my contact lenses?
Your glasses prescription is not the same as a contact lens prescription in most cases - especially with high grades. Contact lenses are worn are closer to the eye than glasses, which leads to a change in parameters.
Another equally important parameter for contact lenses is the curve of the cornea. The curve of the lens must fit exactly to the curve of your cornea. Start your switch to contact lenses by first scheduling an eye exam. Your eye care professional (optometrist or contact lens specialist) will then determine your curve parameter and the grade that is best for you.
11. Are contact lenses expensive?
It’s true that contact lenses are a bit of an investment. However, they offer many benefits over standard eyeglasses and can even turn out cheaper, in some cases. Your budget and lifestyle considerations are a good place to start. Will you wear them every day, or only occasionally? At Alensa, we offer a wide variety of affordable lenses to give you the lowest cost-per-wear possible. Read more about our commitment to competitive prices on our Lowest Price guarantee page.
12. How do I read and interpret my prescription?Are you finding it difficult to read all those numbers, values, and parameters on your lens prescription? Perhaps our useful guide to reading your prescription might be helpful.
13. Is there any difference between the right and the left contact lens?
If you have the same prescription parameters for both eyes, then there is no difference between the right and the left lens. If this is the case, you can buy one box of contact lenses and use them for both eyes. If you require a different prescription for your left and right eye, you'll need a minimum of 2 boxes. It’s a good idea to label the boxes with an “L” and “R” so you will know each time you insert a new pair of lenses. For the purpose of ordering on Alensa, there is no difference between the left and right eye when entering your parameters. Simply click on +Select attributes for second eye to proceed.
14. Can I buy contact lenses without a prescription in the UK?
According to UK law, it is permitted to buy contact lenses online without providing your prescription. The buyer must possess a valid prescription from a licensed eye-care provider, but the seller is not required to validate this. Read more about buying lenses without prescription.
15. Is it safe to buy contact lenses online?
It’s always important to be vigilant when shopping online, especially for contact lenses. We know how important it is to keep your precious eyes safe, healthy, and happy. That’s why we supply only original products purchased directly from the world’s most respected manufacturers. If there’s ever a problem with one of your lenses, we’ll go directly to the source to solve it. And, we work with some of the most trusted delivery companies, so you can be sure your order will arrive safe, sound, and on time.
16. Can I get trial lenses here?
Only your optician or eye-care professional is authorised to provide you with trial lenses after a thorough examination. The exception to this rule is our TopVue brand of lenses, which comes with a #. If you are not satisfied for any reason, you are welcome to return the unused lenses for a full refund.
17. Can I order lenses or solutions I haven’t tried before?
Order only contact lenses that have been prescribed for you by an eye-care specialist. Changing to a new brand or type without the advice of a specialist always poses a risk that the new lenses will not suit you, causing discomfort or more serious health complications. The same applies to contact lens solutions.
18. Can I order optician brands, such as Easyvision lenses from Specsavers, iWear or Boots lenses, here on Alensa?
Many high street opticians and optical shops, such as Specsavers, iWear, Boots, Optical Express, Vision Express and more, offer their own brands of contact lenses, which you may be familiar with. These are usually repackaged, private label versions of brand-name lenses from trusted producers like CooperVision, Bausch & Lomb and Alcon. This means you will easily find those same lenses here on Alensa under a different name. Have a look at our overview of optician brands and their alternative names on Alensa.
Caring for contact lenses
Contact lenses require proper care, attention, and hygiene. Here are a few of the most common questions regarding caring for lenses.
19. How do I take care of my contact lenses?
Contact lens care is very easy and does not require much effort. Today’s soft, reusable contact lenses require just one type of solution for cleaning, rinsing, and storage. And, if you’re wearing daily disposable contact lenses, you don’t need to worry about cleaning or storage. Simply throw them away at the end of each day.
20. What is "contact lens rubbing" and why is it important?
Rubbing the lenses should always be a part of the cleaning process, either before you place them in their case at night or when you rinse them before insertion in the morning. Put the lens in your palm with some all-purpose solution, and rub it gently with your finger. Rubbing the lens with solution significantly decreases the amount of deposits that remain on the lens after disinfection. There are many “NO RUB” multi-purpose solutions on the market that promise instant disinfection on contact, but the benefits of giving your lenses a quick rub are undeniable. It’s an easy habit to adopt that can help keep your lenses cleaner and clearer and your eyes healthier.
21. Can I use tap water to clean or store my lenses?
Do not, under any circumstance, use water or any other liquid (including saliva) to clean or store contact lenses. Tap water, and even bottled or distilled water, may carry bacteria and cause serious health problems! Avoid this serious contact lens faux pas by only using professionally designed contact lens solutions for your lens care. This means it’s even more important to plan ahead if you’re travelling, hitting the gym, or even anticipating a late night at the office. Always have a back-up lens case and travel bottle of solution so you won't be caught unprepared when away from home. Be sure to also read through our extended Dos and Don'ts guide to caring for your contacts.
22. Should I apply eye drops before or after inserting the contact lenses?
Eye drops are actually artificial tears that lubricate and protect your eyes, so it’s perfectly safe to apply them either before or after inserting your lenses.
It is recommended for contact lens wearers to apply highly viscous (gel) eye drops before inserting their lenses. This will enable the eye drops to spread throughout the eye, making application of contact lenses easier and more comfortable.
23. How can I prevent make-up from getting on my contacts?
Make-up and contact lenses can coexist, but the key is caution!
- Avoid oily or creamy make-ups
- Try to use water-based and non-allergenic products
- Put in your contacts before applying make-up and take them out before removing make-up
- Wash your hands well
- When using powders, close your eyes during the application and brush off any excess before opening them again
- Don’t apply liners or mascaras too close to the eyeball, and
avoid so-called “lash-building” mascaras that contain fibres
Lastly, don’t forget to replace your products and wash your brushes and sponges frequently to prevent the build-up and spread of bacteria and other impurities. Your eyes are even more vulnerable than your delicate skin, so take care when applying any products around the eye area.
Sports and special considerations
If you’re an avid (or occasional) athlete or have other questions about wearing contact lenses in your everyday life, read on for answers to some commonly asked questions.
24. Can I play sports with contacts?
One of the great advantages of contacts over eye glasses is the ability to play sports while wearing them. They offer improved peripheral vision, are comfortable and not affected by weather conditions like rain or fog, and allow the athlete to wear protective headgear safely and comfortably. It’s safe to say contacts are the way to go if you need vision correction while playing any type of sport.
25. Can I swim wearing my contact lenses?
Swimming in contact lenses, whether in the sea, rivers, lakes or swimming pools, poses a significant risk to the health of your eyes. In short, contact lenses should never be exposed to water. If you do open your eyes under water, remove the lenses within 10-15 minutes, and do not use them again. Sea water can cause the lenses to dry out and stick to the cornea. Always wear water-tight, protective swimming goggles if you cannot avoid wearing your lenses while swimming.
26. Can I wear my contacts in the shower or bath, or in a sauna or steam room?
Tap water and sweat contain bacteria and should never come into contact with your lenses. Soaps and other chemicals in your shower products can also be dangerous for your eyes. Wearing lenses in these hot, dry, or steamy environments can dry out and distort lenses significantly, causing pain, discomfort, irritation, and difficulty removing them. Therefore, the message is clear: remove your lenses before taking a shower, getting in the tub or entering a sauna or steam room. Read more about why wearing contacts in the sauna or steam room is a big no-no on our blog.
27. Can I wear contact lenses on a sunbed or while tanning?
The biggest risk involved in wearing your contacts while on a tanning bed is the fact that the heat will cause them to dry out, which makes your lenses difficult to remove and causes irritation. In any case, it's best to remove the lenses beforehand. Wearing protective eye goggles will also keep your eyes and lenses safe. Don't worry though, your contacts won't melt!
28. Can I use contacts if I have very dry eyes?
Even those who suffer from dry eye syndrome are able to wear lenses. Consult your eye-care professional for a thorough examination and recommendation before beginning to wear lenses, however.
29. Can I wear contacts if I have allergies?
Seasonal allergies will not prevent you from wearing contact lenses, as long as you take proper care of them. This means:
- Reduce the wearing time
- Consult a contact lens specialist about the best type of cleaning solution for the period when your allergies are severe
- Use daily disposable lenses
30. Can I wear contact lenses longer than the recommended period of time?
With our busy lifestyles, it’s all too easy to wear lenses longer than the recommended wearing time. We may get complacent, or simply be unaware, or find that our tight budgets make buying a new set of lenses a bit of a financial burden. However, it’s critical to respect the prescribed wearing time of your lenses and not try to “stretch” their use longer than prescribed.
Deposit formation and contamination begin as soon as the lens is first removed from its sealed blister. Deposits can be organic, and come from the natural tear film, for example, or inorganic. Inorganic deposits come from external, environmental sources, and can include dirt, pollen, allergens, and other bacteria from foreign (microscopic) bodies entering the eye. Despite your best efforts to clean and preserve your lenses, they do have a limited window of viability. These deposits can become toxic over time, leading to reduced oxygen permeability and increased risk of keratitis and corneal ulcers. Reduced oxygen permeability can cause discomfort, blurriness, or red, irritated eyes.
31. Can I still use my lenses once they’ve expired?
The expiration date on any contact lens box indicates the length of time that those lenses will be free from distortion and contamination, and those dates are there to protect you. It is strongly advised to not use lenses that have passed the expiration date, as their safety can no longer be assured and you'd be putting your eyes at risk. Look at it this way: you wouldn't eat locally grown butter lettuce after it expired. Put the health of your eye holes first and don't use expired lenses or eye care products.