Contact Lens FAQ

Click on any of the questions below to see our answer.

With modern lens materials and designs, most people can find lenses that are suitable and comfortable. We will advise you if there is any reason why lenses may not be for you and will help you find the best alternative.

Yes. The average age teenagers start wearing lenses is 13; however, children as young as 8 can be mature enough to wear and care for contact lenses. Successful lens wear depends more on responsibility and attitude than age. With contact lens wear, self-confidence grows enormously in teenagers. We can help you decide if your child is ready for contact lenses.

People of all ages wear contact lenses, including many older adults, thanks to multifocal contact lenses. Contact lens materials now provide better all-day comfort than ever before, so the problem of dry eye that increases with age is less of an issue.

In the past this may have been the case but lenses today are extremely comfortable and require only a few minutes to get used to. After a short time people often don’t even know they have anything on their eyes. You can come and try them before making any commitment.

No. The structure of your eye does not allow this to happen. Sometimes lenses become dislodged and move under the lids. If this happens they can be easily repositioned. If you’re struggling, our staff would be happy to show you how.

Typically yes. Depending on the sport, we may advise protective eyewear as well but generally contact lenses are an ideal solution for sports in which glasses are impractical. They can even improve your sports performance because they provide large fields of vision, they don’t mist up when you get hot and they don’t slip down your nose.

When you come for a lens fitting, one of our optometrists will take some measurements from your eyes, select an appropriate lens based on these measurements and your wearing requirements, put the lens onto your eye, and assess your vision, comfort and fit after about 20 minutes. Assuming the lenses fit and you are happy, we will order a small batch of lenses for you to try for a couple of weeks, before finally assessing the lenses and introducing you to our lens scheme.

A contact lens fitting at Malcolm Gray costs £60. This includes the initial fitting, guidance on how to put lenses in and take them out for yourself, the initial batch of lenses for your two-week trial and the follow-up assessment.

This depends on the lenses you choose. Daily disposable lenses cost about £1 per pair. Monthly replacement lenses start from about £18 per month including solutions and gas permeable lenses work out about the same. Multifocal lenses are more expensive at about £1.50 per pair for daily disposables. As a contact lens wearer you will be required to have either a six-monthly or annual assessment to ensure your eyes are still healthy and that the lenses are the optimum fit. This assessment costs £35.

It’s not hard. Most people master the process after an hour of tuition by our expert contact lens clinical assistant. It gets easier with practice an,d provided you stick to the methods we teach, you shouldn’t encounter any difficulties.

We don’t recommend it. Just like glasses, contact lenses are medical devices that require a specification. Everyone’s eyesight and eyes are unique and only an optician can properly measure your need for correction as well as determining which size and type of contact lens is best for you. Also, many of the changes that can occur to your vision and eye health over time can only be detected using highly specialised equipment and procedures. To keep your vision sharp and your eyes healthy, we recommend an annual assessment.

We don’t recommend swimming in lenses due to the risk of infection from the swimming pool water.

This is not recommended due to the increased risk of getting an eye infection.

Generally yes. When you use a computer your blink rate decreases, which can lead to lens discomfort. This can easily be managed by taking regular breaks, remembering to blink more often and following the advice of your contact lens optician.

Yes, provided you follow a few simple rules.

Do

  • Put your lenses in before you put your make-up on
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before you apply your lenses
  • Apply eye shadow and liner gently, so you don’t jostle or damage your lenses,
  • Use oil-free and fragrance-free eye make-up
  • Use water-resistant mascara and eyeliner to prevent flaking and smudging
  • Replace your mascara every month
  • Replace your eyeliner every three months
  • Replace your eye shadows every six months
  • Remove your lenses before you remove your eye make-up
  • Remove your eye make-up every day with a hypoallergenic, oil-free remover and call us if you have any redness, pain, swelling or irritation

Don’t

  • Wear make-up (or put in your lenses) if your eyes are swollen, red or infected
  • Use saliva to apply eye shadow, liquid eyeliner or to try to get one more use out of old mascara
  • Apply eyeliner to your inner eye lid (inside the lashes)
  • Apply mascara at the base of your lashes – start from the midpoint and extend to the tips
  • Use mascara with ‘lash-building fibres’ as they can damage your lenses.

Yes, but be aware of the rules. You are allowed to carry small amounts (usually up to 100ml) of liquids, including eye drops, with you onto a plane. Volumes greater than that may only be permitted in your checked baggage. Always check with your airline before you fly. It’s a good idea to bring along two extra pairs of lenses in case you lose or damage your current pair. Aircraft cabins are often very dry and may cause your lenses to feel less comfortable than usual, so carry a travel size bottle of rewetting drops just in case. For maximum comfort, consider applying a fresh pair of lenses when you reach your destination.

Some lenses can be worn on an extended wear basis, which means you can sleep in them overnight. Daily wear lenses must not be worn overnight as they can cause damage to your eyes if you sleep in them.

With frequent wear, deposits can build up on your lenses. Over time this can cause eye irritation, itching and redness. That’s why remembering to change your lenses on schedule is key to comfortable wear and healthy vision.

You can easily order your lenses from our website and if you are a member of our lens scheme, the price you pay will be very similar to the best price you can find elsewhere online, plus you will enjoy many more benefits than just lenses at lower prices. If you wish to purchase lenses from other internet sites, you will need a valid contact lens specification and your last aftercare review must also be in date. If you are not asked for this information, then please beware. If you are asked to switch to a different brand it is not a good idea, because all lenses fit differently and, even if the website says the brand is equivalent to the one you were prescribed, this is unlikely to be the case.