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Lynn Valley Optometry

T.604.987.9191 | F.604.987.9109
Monday to Friday: 9am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 5pm, Sunday: Closed

255 - 1233 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver, BC

Contact Lenses FAQ

Children's Eye Exams

What are the benefits to wearing contact lenses?

  • For many people, contact lenses provide the ultimate freedom - clear vision without eyeglasses.
  • Contact lenses move with your eye, allow a natural field of view, have no frames to obstruct your vision, and greatly reduce distortions.
  • They do not fog up like glasses, nor do they get splattered by mud or rain.
  • They are very useful and convenient when doing outdoor activities or sports. 
  • Many people feel that they look better in contact lenses.
  • They can many times offer better sight compared to eyeglasses.

I'm interested in wearing contact lenses. How long does it take to get used to them?

Depending on your eye sensitivity and whether you choose soft or rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, it may take only a day or it could take two weeks or more for your eyes to adjust to the lenses. If you're wearing soft contact lenses, your eyes should adjust very quickly.

Are there different types of contact lenses?

Yes, there are many options. Depending on your lifestyle, there will be an appropriate type for you. Browse the options below for more information.

  • Soft Contact Lenses: Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. Soft contact lenses may be easier to adjust to and are more comfortable than rigid gas permeable lenses. They usually have a very short adaptation period and have newer soft lens materials include silicone-hydrogels to provide more oxygen to your eye while you wear your lenses.
  • Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses: Rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGPs) are more durable and resistant to deposit buildup, and generally give a clearer, crisper vision. They tend to be less expensive over the life of the lens since they last longer than soft contact lenses. They are easier to handle and less likely to tear. However, they are not as comfortable initially as soft contacts and it may take a few weeks to get used to wearing RGPs, compared to several days for soft contacts.
  • Daily Disposable Soft Contact Lenses: Disposable refers to wearing the lenses once then discarding them. There are daily disposables in which a brand new pair of lenses are worn each day. They are available in tints and bifocals. 
  • Extended-Wear Disposable Contact Lenses: These are disposable contact lenses worn for an extended period of time, from one to six days and then discarded. Little risk of infection or complications if simple cleaning instructions are followed.
  • Planned Replacement Contact Lenses: These are soft daily wear lenses that are replaced on a planned schedule, most often either every two weeks, monthly, or quarterly. They are good for your eye health and are available in most prescriptions. 
  • Multifocal Contact Lenses: These are for individuals that require a progressive lens to allow them to see both distance and close-up. They are available in both soft and hard lenses.

Why should I buy my contact lenses from Lynn Valley Optometry?

  • We offer what we call a Guaranteed Success Program: this means we will ensure you achieve excellent vision and comfort, and even credit your contact lens product towards another purchase if you cannot get the results you expect. 
  • Warranty: we will exchange damaged lenses at no charge and exchange unopened boxes if your power changes. 
  • Eyewear Wardrobe: Contact lens purchasers are entitled to discounts on their eyewear and sunglasses. We also have a reduced price for contact lens solutions for our patients.
  • Online Ordering: For your convenience you are now able to order contacts through our webstore, email us or phone us and pick up your contacts at our clinic or we can mail them to you (free shipping with most annual supplies). 

Why is it important to get regular eye exams as opposed to keep refilling my contact lenses?

A study published in the Canadian Journal of Optometry in 2003 found that about 1 out of every 7 people who visit an optometrist for a regular eye exam have an "asymptomatic" eye disease: that is, one with no noticeable symptoms. Equally important, about 60% of people with an eye disease had normal vision. In both instances, an eye exam is the only way to identify asymptomatic eye diseases. About 40% of contact lens wearers have some sort of contact-lens-related complication. The prevalence of contact-lens-related complications, regardless of lens design, material, and wear modality, highlights the importance of early detection with appropriate professional management and treatment.

What are the benefits of ordering an annual supply?

  • Preserve eye health:  Have you ever run out of contacts? Or procrastinated coming in to order refills? Don't put your eye health at risk. Not having contact lenses leads to over-wearing which can lead to deposits, bacteria, and other serious complications. Patients who have an annual supply are more compliant with their wearing schedule.
  • Savings: Shipping is free with annual supplies, cost per box decreases dramatically, and there are most often rebates available.
  • Warranty: You will always be able to exchange torn lenses for no cost, and exchange unopened boxes if your prescription changes. 

Why do I need to have my contact lenses checked when I have been wearing them for years?

Contact lenses are a medical device. Your eyes and contact lenses will need to be carefully examined on a regular basis, even if the lenses continue to feel comfortable and offer clear vision. In order to ensure that the contact lenses are not damaging the tissues of your eye, it is of utmost importance to have your contact lenses assessed every year or as determined by your optometrist. Many contact lens complications do not cause symptoms in the early stages. Contact lenses can desensitize your eye to pain and irritation. If this happens it is possible for tissue inflammation to begin and you may not have any signs or symptoms. Consequently, you may not come into the clinic until you have advanced complications. Only a thorough, regular, comprehensive examination by your optometrist can detect the subtle changes in vision and eye health that occur as a result of contact lens complications. Early detection of these changes can prompt corrective measures before more serious complications develop. Routine assessments are also beneficial in that your doctor can have the opportunity to discuss advances in contact lens technologies as well as to reassess your lifestyle and contact lens wearing habits to ensure your contact lens regime is still suitable.

What are the benefits to purchasing contacts through our clinic rather than other online retailers?

Because contact lenses are medical devices, always ensure you are purchasing from a reputable source that you trust. Patients often forget that a contact lens is a foreign body that we are putting into one of our most prized organs: our eyes.

  • Competitive Pricing: Although purchasing online may appear to be more convenient and lower cost, most often this isn't the case. Many patients are surprised to hear that they really aren't saving the amount claimed by online retailers. Some retailers advertise that you will save up to 40-60% on contact lens purchases; however, through extensive research we have discovered that this just isn't possible. Online retailers often add in hidden fees such as shipping, handling and insurance, at the very end of the transaction which can dramatically increase the price, often without the purchasers' awareness. At Lynn Valley Optometry we work hard to offer you similar prices to what you would find elsewhere, and in addition we offer invaluable services unique to our clinic.
  • Convenience: You are now able to order your contacts through our website at your leisure. We offer free shipping/handling for annual supplies as well as pick-up option 6 days/week.
  • Warranty: You will always be able to exchange torn lenses for no cost, and exchange unopened boxes if your prescription changes.
  • Rebates and Savings: We offer rebates and free shipping/handling when purchasing annual supplies. We also offer a $20 credit per patient referred to us.
  • Expert Knowledge of Staff: We have amazing staff that know what they are talking about when it comes to contact lenses. They will educate you on the many different products we offer and find the perfect contact lens unique to you.
  • Safety of Authentic Products: All contact lens products we offer are governed by medical authorities and licensing bodies and are purchased only from trusted, reputable sources. Surprisingly, certain online retailers are not governed by licensing bodies and therefore do not guarantee their products are safe or from the source they claim they're from. 
  • Protection of Privacy: Rest assured that we will always protect your personal information such as your name, contact number, email, or address. We understand this information is highly confidential and we will never sell or offer it to outside sources.
  • Free Trial Pairs: As part of your fitting appointment, we are more than happy to offer you unlimited take-home trial pairs until we discover the perfect lens.

If I have astigmatism, dry eyes, or require progressives, can I still wear contact lenses?

Yes! Most of our patients are unaware that there are many options available for people with the above conditions. There is even a contact lens that is made for individuals who require a progressive lens (multifocal) AND have astigmatism. Do not hesitate to ask us if you are eligible.

Is my child too young to wear contact lenses?

It really depends on the maturity level, discipline, and personality of your child as opposed to the age. We have fit children for contact lenses as young as 6 years old. If your child is able to brush their teeth, or clean their room on their own these can be good indicators to whether they could handle wearing contact lenses. It is important that they understand the discipline that comes with wearing contact lenses to avoid any eye infections or complications due to non-compliance.

What are some general compliance tips for safe contact lens wear?

  • First of all, ensure your contact lenses are selected, fitted, and monitored by a licensed eyecare professional.
  • Wash your hands so that you minimize the transfer of foreign objects and germs into your eyes. Avoid moisturizing soaps. They should not be used with contact lenses. Dry your hands with a lint-free towel.
  • Remove lens and clean it with the recommended solution. Cleaning removes eye-produced-protein buildup, cosmetics and other debris that impairs lens comfort.
  • Avoid showering or swimming in your contact lenses. Doing so you increase the risk of Acanthamoeba Keratitis - an eye infection due to amoeba found in water sources.
  • Always dispose of used contact lens solution before adding fresh solution.
  • Store lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace your case every three months or sooner.  Clean the case after each use, and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
  • Avoid sleeping in your contact lenses (unless they are extended wear).
  • Never continue to use your lenses longer than their recommended wear. To prevent this, always order a larger supply so you have extra lenses around.
  • Continue to see your Optometrist for regular eye exams.
  • Check out this video for more tips!

What is the impact of unsupervised contact-lens wear?

  • The risk of eye infections associated with internet/mail order purchase of contact lenses is nearly five times higher than when lenses were dispensed from an optometrist.
  • Contact lens wear is associated with 23 per cent of children’s emergency room visits related to the use of medical devices. Contact-lens related ER visits are usually for complications including abrasions and ulcers of the cornea and conjunctivitis (i.e. “pink eye.”) caused by changing replacement schedules and non-compliance with recommended wear and care regimens, such as wearing your lenses too long.
  • As with many medical procedures, contact lens-wear has become trivialized as patients demand convenience. Consumer education is inadequate for patients to judge the potential risks of contact lens-wear. Studies now document wide-spread poor compliance with the lens-wearing schedules and with lens-care regimens
  • For more information visit the BCAO's website.  

Can I wear my contact lenses on the plane?

Yes, however you may experience discomfort or dryness as a result of the cabin's low humidity levels. We recommend glasses while traveling to prevent dryness.

Can a contact lens get lost behind my eye?

No. At worst, you might have trouble finding it under your upper eyelid if you rub your eye and dislodge the lens from its proper position. If you move your eyes around the lens will usually come to the surface. If necessary, your eye doctor can help you locate and remove the lens.

end faq