Although contact lenses have been worn widely since the early 1970s, certain myths still surround their use. The following are among the most common contact lens myths
Older people can't wear contact lenses
There's no upper age limit to wearing contact lenses. Whatever your age, the decision to wear glasses or contact lenses is up to you.
Children can't wear contact lenses
There's no lower age limit for contact lenses either. Sometimes, medical conditions mean even babies and very young children have to wear contact lenses.
Lots of children benefit from wearing contact lenses. They can help to improve self esteem, improve academic performance and encourage participation in sports and recreational activities.
Most children can learn how to insert and remove contact lenses safely and hygienically, although they might need help or supervision to begin with.
I don't need medical advice for zero-powered contact lenses
Not all contact lenses help us see more clearly. Some, such as coloured lenses, are cosmetic, while others – Halloween contact lenses, for example – are novelty items. Such products are sometimes called zero-powered lenses, and they're freely available online. However, under law, these products are classed as contact lenses, and you're advised that their sale should be supervised by an optometrist, contact lens optician or medical doctor to make sure they're suitable for you.
Wearing contact lenses causes eye problems
If inserted and removed properly, your contact lenses are unlikely to cause you eye problems. But because lenses sit on the surface of the eye, safety and hygiene is important. You'll avoid most problems by:
• Washing your hands thoroughly before touching your lenses
• Keeping nails short and smooth. Long, jagged or uneven nails can scratch your eye
• Removing your lenses before bed, and before showering or bathing
• Never wearing your lenses for longer than the recommended time
• Never reusing a daily disposable lens
• Never borrowing or lending lenses
• Applying make-up after inserting lenses, not before
Contact lenses can slip around the back of the eye
It's not possible for contact lenses to get stuck behind your eyeball.
Sometimes, a lens might get stuck under your eyelid. If this happens, you can try putting a few drops of contact lens solution in your eye, closing it, and gently massaging the lid. This should help to move the lens into a position that allows you to remove it.
Contact lenses are too expensive
Contact lenses may seem more expensive but the cost can be spread monthly. For most people, the choice between glasses and contact lenses is usually decided by lifestyle factors, such as convenience and personal appearance.
• Contact lenses can be used by people of all ages
• Contact lenses can't get lost round the back of your eye
• Reduce the risk of eye problems by following safety and hygiene advice
• Speak to an optician if you are not sure