Contact lens advice

Getting started with contact lenses

Find out more about contact lenses, the types of lenses available & some helpful top tips to get you started

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Contact lenses are a popular vision correction option, offering convenience, comfort & style. Keep reading to find out more about the types of contact lenses available, how they work & how to take care of them, as well as some helpful tips to get you started.

What are contact lenses?

Contact lenses are an alternative to glasses, worn directly on the surface of the eye. They're usually made of clear, flexible, very thin silicone gel, but may be made of thin plastic, depending on the type you choose. Just like glasses, they work by refracting & refocusing the light that comes into your eyes, allowing you to see more clearly.

Who can wear contact lenses?

Contact lenses are suitable for people with a whole range of prescriptions – even children. Contact lenses are suitable for most (though not all) people who wear glasses & can correct both long & short-sightedness. They can also be suitable if you have astigmatism, an eye condition that can affect the way light enters your eye & how you see things. Contact lenses are also suitable for those who currently wear varifocal glasses. If you're considering contact lenses, your optician can advise if they're suitable for you.

Glasses or contact lenses?

Many people choose contact lenses because they like not having to wear glasses all the time. Because the lenses move with your eyes, lots of people find they feel more 'natural' & provide a more complete field of vision. They are also a convenient option when playing sport or if you have an active lifestyle. It's worth knowing that with contact lenses, you do need to strictly follow cleaning routines & pay attention to hygiene.

Contact lenses may become uncomfortable if you keep them in longer than is recommended. If you suffer from allergies or hay fever, you may find glasses are more comfortable during allergy season. Contact lenses also aren't suitable for wearing while swimming. For these reasons, almost all contact lens wearers will also wear their glasses for some of the time.

Types of contact lenses

There are many types of contact lens available. Your optician will carefully assess your sight & eye health & recommend the most suitable type for you, based on your prescription, eye health & overall lifestyle.

Daily disposable lenses are designed to be worn once, then thrown away. Although you must always ensure your hands are completely clean when handling your lenses, daily lenses don't require any after-wear cleaning. If you wear disposable lenses you can keep your eyes healthy by:

- Making sure you put them in the correct way round

- Checking them for damage before putting them in

- Never re-using them

Daily reusable lenses can be worn daily for periods of usually up to a month. After each wear, they're removed, rinsed & cleaned with solution, then stored in a solution as advised by your optician overnight (unless the packaging instructs you otherwise).

Extended or continuous wear lenses are designed to be worn day & night, for usually up to a month, & then discarded.

Hard or Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses are made of a firm, durable plastic that's designed to last for up to a year. The lenses are removed after each wear during the day & cleaned each night Opticians sometimes recommend these lenses if you have astigmatism, or if you have a more complex prescription. For more information on the types of lenses that would be suited to your lifestyle, speak to your optician.

• Multifocal lenses help you to see objects near, far & in-between by mixing different prescriptions into one lens. Learn more about multifocal lenses & presbyopia here.

Getting used to contact lenses

If you decide to give contact lenses a go, one of our trained colleagues will provide a one-to-one session to teach you how to put in & take out your contact lenses to ensure you are completely confident when you take them home. If you decide to book online, you will need to select the ‘Eye Test with contact lens check’ option. To start with, putting something into your open eye can feel very daunting! However, most contact-lens wearers find it quickly becomes second nature.

Your optician may provide you with a 'wearing schedule' that gradually increases the number of hours you wear your contact lenses over a few days. This allows your eyes to gradually get used to the sensation.

Contact lenses sit on the surface of your eye, so safety & hygiene is important when putting them in & taking them out. Have a read of the below do’s & don’ts for when you start wearing your contact lenses


·       Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your contact lenses or eyes

·       Have a pair of suitable glasses for when you're not wearing contact lenses

·       Have regular eye & contact lens check-ups. Prescriptions change over time, especially when we're older. Many eye problems don't cause any noticeable symptoms initially, & a check-up is the only way to spot them

·       Remove your lenses if they feel wrong, or if your vision is blurry

·       Remove your lenses in the shower & bath, & when swimming or playing water sports. as bacteria from the water can get into your eye & grow on the surface of your lens

·       Remove your lenses before bed unless your optician or ophthalmologist says it's okay

·       If your child or teenager wears contact lenses, supervise them to start with, to make sure they fully understood their lens care instructions & are following them correctly

·       Only use eye drops that have been recommended by your optician

·       Replace your lens case at least once a month


·       Don’t wear lenses that haven't been prescribed for your eyes

·       Never use water or saliva to moisten your contact lenses – this can introduce dangerous infections into your eye. Only use a solution recommended by  your optician. Throw any excess away & start a new bottle on the schedule your optician has given you.

·       Don't top up the solution in your case, always store your lenses in fresh solution

·       Don’t put a dropped lens back in without cleaning it thoroughly

·       Don't wear lenses that feel rough or uncomfortable on your eye, or lenses with any visible damage

·       Don’t share lenses with anyone

·       Don’t reuse a daily disposable lens or wear lenses for longer than the recommended time or after it's reached the end of its life

·       Avoid pouring solution into travel-size bottles. They might be dirty

Frequently asked questions

Can my contact lens get stuck behind my eye?

This is a very common worry, but there's absolutely no way for your contact lens to get behind your eye. Your eyelid & eyeball are connected, so there's no space for a lens to get through. However, contact lenses can occasionally get stuck to the inside of your eyelid. If this happens, the following techniques can help unstick them:

• If you have lubricating eye drops or an all-in-one contact lens solution, you can add a few drops to your eye to lubricate the lens. Never use saliva or tap water – this can introduce dangerous bacteria to your eye.

• While looking straight ahead, lift your upper eyelid as far as possible, then massage or very gently 'pinch' the lens out

• If you can't get the lens out, see your optician as soon as possible. If you can't see your optician on the same day, you should go to A&E

What if my eyes are red, sore or swollen?
While rare, contact lens use can cause eye problems. If one or both eyes are red, sore, or swollen, then:

• Avoid wearing contact lenses until the problem's cleared up. Use glasses instead

• Avoid wearing eye make-up

• If removing the lenses doesn't resolve the problem, seek advice from your optician

How comfortable are contact lenses?

Contact lenses are considered comfortable. Many of our lenses are:

• Breathable – this is good for your overall eye health.

• Hydrating – this helps keep your eyes moist throughout the day.

• Complete with UV protection – this helps to prevent sun damage.

What happens when I book a contact lens check-up (aftercare)?

A contact lens check-up is an additional appointment to a sight test which you can select in the ‘Appointment Type’ drop-down menu.

At your contact lens check, the clinician will check the fit of the lenses & your vision with them. They will review the health of your eyes & discuss any changes in your health & lifestyle needs since your last appointment. This ensures you are kept up to date on any new products that may be more suitable & give you better vision. Attending this appointment is important to ensure you continue to receive your contact lenses.

*Contact Lens Rewards Plan

Prices may vary across regional stores

Unmatched rewards

10% off Boots and Boots owned brands every time you shop at Boots. Earn Advantage Card points on your plan payments. Claim based on comparison of plan benefits against those offered by other high street Opticians in the UK in June 2022. See comparison table.

What is the yearly saving based on?

Based on average contact lens reward scheme customer saving for transactions between 03/07/2022 to 03/07/2023. Saving amount is based on discount achieved in relation to eye tests (non-NHS customers), contact lens checks, glasses purchases, Boots Advantage Card points awarded on monthly reward scheme subscription charges and purchases of Boots brand products as part of the scheme.

What is Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan?

Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan is a Direct Debit scheme, which provides a convenient way to spread the cost of wearing contact lenses. Additionally, and depending on your contact lens type, solutions can be included in your plan. Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan is not a credit agreement, it's a payment plan which allows you to pay in advance for each order. You will be required to pay the first three months' payments upfront when you join Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan. Your bank account will then be debited each month following sign up. Your contact lenses will be ordered automatically every three months, and you'll make three payments for each order.

How long will my agreement last?

Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan does not have a minimum agreement term and can be cancelled at any time, all we ask is that you give us 28 days' notice of your wish to cancel and we'll cancel your plan and refund any advance payments directly into your bank account. We reserve the right to change the terms of your Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan agreement giving you three months' notice.

How much will I pay?

All payments you make (including your initial payment and subsequent monthly Direct Debits) are made up of (i) a charge for professional dispensing services including check-ups and (ii) a charge for goods, inclusive of postage and packaging. Of your total payment 50% is for dispensing services and 50% is for goods.

All prices are subject to review, and any changes to your Direct Debit will be detailed, via a letter, with at least five weeks' notice.

What happens if a mistake is made with my payment?

If Boots Opticians or your bank or building society makes a mistake with your monthly Direct Debit payment, an immediate refund can be requested under the terms of the Direct Debit Guarantee by contacting your bank or building society directly. Please also contact the Boots Opticians Contact Lens Reward Scheme on 0345 603 2020 (calls are charged at local rate) or email

What happens if I miss a payment?

If, for any reason, your bank or building society rejects our request for your monthly Direct Debit payment, then we will attempt to collect the payment on your next scheduled payment date. Please be aware we are unable to send your contact lenses until you have paid the full balance of your delivery and any missed payments could lead to your delivery schedule being altered. We will contact you to arrange payment of any outstanding monies and can realign your delivery schedule if required. If we cannot collect your payments for three consecutive months then your scheme membership will be automatically cancelled.

How can I change the Boots Opticians I go to?

If you move house just pop into your new local Boots Opticians practice and let them know you have moved to the area. Your Boots Opticians practice will arrange to transfer your Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan and patient records. In the majority of cases there will be no requirement for you to sign a new Direct Debit Instruction.

What happens if I have a change to my contact lenses?

If you need a new lens type or your prescription changes during the term of your Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan membership we can arrange for your new lenses to be transferred to your account. You will see a payment adjustment on your next payment date following your lens type change.

What happens about solutions on my plan?

If you need contact lens solution for your lens type, your optician can include these in your monthly payments. If you have selected store pick up for your lenses, every three months a solution pack will be available for you to collect in store. If you have selected home delivery both your lenses and solutions will be delivered to your home address.

How do I tell you about a change to my personal details?

Please notify your local Boots Opticians practice (the practice where you attend your contact lens appointments), email or you can write to: Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan, Administration Office, 38 Queen Street, Glasgow, G1 3DX, quoting your membership number. If you wish to change your bank or building society details or Direct Debit payment date, please contact your local Boots Opticians practice or you can email

Can I collect Boots Advantage Card points?

You'll collect one point for every £1 you spend on lenses and solutions on your Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan. We can add points on to your Advantage Card when you visit the practice to collect your lenses, or come in for your contact lens appointment or eye test. If you have opted for home delivery on your plan, your Advantage Card points will automatically be uploaded on to your Advantage Card, five days after the delivery of your lenses. We will not exchange Advantage Card points for cash. Advantage Card points cannot be spent in Boots Opticians, 'third party sites' including Boots Hearingcare,, prescription items, infants milks (up to 6 months), gift vouchers/cards, postage stamps, mobile phone top-up cards and Boots insurance. Full Boots Advantage Card terms and conditions apply. 

Boots Opticians Contact Lens Reward Scheme offers

Being a member of the Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan also gives you access to other great offers. These do not form part of your agreement and we reserve the right to alter or withdraw linked benefits without notice.

Contact lens checks

We want to make sure your eyes are healthy and that your lenses are as comfortable as they can be, so we will need you to attend an inclusive contact lens check at least once every 24 months; your optician will advise if we need to see you more frequently. Please be aware that if your contact lens check becomes overdue, your lenses will be directed to your base practice and will not be available to you until you have attended your contact lens check. These checks are important as your eyes and eye heath can change over time. We'll let you know when your next appointment is due.

Inclusive eye test and contact lens checks

As a Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan customer you are entitled to unlimited eye tests and contact lens checks within your monthly Direct Debit. These appointments are subject to availability (if you are eligible for an NHS eye test you can choose to claim via the NHS or the Contact Lens Rewards Plan. Our colleagues in store can explain any impact if you are eligible for an NHS voucher). There is no cash alternative or refund for NHS eye tests.

Save 50% on a pair of complete glasses and sunglasses (including frames, lenses and dispensing) and on non-prescription sunglasses at Boots Opticians

All of our prices for glasses include the dispensing fee and a fee for the frame and Boots standard single vision lenses. NHS vouchers may be used as a cash contribution towards the final cost of your glasses. Prices shown in Boots Opticians practices include the frame and Boots standard single vision lenses. This offer includes Boots brand and designer frames fitted with prescription lenses. These offers exclude frame only purchases and re-glazes and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or staff discount.

Spare contact lenses for emergency use

We know that accidents sometimes happen, so we'll be happy to offer you occasional replacement lenses on request, depending on your plan type. Monthly/twice monthly lenses - a maximum of three lenses per year, daily disposable lenses - a maximum of 10 pairs per year. Quarterly/annual/made to order lenses - one lens per year at 50% off, based on the usual cash sale price. Should you need any emergency replacement contact lenses, please contact your local practice who will be more than happy to help. A valid specification is required.

10% discount on Boots brand products in Boots UK stores

To receive 10% off Boots branded products, you will need to be a member of the Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan and hold a permanent Advantage Card (you can apply online at

The 10% discount will be activated automatically when you register your Advantage Card to your scheme in a Boots Opticians store. You must present your permanent Advantage Card each time you shop to receive the 10% discount. The discount will not be awarded retrospectively. 10% offer excludes Boots branded products from Boots Opticians, purchases from ‘third party sites’ including Boots Hearingcare,, Boots prescription items, infant milks (up to 6 months), gift vouchers/cards, insurance, travel money, and travel services. This offer is open to UK residents. Not available on Full Advantage Card terms and conditions apply. We reserve the right to cancel or vary this offer at any time. Available in all Boots stores. No cash alternative available. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount. A valid specification is required.

Plan holiday

If you find you are not wearing all of your lenses before your next delivery arrives, please contact us on 0345 603 2020 to discuss taking a plan holiday as we can stop your payments and lenses up to a maximum of six months in a 12 month period. Calls are charged at local rate.

Free contact lens trial

Please ask your optician when you attend for your contact lens check about new lenses on the market. We are happy to offer you a free trial of any alternative lenses.

Home delivery of contact lenses and solutions

Too busy to come in and collect your lenses? You can now choose home delivery for most lens types (excludes annual or other made to order contact lenses). We will deliver your lenses and solutions (if applicable) every three months. There is no extra charge for this service, and you do not need to sign for your deliveries. We can deliver to any UK address. If you do not receive your contact lens or solutions, please report this as missing as soon as possible on 0345 603 2020, calls are charged at local rate. It's important that we look after the health of your eyes so if you miss your regular contact lens check-up appointments your lenses will be automatically sent to your local Boots Opticians practice who will contact you to arrange your appointment and to collect your lenses. We can only hold your lenses for a limited period of time, so please arrange your contact lens check-up appointment as soon as possible. You can also decide to collect your contact lenses and solutions (if applicable) from your Boots Opticians practice, who will let you know when your lenses arrive.

All customer benefits will only apply to Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan customers. Cancellation of your scheme or failure to keep your payments up to date will result in your benefits being cancelled. The benefits of Boots Opticians Contact Lens Rewards Plan are subject to change at any time without notice.