Contact Lens FAQs
- Does CIBA VISION® sell contact lenses directly to the public?
- My lens tore while I was handling it. Can I receive a replacement lens?
- Can I wear make-up with my contact lenses?
- Can I continue to wear my lenses if they are still comfortable after the recommended replacement period?
- How often should I dispose of my contacts?
- My eye care professional recommended a different wearing schedule for my contact lenses than what is stated on the box or in the package insert. Which is correct?
- Can allergies affect contact lens wear?
- Can I swim in my contact lenses?
- Is it okay to play sports while wearing contact lenses?
- Are there times when you should not wear contact lenses?
- Who should not wear contact lenses?
- Is it safe to share contact lenses with others?
- Why is it important to get regular eye exams?
- Which type of contact lens is best for me?
- Can I use contact lenses to change my eye color?
- How do I learn more about CIBA VISION® Specialty Lens discontinuation?
Does CIBA VISION® sell contact lenses directly to the public?
No. Contact lenses are medical devices, and in some countries, can only be prescribed and dispensed by a licensed eye care professional. Please see a qualified eye care professional to obtain and replace your lenses.
My lens tore while I was handling it. Can I receive a replacement lens?
Contact lenses are regulated medical devices and cannot be dispensed without a current valid prescription. CIBA VISION® will honor requests for replacement lenses through your eye care professional at his/her discretion. Please contact your eye care professional for further assistance.
Can I wear make-up with my contact lenses?
Yes, but try to avoid getting make-up on you lenses. Always insert your lenses before applying your eye color and mascara. If you have sensitive eyes, special make-up for use with contact lenses is available.Click here to view tips for contact lens wearers who use cosmetics.
Can I continue to wear my lenses if they are still comfortable after the recommended replacement period?
Contact lens materials vary, and lenses should not be worn for longer than the replacement period recommended by your eye care professional. The purpose of replacing contact lenses on a frequent basis is to allow you to enjoy the benefits they were designed to provide. A recent study conducted by the Centre for Contact Lens Research shows that silicone hydrogel lens patients who are compliant with the manufacturer-recommended replacement schedule have better comfort and vision at the end of the day than non-compliant patients.*1 Check with your eye care professional for the lenses and lens replacement frequency most appropriate for you.
How often should I dispose of my contacts?
Only your eye care professional can determine the actual replacement schedule that is right for you. Their recommendation will be based on your tear chemistry, health of the eye, daily activities, and the type of lens chosen for you. The recommended life of contact lenses varies depending on the type of lenses, from one day, one week, two weeks, one month, or longer. With any contact lenses, you should follow the prescribed wear and care instructions, including guidelines for replacement.
My eye care professional recommended a different wearing schedule for my contact lenses than what is stated on the box or in the package insert. Which is correct?
It is customary for a manufacturer to include a recommended replacement schedule for its products in the product package inserts, fitting guide booklets and in some cases on the packaging itself. Such recommendations provide a reference point for those eye care professionals who are looking for such information.
Programmed replacement or regular, scheduled replacement of contact lenses promotes a healthy approach to contact lens wear. Replacing lenses on a frequent basis helps to reduce the accumulation of lens deposits and the resulting complications that can occur.
CIBA VISION® supports and recommends frequent replacement of contact lenses. Because each patient's eyes are different, only your eye care professional can determine the appropriate lens replacement schedule for you.
Can allergies affect contact lens wear?
Sometimes people experience discomfort when they have seasonal allergies, which can be aggravated by wearing contact lenses. You may have to reduce your wearing time or discontinue wearing your lenses until the allergy symptoms have passed. There are several things you can do, however, during allergy season, including wearing a daily disposable lens like our DAILIES® brand contact lenses, and enjoying the benefits and fresh feel of a new lens everyday. For contact lenses that are worn for more than one day, using a product such as Clear Care® Cleaning and Disinfecting solution which contains no multi-purpose solution preservatives, plus thoroughly and frequently cleaning your lenses may help. Contact your eye care professional for more information.
Can I swim in my contact lenses?
CIBA VISION® recommends the use of protective goggles while swimming with contact lenses. Contact lenses are porous and may absorb chemicals, microbes or other impurities in the water, which may harm or irritate your eyes and possibly lead to an infection. Additionally, lenses can stick on or easily fall off of the eye and get lost if eyes are opened under water. Swimming in contact lenses, without wearing protective goggles, could lead to an infection in the eyes, which if left untreated, could lead to a scar on your eye, or in rare cases, loss of vision. The same could also happen to swimmers who don't wear contact lenses.
Even if you do wear protective goggles, CIBA VISION® recommends that you remove your lenses when you get out of the water and properly clean and disinfect them before wearing them again or sleeping in them. For cleaning and disinfection, CIBA VISION® recommends using a hydrogen peroxide-based lens care solution such as Clear Care® Cleaning and Disinfecting solution. Wearers of daily disposable lenses should replace the worn lenses with a fresh new pair soon after swimming.
For those who swim regularly, CIBA VISION® recommends consulting an eye care professional about the use of daily disposable lenses, such as DAILIES® brand contact lenses. With daily disposables, you throw your lenses away at the end of the day and insert a fresh, new, clean pair everyday. By disposing of your lenses at the end of each day, you are generally decreasing the amount of time your eye is exposed to any harmful materials or impurities absorbed by your contact lenses. However, even if you wear daily disposable lenses, CIBA VISION® recommends wearing protective goggles while swimming and never opening eyes underwater without wearing goggles. Soon after swimming, insert a fresh new pair of daily disposable lenses.
Ask your eye care professional for specific advice regarding swimming with lenses.
Is it okay to play sports while wearing contact lenses?
Wearing soft contact lenses for sports provides a more flexible and stable form of visual correction than spectacles. Contacts do not fog up or slide down your nose like spectacles can. Contacts contribute to optimal sports performance, providing better peripheral vision than glasses. Additionally, contacts may be worn with regular sunglasses.
Contact lenses are not a substitute for eye protection. It is recommended to wear appropriate goggles, masks, etc. when participating in sports.
Are there times when you should not wear contact lenses?
Your eye care professional can tell you about situations or environmental conditions that may be inappropriate for contact lens wear. Some examples are:
- Exposing contact lenses to water during swimming or while in a hot tub may increase the risk of eye infection from microorganisms.
- Fumes, smoke or vapors should be avoided to reduce the chance of lens contamination.
- In some cases in which protective eyewear is recommended or required.
Who should not wear contact lenses?
You should not wear contacts if you:
- Have an eye infection or inflammation (redness & swelling).
- Have an eye disease, eye injury or dryness that interferes with contact lens wear.
- Have a systemic disease that may be affected by or impact lens wear.
- Have certain types of allergic conditions.
- Are using certain medications, such as some eye medications.
Consult your eye care professional for specific advice regarding whether you can wear contact lenses.
Is it safe to share contact lenses with others?
No. Don't share your contact lenses with anyone! Contact lenses, even if worn for cosmetic reasons are medical devices and should only be worn under the supervision of a licensed eye care professional. Sharing contact lenses may spread microorganisms which may result in serious eye health problems.
Why is it important to get regular eye exams?
According to the American Optometric Association:
Periodic eye examinations are an important part of preventive health care. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision and eye health, and when possible, preventing permanent vision loss1.
1 American Optometric Association [Internet]. Comprehensive Eye and Vision Examination [cited 2010 Mar 18]. Available from http://www.aoa.org/x4725.xml
A thorough eye examination yields far more information than you might expect. Not only does it provide your eye care professional with information to diagnose and treat eye conditions, but it can also provide insight into your general health.
For information on how often you should have your eyes examined, visit the American Optometric Association's website at www.aoa.org.
Which type of contact lens is best for me?
The contact lens that is best for you may depend on your lifestyle and vision correction. There are many varieties of soft contact lenses; your eye care professional will help you determine which lenses are right for you.
Also, click here to visit Contact Lens Pro page for assistance in learning which lenses may be recommended for you.
Can I use contact lenses to change my eye color?
FreshLook® ColorBlends® color contact lenses deliver a natural look for both subtle and noticeable effects in the most popular eye colors. Use the FreshLook® Color Studio™ to choose the color best for you depending on your natural eye color, hair color and skin tone.
How do I learn more about CIBA VISION® Specialty Lens discontinuation?
CIBA VISION® is committed to helping you transition from discontinued product. We would be pleased to recommend available potential newer technology CIBA VISION® products where appropriate, or propose alternate specialty lens brands. Patients should discuss options with their eye care practitioner. Click here to learn more.
FreshLook® contact lenses: Contact lenses, even if worn for cosmetic reasons, are medical devices that must only be worn under the prescription, direction and supervision of an eye care professional. Serious eye health problems may occur as a result of sharing contact lenses.
* Based on a survey of 1,389 contact lens wearers
1. Dumbleton K, Woods C, et al. Role of compliance with the replacement frequency of silicone hydrogel lenses on subjective comfort and vision. Optom Vis Science. 2009;86:E-abstract 090626.