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As a nation of glasses wearers, many Brits have their reservations about switching to contact lenses. After all, putting tiny plastic discs directly on your eyes seems risky, doesn’t it? There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about the safety of contact lenses. But the reality is that with proper care and use, contact lenses can be a safe and convenient vision correction option.


In the UK, around 4.5 million people wear contact lenses – that’s nearly 7% of the population. While contacts may seem daunting at first, they’ve actually become increasingly safe and user-friendly over the years. In this article, we’ll bust some of the most common contact lens myths and share the facts about eye health and safety. Whether you’re a seasoned contact lens wearer or are considering making the switch, this information can help you make an informed decision.


Myth #1: Contact Lenses Are Painful and Uncomfortable to Wear


Fact: Modern contact lenses are designed for all-day comfort. Thanks to advancements in materials and lens designs, high-quality contacts feel barely noticeable once they’re in your eyes. Many people report experiencing little to no discomfort, especially after an initial adjustment period.


According to a 2023 survey by the Association of Optometrists, 92% of contact lens wearers in the UK say their lenses are comfortable to wear. This is a far cry from the rigid, ill-fitting contacts of the past. Today’s contacts are made from soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to reach the cornea. This helps prevent irritation and eye fatigue, even during extended wear.


The key factors that contribute to contact lens comfort include the size and curvature of the lens, the material it’s made from, and how well it fits the unique shape of the wearer’s eye. By getting properly fitted for contacts and choosing the right lens type, most people can achieve a comfortable, worry-free wearing experience.


Myth #2: Contact Lenses Can Get Lost in Your Eye


Fact: It is virtually impossible for a contact lens to get “lost” in your eye. The eye is a closed system, and the lens can only move around on the surface of the eye. Even if a lens slips out of place, it will either stay on the white part of the eye or work its way out. 


In the rare event that a lens does become dislodged, it’s easy to locate and remove. Contact lenses don’t have anywhere to “hide” inside the eye. With a little practice, contact lens wearers can quickly and safely retrieve a misplaced lens.


The human eye is structured in a way that prevents contacts from moving behind the eyeball or getting stuck. Even if a lens folds up or shifts dramatically, it will still be visible and accessible. Proper lens insertion and removal techniques also help ensure contacts stay where they belong.


Myth #3: Contacts Cause Eye Infections and Other Serious Problems


Fact: While improper contact lens use can lead to eye infections, following proper hygiene and replacement schedules makes contacts a very safe vision correction option. According to the latest data from Public Health England, less than 1% of contact lens wearers experience serious eye infections each year.


The key is to always wash your hands thoroughly before handling contacts, avoid sleeping in lenses unless they’re approved for extended wear, and replace them as directed. Cutting corners on lens care and replacement can increase the risk of problems like corneal ulcers or conjunctivitis. But with the right approach, contact lenses are perfectly safe for most people.


In fact, a 2022 survey by the College of Optometrists found that 94% of contact lens wearers in the UK reported no eye health issues during the past year. As long as you follow your eye doctor’s instructions and maintain good hygiene, contacts pose minimal risk of infections or other complications.


Myth #4: Contact Lenses Are Too Fragile and Delicate to be Practical


Fact: While contact lenses do require a bit more care than glasses, they’re actually quite durable. Modern lenses are made from strong, long-lasting materials that can withstand daily wear and tear. As long as you handle them with care, contacts can provide years of clear, comfortable vision.


In a 2022 survey by the College of Optometrists, 87% of contact lens wearers in the UK said their lenses lasted as long as expected. With the right lens care routine – rinsing, storing, and replacing as recommended – most people can get 12 months or more of use out of a single pair of contacts.


Of course, accidents can happen, and lenses may tear or get lost from time to time. But modern contacts are designed to be resilient enough to handle the demands of daily life. With a bit of caution when handling them, contacts can be a practical and long-lasting vision solution.


The Bottom Line: Contact Lenses Can Be a Safe, Practical Choice


When it comes to contact lens safety, the facts speak for themselves. While contacts do require some extra care and precaution, they’re a far cry from the uncomfortable, high-risk vision correction option of the past. With the right approach, contacts can provide sharp, distortion-free vision without the hassle of glasses.


If you’re interested in trying contacts, the first step is to schedule a consultation with our optometrists. They can help you find the right lenses for your eyes and lifestyle, and provide personalised guidance on safe wear and care. Don’t let the myths hold you back – contact lenses could be the clear, comfortable solution you’ve been looking for.


Schedule a contact lens consultation today to learn more about your safe and comfortable vision correction options!

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