Blinded by BS? Contact lenses….

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  • Blinded by BS? Contact lenses….
  • Premier Icon Kryton57

    I just want to check something here…

    After a check up whereby I expressed my disappointment with Varifocal lenses and glasses, my optician has agreed that because the extent of my cycling hobby, retaining mid to long range vision is recommended, so I continue with 2 x normal prescription contacts but look to use reading glasses on top when necessary. All good so far.

    But because of my 14h a day use and apparently I have dry eyes, they want me to use Silicon Hydro lenses which are also UV resistant.  Now, although I’d agree with not messing about with the health of the only pair of eyes I have, this come at a third extra of the monthly costs £34 vs £25 a month.  Plus, my short sightedness is worse, apparently “…because the new lenses are thicker…”

    Anyone else had this experience?  I just want to make sure I’m not being victim to an upsell…

    Premier Icon nickc

    Silicon Hydro lenses

    These are “a thing” and they’re often recommended for folk who wear lenses for a long time, but 14hrs is a long time if you’re doing it every day, and if you’re worried about eye health wear contacts for a shorter time during the day. which would allow you to buy cheaper lenses. Contact lens dry eye is reasonably common, but there are other reasons for the symptom, if you’re worried, see a ophthalmologist

    Says the ophthalmologist sitting next to me…

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    14h a day is a bit short term. I’m wearing for a week at a time with a day or two off in glasses between wear periods. 6 monthly checks show no problems if NickC’s partner is concerned. I have been on this wear programme since 2000.


    Yeah they are better as they allow a lot of oxygen through without absorbing a lot of moisture.
    But they are only better if you prefer them all round.
    Nothing wrong with using a decent eye drop to help with dryness.

    Premier Icon tomd

    Could the optician do you a trial pack of the fancy lenses?

    Last couple if times I’ve got disposable lenses I went through a few different brands / types to get one that worked the best.

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin

    I could be in the same position as you but have an eye (left) that reads clearly without lenses/glasses. So, no lens for that eye even though its distance vision is poor.

    My right eye uses a lens with a distance prescription – and I pop a lens in when leaving the house.

    I use daily lenses and put some hyaluronic drops in if I suffer from dry eye.

    Works fantastically for me  — and a couple of friends do exactly the same thing.

    Premier Icon nickc

    if NickC’s partner is concerned.

    Not my Partner!! I’m at work with a doctor, we’re bored, the system we need to use to run the clinic hasn’t been installed by our IT dept. we’re twiddling our collective thumbs. He qualifies,

    yes there are lenses you can wear all day and all night, they are designed like that, if you’re wearing “normal/regular” contact lenses for 14 hours a day, i’d advise you to consider changing that. 


    have a look at gas permeable lenses

    cost more upfront, and have a breakin period, but last an awful lot longer, and provide better vision. Also allow more oxygen through to the cornea…

    Premier Icon DezB

    My optician wanted me to move to silicon hydra-whatevers so got me some trial lenses. They weren’t as comfortable (or as easy to handle) as my current lenses, so I didn’t change.
    Get some trials before splashing out.


    My optician (Boots) gave me a free trial pack of 7 for a similar upgrade and I was convinced enough to switch. I only wear them about one in three days and my prescription isn’t all that strong so I dunno if that’d be a factor.


    I use to wear contacts every day and had a similar recommendation from my optician. Dry eyes was my main issue which was exacerbated around air conditioning and wind. Tried a range of different contact lenses but ended up getting health issues and had to stop wearing them for a while.

    Do you need to wear contacts every day? I just wear daily contacts when I need to for riding, decorating etc and glasses the rest of the time. No problems since.

    Premier Icon Kryton57

    Could the optician do you a trial pack of the fancy lenses?

    Yep, I wearing them now.

    I could be in the same position as you but have an eye (left) that reads clearly without lenses/glasses. So, no lens for that eye even though its distance vision is poor.

    My right eye uses a lens with a distance prescription – and I pop a lens in when leaving the house.

    Exactly this, yet when I told her what my hobby was she got all nervous about me compromising mid to long range vision when rocks and trees where hurtling past, so suggest lenses + corrective reading glasses where the way to go.

    Ok, well I’ve googled Silicone Hydro’s since and its seems she speaks the truth.  The outfit I’m with offers a free pair of specs every two year with my monthly sub, so I’ll maybe use that to get the reading glasses and continue with the trial.

    P.S. any online reading glasses recommendations would be appreicated.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    I have extended wear ones which I think are silicon jobs. They are far better than the old ones I used to have – even if I wanted to take them out each night – which I don’t. They don’t dry out late in the day. Having to take the traditional kind out after 12 hours is not much good when you are awake and out and about for 16 hours.


    My optician has explained to me that the tear film is a part of the optics of the eye, so dry eyes will cause you problems, contact lenses or not.

    When he fitted me for varifocals he spent over 30 minutes carefully measuring everything so as to get the centres and the zones right and they are absolutely perfect. If your optician doesn’t take that much care I would suggest you find a better one and try varifocals again.


    Even £25 is pretty high. These are daily disposables I take it? If so, considered monthly?

    Mine are around £8 a month I think, one normal and one toric. Have talked about newer ones that are easy wearing, can leave in overnight etc (not that I want that). Adds a bit but still probably only as much as £15, may even be less.

    I do have to buy the solution as well. I had that on subscription but that was paying a lot more and I wear them irregularly (mostly for riding and work but varies when), so ended up with too many bottles. I just buy as and when needed. Still works out not much more.

    Varifocal glasses, spent ages getting fitted for those and paid a fair bit for the widest zones. Still hate them. They’re a compromise and no-where near as good as just adjusting position of glasses down the nose or taking glasses off for close things (can’t get proper close with varifocals either). Don’t like wearing expensive glasses for riding either, so no go there and as said would probably be a problem for riding. My contacts are pretty much okay balance in mid to long range for riding, though the varifocals distance is better.

    Optician said there are good multifocal contacts on the horizon but not decent availability and pricing yet so didn’t recommend them for now. They are supposed to be better than varifocal glasses.

    Even £25 is pretty high

    erm….no……depending on prescripion/lens type prices can vary alot!

    Re above the one lens near one distance your optom will rightly be nervous about with biking as you lose your binocular depth perception.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    I wear a distance lens in one eye and a close up lens in the other. It doesn’t give me a problem when riding through rocks and trees etc. It seems that some people can adjust to this better than others. Although my binocular vision has always been a bit off.
    I get my lenses from Specsavers, monthlies which I wear from getting up to going to bed and dailies which I tend to wear if I’m going swimming, windsurfing, camping etc. Both are silicone hydrogel and the cost is no different from the online places.
    Some solutions suit me better than others so it’s worth trying a few.

    I have had silicon hydrogel extended wear lenses for many years now, love them, no more dry eyes in the evening, and I leave them in for a month at a time.  I tried the multifocal ones about four years ago, but only got the right ones a couple of years ago when I went to a different optician that offered the Biofinity Multifocals that have a wide range of add powers for the reading part.  A lot of other multifocals only do a “low” or “high” add power and didn’t work for me.  When you find the right lens, it’s easy to get them from various online stores for much less.

    Premier Icon martymac

    I also use one lens set for distance vision, and one for close up.
    No problems at all, and I drive for a living. Did take a few days to get used to them though.
    I frequently wear them for 16hrs plus, but not every day.
    Been doing pretty much the same since i started wearing lenses 30years ago.
    The lenses have changed a couple of times, but I’ve never had any problems.
    I use vision express, they’ve been good for me, and I’ve used 3 different branches due to moving house.


    If you know the risks then carry on, but I would never sleep in contact lenses.
    Far more chance of a nasty infection. If you want convenience go for dailies.
    If you are mountain biking in them as well with all sorts of dirty water flying around it is even more risky.
    Even showering in CL’s risks picking up bad stuff like acanthamoeba keratitis, which can be life changing.
    As I say, if you know the risks and choose to do it, fine.

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