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Archive for December, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Novelty Contact Lenses

Monday, December 21, 2015 @ 06:12 PM
Author: Amit Mathur

contact-lens

With Hallowe’en around the corner, many people tend to put on what are called ‘novelty contact lenses’ to spruce up their costumes. But before you decide to go above and beyond for your costume, these are the risks you should know about.

  1. Whether you have vision problems or not, and whether you wear contact lenses or regular glasses, you should speak with your optometrist before purchasing novelty contacts. Even just wearing these once could potentially harm your eyes, so your optometrist will be able to give you a prescription to ensure they fit your eyes exactly right. Think Cinderella and the glass slipper.

  2. Always buy your contact lenses (novelty or not) from a reputable and licensed dealer who holds Canadian credentials. If they don’t require a prescription, it’s a sign you might end up damaging your vision and permanently harming your eyes.

  3. Just because they are novelty, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of them like you would regular prescription contacts. Your optometrist will instruct you on how to clean and care of them as well as how to wear them so you don’t get an eye infection or worse, damage your vision.

  4. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: don’t ever share your contact lenses, even the novelty ones, with anyone. It’s like sharing a toothbrush — you wouldn’t do that, would you? The same idea applies. Your contacts, just like your toothbrush, can easily spread bacteria and other problems that you just don’t want to have to deal with.

  5. And just like everything else, if it doesn’t feel right, and you have some discomfort, speak with your optometrist and let them know. Anything from red eyes, pain, swelling  can lead to more serious issues, so let your vision specialist know right away.

New Law In Canada

Novelty contact lenses aren’t just popular during hallowe’en, but all year-long. And they’re not just known as novelty lenses, but also cosmetic. They include traditional “creepy” looking lenses like white or red eyes, and other crazy things like cat eyes, all black, etc. But they also can be the contacts that simply change your iris colour. So if you have brown eyes, you can suddenly have blue or green eyes, etc. These are more commonly referred to as cosmetic contact lenses. But because these cosmetic and/or novelty lenses are considered consumer products, and not to correct vision, they can be sold anywhere, including costume shops and dollar stores. And they can be very dangerous.

Because of the dangers associated with purchasing “lenses” from a non-licensed vision-care specialist, such as corneal infections and permanent vision problems, the Canadian Government has passed new laws to govern these so-called ‘novelty’ contact lenses. These laws include having more stringent controls and regulations around safety, quality and labelling, just as regular contacts would have. However, because this is a new law, the government is allowing manufacturers enough time to be able to tweak their lenses to adapt to the new guidelines and as such, the new law won’t come into effect until July 2016. This means, you still need to be careful and speak with an optometrist if you want to wear these for this year’s hallowe’en.

Broken-Google-Glasses

Who hasn’t accidentally sat on their glasses? Put a book on top of their glasses? Dropped their glasses? However the method, most of us have, at some point in time, broken our glasses. Worst feeling ever, am I right?

Well, if you are stuck somewhere and need a quick fix or can’t get to your optometrist to get them properly fixed, here are a few temporary solutions. Remember, to ensure you don’t further damage your glasses or lenses, visit your optometrist as soon as possible for a proper fix-it job.

To Mend A Bridge

The bridge of your glasses is the small part that goes over your nose. It can be quite easy to break that part. We’ve all seen the “Pointdexter” glasses with the tape over the bridge of his glasses. Here’s how you can fix it with nothing but white glue (NOT Krazy Glue), scissors and a magazine.

First, clean the frame to make sure there’s no lint or debris. Next, tear a page from the magazine and cut up strips the same thickness as the bridge of your glasses. Start to glue one strip of paper overtop the bridge, and then keep layering with several more pieces of the paper. Finally, put one last coat of glue on top of all the layers.

The glue will harden and all the layers will help reinforce the bridge until it can get properly fixed.

Dislocated Arms

The arms of your glasses, the part that goes over and behind your ears, can sometimes become unscrewed to the body of the glasses. If you aren’t able to replace the screw, here’s a quick fix-it tip with a pair of tweezers and a twist tie (like the kind you use in the grocery store to tie your vegetable bags).

With the tweezers, remove any leftover pieces of the screws that might still be stuck in the frame’s hole. Also with the tweezers, carefully remove the paper from the twist tie so all you have left is the thin metal. Then, just like you were threading a needle, slowly insert the metal through the screw hole and then loop it around the arm of the eyeglasses. Twist the metal wire together so that it locks in place, and your glasses can be worn again until you can get a replacement screw.

Two Fixes To Avoid

Under no circumstances ever use super glue (like Krazy Glue) to fix any part of your glasses as this will inevitably leave a residue and will make it harder for your optometrist to fix your glasses and clean up your mess afterwards. Also, it’s best not to use those scratch repair kits since they actually damage your lenses in the long-run, and thereby damage your vision as well.

Emergency

We’re always told to not go to the hospital emergency unless it’s a serious emergency. And that’s fair enough since they’re often short-staffed and non-emergencies tend to clog up their efficiencies. However, sometimes it is an emergency and it’s important to go see a doctor immediately before your situation progresses or worsens. But what about when it involves your eyes? Do you know the difference between a vision-related emergency or not? If you do have a vision emergency and you don’t go, this could potentially be the difference between becoming blind or saving your vision. I think the choice is simple.

Foreign Objects

Like most other parts of your body, the eyes can take care of minor things on their own. If you have an eyelash for instance, your eye can water or tear until the eyelash comes out. If you have a small particle of dirt that is irritating your eyes, you’ll start to blink until it is pushed out. However if you have something more serious, your eye will need some assistance before damage is done. It is possible to sometimes get pieces of glass stuck in your eye for instance. Like if you drop a glass on the floor, pieces will fly all over the place. And this will be dangerous if a piece is stuck in your eye. So if something larger does get caught in there, be sure to cover both your eyes with a clean cloth or bandage so that your eyes stop moving and push the object around. Never try to remove a large object on your own as you might cause more problems.

Scratches & Cuts

If you have a scratch or a cut in the eye or on the eyeball, this could be harmful. There is a lot of fluid and tissue surrounding the eyes that are quite sensitive and can easily be damaged long term if not properly treated. Any harm to these parts can cause long-term damage to your vision and potentially even lead to blindness. If you do get a cut or scratch, you should apply a cold compress to the area (very gently!) in order to help reduce any swelling that may occur. And contrary to other parts of your body, if you are bleeding, DON’T apply any pressure as this might cause more damage. Instead, take yourself directly to the nearest emergency room and have it properly taken care of.

Chemicals

Getting any sort of chemical in the eyes (or on your body) is extremely dangerous. And we all encounter chemicals on a daily basis: think about your household cleaning products, lawn fertilizers, paints, aerosols like Febreeze and other air fresheners, or kitchen cleaners, etc. If any of these items (or others) got into your eye, it could cause very serious problems, like chemical burns. If you do get any type of chemical in your eye, here’s what you should do:

  • Drop your head and turn to the side of the eye that has the chemicals, so that its facing down and away from your body.

  • If you are wearing contacts, remove them if you can.

  • Open your eyelid and keep it open with your fingers.

  • Try to flush out your eye with cool or cold water (from the sink is OK) for approximately 15 minutes.

  • Contact 911 or seek medical assistance right away.

Other Problems

Of course, these aren’t the only potentially serious problems you might have with your eyes. Be sure to go to the hospital if your eyes become acutely painful, are very red, if there is bleeding or if your pain (in the eyes) is accompanied by nausea or a headache. When in doubt, contact your optometrist or optician for more information or recommendations.