Vancouver Optometrists

4466 West 10th Avenue
Call: 604-224-3937

Archive for January, 2017

If you’re shopping for prescription eyewear and you don’t really know much about the different types that are available to you aside from regular glasses, this guide is for you. There are a few types that you can choose from, including clip-ons, transition lenses, and contacts. Here’s a guide that will explain the differences briefly.

eyewear prescriptions

Clip-On Sunglasses

Clip-on sunglasses is pretty self-explanatory. They are polarized lenses that clip onto your regular prescription glasses so that your eyes are protected from UV rays and glare when you are outside. The most common type of clip-ons are magnetic, strong enough to stay on without falling or slipping as you move around, but easy enough to pull off when you’re done with them. Here are the benefits of clip-ons:

  • Size — they lack the full arms of normal glasses or sunglasses so they are more flat
  • Convenience — they’re much easier to use and remove than switching from full set of glasses to full set of sunglasses
  • Carrying — they are much easier to carry around in your pocket or in a thin case when compared to a full set

There are a wide range of styles and colours to choose from, though the one knock on them is they are a bit heavier and bulkier than having a separate set to wear.

Transition Lenses

Also known as Photochromatic or adaptive lenses, transition glasses are a single set of prescription glasses that darken when exposed to sunlight — the brighter the sun, the darker the lenses. When taken out of the UV radiation of sunlight, they revert to normal, clear lenses. When they darken they provide the full protection and eyesight correction of prescription sunglasses.

This means that you don’t have to switch from glasses to sunglasses and back again, or even add or remove clip-ons, because they change for you depending on the level of sunlight you’re in. The only con of transitions is they are not instantaneous when they darken or clear away, though they are very quick. They can also be more expensive than normal prescriptions for glasses or sunglasses. However, since you would have to buy a second set anyways it would work out to be around the same cost.

Polarized Contacts

Also known as tinted contact lenses, these are contact lenses that are polarized to provide protection and better sight outdoors in the bright sunlight. When you see them next to normal contact lenses, they really do just look darker and tinted in the same way that sunglasses are compared to normal glasses. Here are the benefits of tinted contacts:

  • Activity — if you are exercising or working outdoors your tinted contacts are less likely to fall off and break due to exertion or sweat
  • Cost — getting a pack of polarized contact lenses costs less than a $200+ set of new sunglasses, and you don’t have to worry about them breaking, scratching or being ruined
  • Vision — as far as being able to see in brightly lit conditions, they provide perfect clarity with no spots or angles where sunglasses might not cover in your peripheral vision

The problem with tinted contacts is that as far as putting them in, they are not nearly as quick and convenient as sunglasses, clip-ons or transitions even if you are experienced and fast at it. They’re generally best used for times of activity when you know you’ll be outside and moving around a lot and can plan for it with the contacts.

See what brands we carry or find answers to some of your frequently asked questions here.

5 Tips For First-Time Contact Lens Users

Monday, January 9, 2017 @ 03:01 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

If you’re a first time contact lens user, you might be a bit uncertain about how to use them properly. It can be awkward trying to use them initially, either because you’re squeamish about your eyes or because you’re worried you might damage them. We wrote a quick guide with five tips to keep in mind when starting out.


Don’t forget to take them out before you sleep!

It’s worth setting a reminder alarm on your phone or your clock for around the time you go to bed, so you get into the habit of always remembering to remove your contact lenses. There are a few reasons why you should always remember to remove them:

  • Your eyes need oxygen and not all lenses breathe, and lack of oxygen for too long causes swelling, blurry vision, and potential eye damage
  • While sleeping your eyes don’t produce tears to wash away bacteria, so if your lenses have any you’re more likely to get an eye infection
  • Your eyes also won’t clear away debris while sleeping, and if too much builds up you can cause eye damage

Some contact lenses are made so you don’t have to remove them before sleeping, but if you don’t have them it’s important to remember to remove them for your own eye health.

Make sure the lens isn’t inside out

Before you put a contact lens in your eye, check to make sure it isn’t inside out — wearing them while they’re inside out does not cause any damage but will be uncomfortable. To check, place the lens on your finger and hold it up in good light in front of you.

Some contact lens manufacturers laser mark the edge with their brand name, so if the marking is backwards you know the lens is inside out. Otherwise, if the lens is inside out it will look saggy and flaring out at the edges; whereas if the lens is fine it will look like a perfect bowl.

Wash your hands before using them

Before you put in your contact lenses or take them out, wash your hands first. You don’t want any debris or residue getting on either your lens or in your eye, especially before you put your contacts in. Having any residue smudging the lenses would compromise your ability to see through them, and having debris between your lens and your eye can be both uncomfortable and potentially damage your eye.

When washing your hands, make sure you use unscented and non-oily soaps, otherwise you might still have the soaps residue in your fingers. Also make sure to dry your hands with a lint-free towel, so you don’t get any fibers or debris on the lenses.

Practice, practice, practice!

The first few times you try to put in contact lenses will likely be awkward and frustrating, and can take a long time before you get it right. So when you first get your contact lenses, you might want to take any downtime that day to just practice putting them in and taking them out. That way, when you actually want to use them one day it won’t take you so long and you’re more likely to do it correctly. Plus, if you’re squeamish about touching your eyes, it can help you adjust to the feeling.

Keep your fingernails short

When you start out with contact lenses, it’s a good idea to keep your fingernails trimmed short to start with. Until you’re comfortable with handling and using the lenses, you don’t want to accidentally scratch your own eye with longer nails while trying to put them in or remove them. You can also ask your eye doctor for special devices to remove contact lenses called plungers that can help.