If they are defective, how do you know? What do you do?
First question – Did Your Contact Lenses Tear?
If your lens is torn out of the box then it is most likely defective. Here are some tips on how to avoid contacts tearing:
- Check the modulus. Modulus is the lens material’s resistance to deformation under pressure. This means that contact lenses with a higher modulus will be a bit stiffer and easier to handle, while a lens with a low modulus will be floppier and have a higher chance of ripping. Such lower modulus lenses, however, have a higher water content and tend to be more comfortable. If your lenses keep ripping, talk to your optometrist about the best modulus for you.
- Never use fingernails. Fingernails are one of the top causes of lenses ripping.
- To remove your contacts: use your thumb and forefinger to slide the lens and break the suction, then remove. Do NOT pinch the lens with your fingernails.
- To unfold contact lenses: Simply soak it in solution on your palm. Lightly rub the lens until the moisture naturally unfolds it.
- Keep your lens case filled to the brim with solution. If the case isn’t full, the lens can stick to the sides and be damaged when you take it out.
Warning: Don’t wear a ripped contact lens. Even if it’s just a tiny chip at the edge, and you really, really need contacts. A torn edge can scratch your cornea.
To remove a torn contact lens:
- Wash your hands.
- Add some rewetting solution to your eye to keep any torn bits from sticking to your eye.
- Pull your lower eyelid down and use your forefinger to slide the torn lens down to the lower part of your eye.
- Use your thumb and forefinger to take the lens out.
- Carefully check your eye for any pieces that may remain.
Are Your Contact Lenses Blurry or Uncomfortable ?
This should never be the case with properly fitted soft contact lenses. Discomfort can occur for several reasons:
Is the contact lens the wrong size or shape for your eye? Your eye measurements are unique to you and it is your optometrist’s responsibility to help you find the best-fitting contact lenses for you.
- Outside sources: If dust has stuck to your lenses before you put them on, the dust can irritate your eyes.
- Lens material: Contact lenses are made with different materials for each product line. It’s possible for some materials to irritate your eyes. This is why it is very important to consult your optometrist for a fitting when trying new lenses.
If your eyes tend to be dry, it can be uncomfortable when wearing contact lenses. If you report this to your optometrist, you can ask to try lenses that designed specifically to reduce dry eye discomfort, such as Dailies, Proclear, Bausch & Lomb Ultra, etc.
Outdated/ Wrong Type of Prescription
- Is your prescription up to date? Your vision can change over time, and what suited the grade of your vision, say, two years ago may no longer suit you now. Your last eye exam should be within a year ago to make sure it’s still up to date.
- Did you receive a prescription specifically for contact lenses, or was it for glasses? (If you do not know–if you did not sit down with your optometrist specifically for a “contact lens fitting”, it was not for contact lenses.)
Is A Contact Lens Fitting?
Eyeglasses prescriptions cannot be used for contact lenses. Briefly, a contact lens fitting is where your optometrist gives you the precise prescription for contacts and gives you trial lenses to see if they suit your eyes.
Here are the steps for receiving a contact lens fitting:
- Go to an Optometrist and request a “contact lens fitting”. Don’t rely on an Optician to do this process, as Opticians usually have insufficient training to properly identify vision issues. Opticians cannot perform full eye exams and this process is critical to ensuring that your vision prescription is fully up-to-date.
- The Optometrist should give you at least a short eye exam in order to double check your current prescription. It is very normal to be charged a fee for this part of the process.
- Then the Optometrist should provide you with a set of trial lenses. If the Optometrist charges you money for the trial lenses themselves, this may be in violation of the College of Optometry bylaws for your province. If you suspect that the Optometrist is charging you for trials, you may want to look up the College of Optometry for your province and inquire with them if such an action is in compliance with the bylaws of your province.
- Once you have tried one pair of trial lenses, the Optometrist should request that you return sometime very soon, often between a few days and a week. The Optometrist will ask you to relay your experience as to how they feel and how your vision is with the trial lenses. If these lenses are uncomfortable or if your vision is not sufficient, then the Optometrist should provide you with a different product and/or prescription.
- Eventually, after trial and error, you should be able to finally find a contact lens product that works for you.
- The Optometrist is then required to provide you with all the specifics of that contact lens product and prescription. If they do not, we recommend that you contact your College of Optometry for your province to inquire whether that is in compliance with the bylaws of your province.
Why Do I Need A Contact Lens Fitting Before Shopping Online?
A common mistake people make is guessing at which product they should use and then using their eyeglass prescription to pick the parameters of their contact lenses.
Why is using an eyeglass prescription and guessing at products a bad idea?
- A contact lens prescription will be quite different from an eyeglass prescription. The eyeglasses sit on your nose, after all, while the lenses have to actually fit on your cornea. The shape and size of your eyes have to be in the prescription as well.
- Contact lenses are not created equal. They are made with varying materials, some of which may irritate your eyes. They also breathe and fit differently. Your eyes can be permanently damaged by using the wrong contacts. Don’t do it!
Getting a contact lens fitting from your optometrist will not only assure you of using comfortable lenses in the right power and fit for your eyes, it will also save you money in the long run. It costs less to get a fitting and try multiple free trial lenses than to buy whole boxes of contact lenses yourself and and find that they don’t fit. (We accept returns only if the box is unopened, as per our return policy.)
Here is a video from our CEO explaining why you need a contact lens fitting before shopping online:
Still Think Your Contact Lenses Are Defective Out Of The Box?
If you’ve checked all these points and concluded that your contact lens came with a manufacturing defect, please do the following:
- The defect:
- The date of your most recent contact lens prescription for the affected lens brand*:
- The quantity of lenses affected:
- The prescription of the lens/es affected:
- The quantity of lenses left unused in the box/es the defective lens/es are from:
- Do you have the defective lens/es available to send in for quality control testing? Y/ N
- The LOT number at the back of the box/es the defective lens/es are from:
Once we receive the information, we file your report with the manufacturer and review with them our options for assisting you. As each customer and his/ her difficulty with the lens is unique, each report is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. We will then reach out to you with updates accordingly.
Please be assured that we do take these reports quite seriously and we always do the best we can for you (our loyal customers are our most valued resource!).
*Depending on the manufacturer for your lenses, we may need to request your optometrist’s contact information. This is because it is standard operating procedure for some manufacturers to check the prescription with the optometrist in question before proceeding with the next step.
Thank you for reading through! We appreciate your time spent learning how to check if your contact lenses are defective, how to prevent possible issues with your contacts, and keep your eyes safe.
Bausch & Lomb on contact lens discomfort: http://www.bausch.com/your-eye-concerns/eye-infections-irritations/contact-lens-discomfort
CooperVision on avoiding ripping contact lenses: https://coopervision.com/blog/how-avoid-ripping-contacts