Why Is It Important To Have a Prescription for Contact Lenses?

Throughout each day, we consistently go through the motions of protecting our vital organs; we choose to wear a helmet when biking, and exercise to improve our cardio health without so much as a second thought. When it comes to our own two eyes, it is just as important to be defensive; especially as wearing contact lenses without a prescription from a qualified eye doctor can be risky.

Contact Lenses vs. Eyeglass Lenses


Though you may not have thought of them as such, contact lenses are a medical device. Therefore, it is illegal to purchase them without a valid eye prescription written by an eye care physician. This law extends to non-prescription cosmetic lenses as well, including colored lens or special effect contacts. There are practical reasons for having prescriptions and products covered under state and federal laws. For example, some patients believe their eyeglass prescription is also valid for their contact lens prescription. This is not the case.cosplay-contacts

Contact lenses fit over the cornea of your eye. Consequently, your contact lens prescription will have a different lens power than the lens in your eyeglasses, in addition to other measurements related to the size of the lens. Special measurements are needed to not only insure better vision for the patient, but to avoid causing eye irritation, tissue damage, swelling from infection, and other vision risks caused by ill-fitting lenses.

Understanding Your Contact Lens Prescription

In order to understand how contact lens prescriptions work, it is helpful to understand how to read your prescription. Your script contains specific measurements based on your own unique eyes, each of which is equally important. Not realizing this, many people purchase ill-fitting contacts because they overlook the brand of contact their physician has written their prescription for. To illustrate how this happens, we’ll create a quick analogy.

Let’s say your doctor writes a prescription for branded contact lenses specified with a BC value. You see a coupon for a different brand and think, “These contacts are all the same, why not save money?” You purchase the brand not prescribed by your eye doctor and save a few dollars.4791774577_c246224df3_z

In your original prescription, however, your doctor specified a BC value. A normal BC value refers to the curve of your eye, and runs 8.0 to 10.0.  BC values are similar to women’s shoe sizes:  Just because you wear a size 7 in a Bandalino slingback, does not mean you wear a size 7 in a running shoe. In speaking of a contact lens and its BC value, a prescription for an 8.6 in one brand may fit like a BC value of 8.7 in another. That means, when the patient elected to purchase a different brand of contact lenses than their physician prescribed, they wound up paying for contact lenses that do not fit the back curvature of their eye.

Understanding your contact lens prescription and ordering your contacts based on the specific instructions your eye doctor intended will help you keep your eyes safe and healthy. The guide in the table below is designed to help you understand what all the abbreviations and numbers mean on your own contact lens prescription.

How to Read A Contact Lens Prescription

    • PWR – Refers to the Diopters needed to sharpen vision to 20/20.  A Plus sign with a numeral will mean it is a prescription for farsightedness. A minus sign with a numeral will be a prescription for nearsightedness.
    • BC BC stands for back curvature measured in millimeters of your eye.  Measurements range from 8 to 10.  Prescriptions that do not have a BC value come in one base curve, and no other sizes.
    • DIA – Refers to the diameter of the lens needed. This measurement determines where the edge of the contact lens will set in the eye and it is extremely important to ensure a comfortable fit.
    • CYL – Cylinder numbers can range between -4.00 and +4.00. This measurement is for patients who need lenses that are for astigmatism. Lens prescriptions for these lenses will contain two additional numbers that are related to the astigmatism.
    • AXIS – The Axis is a number for an astigmatism prescription between 0 and 180, which will be expressed in degrees.
    • ADD – When patients require bifocal or multifocal corrective contact lenses, they will have a number that is listed under add. It means to add power or add strength.
    • COLOR – Color and style prescription names differ from one brand of contact lenses to another. This value refers to the color or shade of the contact lens.
    • Brand – By law in the United States, all contact lens prescriptions must list a brand. The law states that the contact lens retailer must sell you the specified brand and not substitute it for any other brand.

Just because you’re buying online doesn’t mean you won’t need a doctor’s prescription; Replace My Contacts is proud to uphold medical ethics by requiring every purchaser to include one with their order to get lens like Acuvue, Air Optix and more.

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What Causes Pink Eye and How Do You Get Rid of It?

Itchy, ugly and highly contagious, Pink Eye is a common eye condition that causes great discomfort and irritation. Over 90% of adults have been exposed to this temporary ailment – also known by its proper medical name, Conjunctivitis – which is either contracted from person to person or through 131227-bloodshot-eyes-getty-stock-10a_11c71887f9c92a67eee8158ffd6147ceexposure to certain allergens, viruses and bacteria. Pink Eye can also be obtained through the improper care of contact lenses. All three strains of conjunctivitis produce dissimilar symptoms, and the treatment of each should come by recommendation of your physician or eye doctor, who can help you determine the cause of pink eye by taking a sample of tears or secretion for testing.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Patients who suffer allergic conjunctivitis often experience symptoms in both eyes, in addition to a runny or stuffy nose. If your case of pink eye is caused by allergies, this type of conjunctivitis is not transmitted to others.

The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis can normally be treated at home with allergy medicines. Cold compresses may also relieve discomfort. Over the counter antihistamine eye drops may also help to reduce swelling in your eyes.

Contact Lens–Induced Papillary Conjunctivitis (CLPC)

A less common complication of conjunctivitis that contact lens wearers can experience is known as Giant Induced Papillary Conjunctivitis. This condition falls under the allergic type of pink eye and is caused from an allergy to contact lenses of all types. The most effective deterrent to induced papillary conjunctivitis is the routine cleaning and maintenance of your contact lenses. Eye doctors may prescribe a topical steroid to treat this condition; as CLPC can eventually lead to corneal ulcers and other complications, a trip to the doctor’s is highly recommended.

Viral Conjunctivitis

Viral pink eye is the most common form of conjunctivitis and, like a cold, will clear up on its own without a prescription. School-age children suffering from a case of viral pink eye should wait 3 to 5 days at home for symptoms to clear up before returning to their classroom. Most of the time, viral conjunctivitis is spread like other viruses, where coughing, sneezing or touching surfaces with the live viral germ will cause transfer of viral pink eye from one person to another.

Eye discharge caused by viral pink eye normally runs clear. However, in some cases white or light yellow eye mucus can be present. Viral conjunctivitis is caused by the same viral germs as a common cold or the herpes simplex virus. When the pink eye virus is present, it causes inflammation of the “white” of the eye (sclera) and the inner eyelid surface. Besides itching madly, pink eye sometimes is associated with white, yellow or green eye discharge that forms into an eyelash crust. In a more progressed stage of pink eye, patients can experience eyelid crusting that temporarily seals the eye lid shut. There are a number of things you can do at home to ease the discomfort of viral conjunctivitis while waiting for symptoms to dissipate.

92292345-61fe-4454-84c6-d9c91dc31b22Viral Conjunctivitis Home Treatments

– Hot or Cold Compresses. Do not use the same compress on each eye. This could potentially lead to spreading pink eye from one eye to another.
– Wiping the corner of the eye to remove discharge with soft Q-tip. Dispose of Q-Tip after one use.
– Irrigate eyes with an antihistamine tear drop. These can be purchased over the counter.
– Wash hands to prevent spreading conjunctivitis.
– Change pillow cases often.
– Keep your hands away from your eyes.
– Keep counters, night stands, and bathroom and kitchen surfaces clean with an anti-bacterial cleaner.
– Discard old eye make-up. Expired mascara or eye shadow brushes can lead to reinfection of the eye; for more tips on using cosmetics healthily, click here.
– Do not wear your contact lenses while suffering conjunctivitis. Throw away old eye solution.

Viral conjunctivitis will run its course in one to three weeks’ time. However, if your doctor believes your pink eye might be caused by the herpes simplex virus due to low immunity, he or she may prescribe an anti-viral medication.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Patients that experience thicker or pus-like eye discharge may be suffering bacterial conjunctivitis. Eye discharge from bacterial conjunctivitis appears as a heavy mucous, and is more likely to be green or grayish in color. If pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, a warm compress may help to reduce swelling and redness.
The sticky mucus caused by bacteria in the eye is extremely contagious and can cause serious damage to eyes if left untreated. Patients who suspect they may have this condition should see their doctor right away. Antibiotics are normally prescribed for bacterial pink eye. School age children who suffer from a case of bacterial pink eye can usually attend school 24 hours after being treated with antibiotics.

In most cases, pink eye is a non-serious condition which will improve on its own after a few days or weeks’ time. To speed up the recovery process, see your doctor for prescriptions or over-the-counter recommendations to alleviate discomfort and relieve symptoms more quickly. You should contact your doctor immediately if you believe you have a case of bacterial conjunctivitis or contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis. You should also see your doctor if at any point you experience eye pain, an increased over-sensitivity to light, if your vision becomes blurry and does not improve after blinking, or if your symptoms become increasingly worse.

The Most Famous Eyes in Art

The Most Famous Eyes in Art

A deep and engaging gaze into someone’s eyes stirs something inside of all of us. Some would call it excitement. Many claim it to be a signal of whether that person finds you interesting. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul.”

Since the beginning of time, devotion to the look of a human eye has been portrayed in paintings, sculptures and prose. Standing face to face and looking into the eyes of a portrait of the Mona Lisa, or contemplating the complexity of Escher‘s precise sketch of the eye, reminds us that a glance, catching someone’s eye, or even a stare can be a momentous human experience. Through art, we marvel at the capacity of human beings to express themselves in such intentional, prolific and sometimes painful ways.

Works of art devoted to the human eye do often make us feel that we are viewing the souls and spirits embedded in the frame. In this post we are reminded by some of the most creative and unusual minds of artists, just how beautiful the human eye can be.

Mona_LisaMona Lisa’s Eyes

The Mona Lisa portrait painted by Leonardo da Vinci has survived for more than 500 years. Painted in 1503, it is interesting to note that, despite the fact that viewers claim her eyes follow you around the room, the Mona Lisa clearly has no visible eyebrows or eyelashes. Plucking these hairs by genteel women was a practice back in this time. Have you ever wondered why we even have eyebrows? Eyebrows, eyelashes and eyelids work together to protect the eye from external debris. The Mona Lisa painting hangs in the Louvre Museum of Paris, France today. Her portrait and her eyes are unquestionably one of the most popular subjects and most visited exhibits at the world’s favorite museum.

eye.jpg!BlogEscher’s Eye

The Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher is perhaps best known for his haunting sketch of “The Eye”. Looking right back at its viewer, we see a frightening reflection of death. Throughout his career, Escher sketched numerous visual riddles, and had an amazing mathematical ability to create art that was a combination of visual and intuitive light and line

Van GoughVan Gough Eyes

Vincent Van Gogh created many self-portraits during his career. Within all of them, the eyes seldom seem to gaze at the viewer. Even Van Gough’s fixed gaze, appears to look somewhere else in the room. Why did he paint so many portraits of himself? Van Gough is thought to have simply been practicing his painting skills, and capturing his own image avoided the cost of hiring Picassoa model. The self-portrait we see here was one of Van Hough’s last self-portraits; he presented it to his mother for a birthday gift.

Picasso’s Weeping Woman

One of the most famous cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso is his 1937 depiction of The Weeping Woman. Emotionally moved by the bombings of the Basque town of Guernica by Germany, Picasso responded by painting several paintings based on the sad event including a weeping woman holding her dead child. In this painting he is thought to have painted the eyes of his lover Dora.

RembrandtEye To Eye with Rembrandt

Rembrandt’s portraits have an effect on our human emotions by attracting our eyes to the human face. Rembrandt painted exceptional detail in and around the eyes of his subject. Some of his subject’s eyes seduce, while others peer into our minds.
According to researcher Steve DiPaola of the University of British Columbia (UBC), viewers of Rembrandt paintings have physical reactions to the eye details. The study concluded that viewers spent longer periods of time looking at the eyes in Rembrandt’s portraits, and as a result, showed calmer responses to his work than the work of other artists.

ChicagoEye Sculpture on State Street, Chicago

All eyes are on a 30-foot eyeball sculpture, created by Tony Tasset at Pritzker Park in the Chicago Loop Area. Prior to the sculpture being erected in 2010, Pritzker Park was a lesser known park populated by mostly inner city pigeons. Today the sculpture keeps a watch over the downtown area of Chicago.

RushmoreThe Granite Eye of Democracy

If you have ever visited Mount Rushmore in South Dakota in person, one of the first things to marvel at is the detail of the eyes that seem to twinkle from the stone faces of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt. Mt. Rushmore is the World’s Largest Sculpture created by Gutzon Borglum. Borglum created realistic looking eyes by, cutting a P20-inch shaft of granite in each pupil. When the sun hits the shaft, a twinkling effect can be seen.
Blue Eyes by Henri Matisse

Blue EyesCould the magnetism of blue eyes that inspired Henri Matisse to create and name his 1934 painting “Blue Eyes”, actually be a genetic error? Research suggests a single mutation that occurred within one person that lived near the northwestern coast of the Black Sea about 8,000 years ago, was the common ancestor, presumably to all blue eyed babies in the world! “Originally, we all had brown eyes” noted Professor Hans Eiberg of the University of Copenhagen. Eiberg discovered and isolated a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes. This mutation apparently acted as a DNA ‘switch,’ that turned off the ability to produce brown eyes. Natural blue eyes are a recessive trait and must be inherited from both parents, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the same effect from colored contacts like Focus Monthly Soft Colors.

There you have it, some of the most beautiful art in the world that was inspired by the human eye. Of course, this group of eye art was compiled subjectivity, so please feel free to write us back and let us know what eye-inspired masterpieces you think deserve to be on the list.

How to Take Out Contact Lenses Step-By-Step

You’ve finally mastered putting in your contact lenses, but taking them can be an equally daunting task. While the process should be simple and smooth, there’s no denying that mastering this practice can be tricky at first. To help you cement a set routine and perfect this practice, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to removing your contacts (you can also check out our video on the same topic).

Blue_alarm_clock_(3)Step Number One
If you haven’t already done so, create an alarm or reminder that alerts you that it’s time to remove your lenses, whether it is a post-it on the vanity mirror or a notification on your phone. This is especially helpful if you are new to wearing contacts, as it is all-too-easy to drift off to sleep still wearing them. If you are buying a line that enables extended wear (like the Air Optix Night & Day Aqua), a note on the calendar should be made about when to switch out the pair.

Step Number Two
Start by washing your hands with soap and water. Keep in mind the following:
• Don’t forget to rinse all the soap from your fingertips. Even a small trace of soap or oil on your fingertips can have an adverse effect on a contact lens.
• When drying your hands make sure you use a lint free towel. Terry cloth towels can leave fibers. Choose a paper towel or a cotton or linen towel for this task.
• Make sure your hands are completely dry. Wet fingers will cause the contact lens to stick to your fingers.

Step Number Three
Cover the sink drain or close it. Contacts can be slippery and you don’t want to lose one down the drain.

Step Number Four
To avoid future confusion about contact lens is intended for which eye, only open one side of your case at a time. Fill your case to about the halfway point with solution before you take your contacts out.

Step Number Five
Stand in front of your mirror and blink your eyes several times to naturally lubricate the eyeball. Now look straight ahead in the mirror. Using the middle finger of your hand, pull your lower eyelid down, and then look up at the ceiling.

Contact-Lens-Care-Storage-TipsStep Number Six
For Soft Contacts:
Glance up and use the index finger of your other hand to slide the contact lens down from the pupil to the lower white part of your eye. Using the index finger and thumb of your lower hand, locate the contact and pinch it between your fingers and extract it. Make sure you use the fleshy part of your fingers and never use your finger nails, or else you may have to deal with a corneal abrasion. Remove the other lens following the same procedure.
If you are trying to remove the lens and you are having a difficult time, stop and rest for a few minutes. Do not keep trying to remove the contact if your eye is starting to feel irritated. Instead, try using a few drops eye drops of contact lens solution. Go back and repeat this procedure again in a few minutes. It’s natural to grow impatient or frantic, but refute the urge to rush or be more aggressive with your fingers.
For Hard Contacts:
Hard contact lenses can be removed by holding your hand out palms up. Bend over from the waist. Using your fingers, pull the upper and lower eyelids outward toward your ear with your eye wide open. By simply blinking while doing this, the contact lens should pop out and into your open hand. Remove the other lens following the same procedure.

Step Number Seven
Once removed, your lenses should be cleaned or, if you have a daily version like the Acuvue 1 Day Moist, disposed of. Cleaning your contact lenses the correct way is very important. Avoid common mistakes that can lead to introducing bacteria to your eye.

Safety Tips for Cleaning Contact Lenses:
• Disinfected your contact lenses and your lens case on a regular basis (click here for instructions).
• Do not place your contact lenses in your mouth. In fact, do not use your saliva to moisten your lens. By doing this you are introducing bacteria to your eye.
• Never “top off” old solution in your contact lens case. Instead, throw away old solution and replace it with new solution.
We hope this step by step guide has been helpful. For more information on contact lens safety, cleaning, or ways to enhance your vision health, contact us at either 1-888-727-5367 or customercare@replacemycontacts.com.

When and How to Clean Your Contact Lens Case

Every contact wearer knows that in order to avoid nasty eye disorders or eye irritation, you must only wear your lenses for their suggested lifespan. After all, contact lenses not only accumulate dirt and debris as they’re worn, but they may also warp over time. However, did you know that just as your contacts can dirty with each wear, the case you keep your lenses in can also cause infections if it isn’t cleaned properly? 0001980_250

Since no one wants to wake up to an eye infection, we’ve put together a helpful guide to cleaning your contact case. You’ve already read the why, now here’s the when and how.

How often should I clean my contact lens case?

Contact lens cases should be cleaned as often as possible, preferably after every use.

If you are sitting there with the same case that came with your contacts (that you received last January), we’d advise you find the nearest trash can and throw that case out. Even though the case may seem like an insignificant piece of plastic, dirt and bacteria can build up over time within the case. It is generally recommended that contact lens cases be used for no longer than three months. After this period, a brand new, sterile case should be used.

4960522015_899e0ae02b_zHow do I clean my contact lens case?

While you may think running your case under lukewarm water to wash away used solution is doing the trick, it actually isn’t. Contact lens cases should only be cleaned with sterile contact lens solution. Here is a quick and dirty list of the most sanitary and effective way to clean your contact lens case:

1.       Wash your hands with soap and hot water. Make sure you rinse any perfumes, oils, or lotions from your hands.

2.       Remove contacts from case and place in an alternate, unused case.

3.        Use brand name solution to rinse the case out. You should not use water to rinse the case. While solution and water may seem very similar, sight threatening issues can arise from exposing your contact lenses to water, such as Acanthamoeba keratitis. Even water that is safe to drink is not 100% sterile and contains microorganisms. Furthermore, contact lenses absorb water, making them to grow and can cause irritation when worn.

4.       Use a clean lint-free towel to dry the inside of the case or keep the lids off and let the case air dry.

Now that you know when and how to clean your contact lens case, you should never have an excuse for having dirty contact lenses. Carrying an extra case and container of solution will make you ready for any occasion or situation that comes up. For some however, continually caring for and storing contacts may be a burden they aren’t willing to carry—for these people we suggest Acuvue daily disposable lenses.

Don’t forget to check out cute contact lens cases like this, available through Replace My Contacts.