Prescription glasses and contact lenses have similar functions but they are still different in their own way. The main function of contact lenses is to correct eye conditions. Examples include myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. This is fairly similar to eye glasses as well. It is common to require two types of prescription if you plan to alternate between glasses and contact lenses. Can wearing the wrong prescription contacts damage your eyes? There are 3 symptoms of wrong contact lens prescription. In this article, we will elaborate more on what they are. Go on, keep reading!
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Are Prescription Contact Lenses the Same as Prescription Glasses?
Before we take a dive in to the symptoms of an inaccurate prescription, it is important to know that prescription contact lenses and prescription glasses are not the same. We cannot use the lens power of prescription glasses for contact lenses because they are significantly different from one another.
Glasses are normally positioned 12 millimeters away from the eyes. As for contact lenses, it sits right on the surface of the eyes. Hence, it is recommended to have two different tests and measurements for glasses and contact lenses.
Does This Mean I Should Not Use Lens Power of Prescription Glasses for Contact Lenses?
That’s right, you should not use your prescription glasses and adapt the same lens power for your contact lens prescription. This is because a person that needs glasses may not be suitable for contact lenses. It is also because there are many types of eye-related complications such as sensitive corneal. This condition causes unnecessary eye infection when wearing contact lenses.
Even if you cannot use the lens power of prescription glasses for contact lenses, there are ways for you to convert them. It is best that you understand the abbreviations on your prescription glasses before the conversion.
- The prescription for your right eye is usually measured in O.D (Oculus Dexter). It should be above the O.S (Oculus Sinister) level.
- Next, enter the sphere value into the sphere tab, which is measured in SPH. It is crucial to include the + (positive) and – (negative) symbols in front of the value, where ever applicable.
- Enter the cylinder (CYL) values into the cylinder tab. For the cylinder value, you only have to locate the negative symbol in front of the value. Convert the cylinder with the plus symbol into a – (negative) form.
- The axis value (also written as AXIS) is visible if you have a cylinder value. Remember to enter your axis value into the axis tab.
Repeat the whole process for your left eye.
Is it Important to Have the Right Prescription for Contact Lenses?
Can wrong prescription contacts damage eyes? Having the ideal prescription for contact lenses is very important. It will not fully harm your eyes but it will continue damaging it in the long run. If you are due for your annual eye exam but have been procrastinating and holding it off for some reason, look out for these symptoms that indicate you should correct your prescription right away.
What Are the Main Symptoms of Wrong Contacts Prescription?
- Blurred Vision – Prescription contact lenses are meant to improve your vision. Wearing them with the wrong prescription will cause vision impairment. In most cases, users can still notice an improvement in their vision even with wrong prescriptions. However, it will not be a 100% clear. Users may also experience eye strain, headache, and slight dizziness when wearing the wrong prescription. Having blurred vision while having your contact lenses on is also one of the first signs of using an expired prescription.
- Discomfort – When this happens, most opticians will usually recommend you to go for eye glasses. The cornea, which is the front part of the eye, differs in shape between one person to another. A professional eye doctor will take different readings which include determining one’s base curve. The base curve (BC) ensures comfort while wearing contact lenses. The level of comfort varies from person to person as well. Although an average base curve is 8.6mm, using contact lenses with a tight base curve can obstruct the tear supply and oxygen permeation. This can ultimately lead to hypoxia or discomfort. On the other hand, wearing prescription contact lenses with a loose base curve will cause the contact lens to move around a lot. This will cause corneal scratching which can lead to severe eye damage.
- Corneal Ulcerations – Based on this article by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, wearing the wrong prescription contact lenses could lead to corneal ulcers. This complication is usually diagnosed during a full eye exam. Eye ulcers can cause scarring on the surface of the eye, sensitivity towards the light, and not forgetting, severe tearing caused by an excruciating pain. If and when you experience such discomfort, immediately seek an evaluation from your eye doctor. Neglecting medical assistance will lead to permanent vision damage.
It is important to schedule an eye check-up at least once a year just to make sure everything is in the pink of health. Get your eye doctor to provide you with a copy of your prescription so that you could order your prescription contact lenses online or from any optical store of your choice.
Is it time refresh your lens power?