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Can Fire Melt My Contacts Onto My Eye?

A piece of “common wisdom” that seems to be making the rounds these days is that you shouldn’t wear contact lenses at bonfires, barbecues or similar settings where fire may be present. The claim is that the extreme heat from the fire can cause the contact lenses to melt or fuse onto your eye, causing irreversible, total blindness. Our Mt Pleasant eye doctors are here to debunk this claim, and show you that you have nothing to fear from wearing contact lenses to your latest barbecue.

Rumors About Contact Lenses and Fire

Where did this piece of “common wisdom” come from, and how do we know it’s a myth?

As far as our eye care team can tell, this rumor was started on social media sometime in 2017, with a story about a young lady who stood close to a lit charcoal grill, looking at the coals for about 2-3 minutes. She then began experiencing pain in her eyes and, upon being taken to the hospital, was told that her contact lenses were melted to her eyes and she would be permanently blind.

Contact lenses are sterilized at temperatures of up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and dirty contact lenses that need to be cleaned or re-sterilized are often placed in boiling water.

Contact lenses can withstand boiling water without being destroyed. This means that the heat from the fire would have to boil away the tears in a person’s eyes before their contact lenses would even begin to sustain damage. For this to happen, you would have to be standing in the fire itself, and by then you would also have severe burns on your skin, and melted contacts may be only part (and perhaps the least part) of your concern.

At least 125 million people wear contact lenses worldwide. If normal grills and barbecues could melt contact lenses, contact lens wearers would be unable to operate or even approach household heaters, stoves, and a variety of other common heat sources without melting their lenses. Millions of cases of melted contact lenses would be reported each year. This is simply not the case.

So, obviously, contact lenses can’t melt to your eyes and cause permanent blindness because fire or other common heating sources simply don’t get hot enough for that. But is there any kernel of truth in this concern?

A Kernel of Truth? When Your Contacts Dry Out

Though it’s impossible for your contact lenses to be melted to your eye from being close to fire or another heating element, there is a very real way that you may feel like your contacts are temporarily stuck to your eye.

Being close to heat can potentially dry your contact lenses out, causing the to feel like they are stuck to your eye when you attempt to take them out. This can also result from air conditioning blowing directly into your eyes, extended time of computers and other digital screens, being outside in overly cold or dry weather, and many more things.

If your contacts feel like this sometimes, don’t worry! A drop or two of contact lens solution will help you safely take out your contact lenses without any ill effect.

Want to learn more about contact lenses and your eye health? Contact our Mt Pleasant eye doctors at Family Vision Care today.

Myopia and Contact Lenses

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a very common eye condition that causes a person to be unable to see objects clearly from a distance. This condition affects an estimated 30% of the world population today, and that number is projected to grow to as much as 50% by 2050.

But did you know that, beyond poor eyesight, myopia can also pose a long-term threat to your kid’s vision and eye health? Eye doctors warn that significant data points to a connection between myopia and development of potentially sight-threatening eye conditions, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, later in life.

Fortunately, our Mt Pleasant eye doctors offer extensive pediatric eye care, including contact lenses meant to address myopia and stop or slow its progression. Want to know more about contact lenses for myopia? Take a look below!

Contacts That Can Help With Myopia

Finding the right type of contact lens to help your child with their myopia starts with a comprehensive eye exam with our local optometrist at Family Vision Care. Once we’ve taken a look at your kid’s eyes, we’ll be able to assess how best to help.

 

Here are some of the most popular options available to help your child:

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k)

Ortho-k lenses are a special type of contacts that are worn at night, which gently reshape your cornea as you sleep. This allows you to wake up the next morning and enjoy improved vision for the whole day without further need for contacts or glasses.

Ortho-k lenses have also been shown to slow the progression of myopia in kids.

The daily effects of these lenses are temporary, so it is essential that they be worn every night to maximize their ability to improve your child’s vision, as well as slow their myopia progression significantly.

Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses

Though primarily meant to treat vision problems associated with presbyopia, bifocal and multifocal lenses have proven to be effective also in slowing myopia progression.

Specifically, bifocal and multifocal lenses that have distance vision correction in the center and near vision correction on the sides have been shown to stop or significantly slow children’s myopia.

Unfortunately, there is no way to cure myopia. Glasses and contacts can help correct vision, but often don’t prevent vision from getting worse, leaving your child vulnerable to eye disease later in life. Find out more about how myopia management can change this, and preserve your child’s long-term vision and eye health.

Contact our Mt Pleasant eye doctors at Family Vision Care today!

Q&A With Your Local Eye Doctor

Does myopia management work for adults?

Though myopia management is primarily effective in children, some research has shown that it can still be helpful for adults as well. Primary methods of adults myopia management include ortho-k lenses and multifocal glasses and contacts.

Can myopia cause blindness?

Most of the time myopia does not cause significant short-term vision loss beyond the characteristic nearsightedness. However, an extreme form of myopia, known as degenerative myopia, is a leading cause of legal blindness. Fortunately, it is quite rare, affecting only 2% of the population. Nonetheless, comprehensive eye exams are essential to ensure that myopia doesn’t cause significant vision loss.

5 Contact Lens Health Tips

Contact lenses are a convenient way to correct vision without glasses or LASIK surgery. To keep their eyes healthy, contact lens wearers should adopt a care regimen that involves regular rinsing, disinfecting and replacing their lenses when needed.

A contact lens exam and fitting session with Family Vision Care in ​​Mt Pleasant will ensure that you receive the best lenses for you and your lifestyle. The eye doctor will also instruct you on how to clean and care for them.

The following tips are essential for healthy and safe contact lens use:

  1. Replace contact lenses as advised by your eye doctor
  2. Wash hands carefully before touching the lenses, either removing or inserting
  3. Only use the prescribed solution to rinse lenses
  4. Disinfect contact lenses as instructed by your eye doctor
  5. Schedule a contact lens exam and fitting
  6. Always attend your contact lens follow up exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems

Replace Contact Lenses as Instructed

It’s important to replace your contact lenses as directed by your eye doctor. The period of time you can wear your lenses before using new ones depends on the type of lenses you have:

  • Daily disposable lenses – one-time use
  • Bi-weekly disposable lenses – replace every two weeks or sooner
  • Monthly lenses – every month
  • Traditional (non-disposable) lenses – replace every 6 to 12 months, or as per your eye doctor‘s advice.

Inspect your lenses carefully. If they are showing signs of wear and tear, replace them sooner. Exceeding the maximum time frame for contact lens wear can increase the risk of eye irritation and infection, and may even damage your eyes to the point where you can no longer wear contact lenses.

Wash and Dry Hands Carefully Before Applying Contact Lenses

Teens and adults often lead active lives and it can be easy to skip important routines like washing your hands with soap and water and drying them thoroughly with a lint-free towel or paper towel before applying contact lenses. This step shouldn’t be ignored as unwashed fingers transmit germs onto the lenses, which can enter the eye and lead to serious eye damage and vision loss.

So make sure you use plain soap (and not heavily scented varieties that may contain irritants) and dry your fingers with a lint-free towel before inserting or removing your contacts.

Use Solution to Rinse Contact Lenses

Rinsing contact lenses properly keeps tiny particles of makeup residue and microbes from reaching your eye. Apply the solution generously and rub the lens in the palm of your hand.

Even if you are at school or work and feel you are in too much of a hurry to get your solution, do not use tap water to rinse your lenses. Tap water is teeming with minerals, impurities and microbes that can damage lenses, irritate your eyes and spread infection.

Disinfect Contact Lenses

Disinfecting contact lenses kills germs and pathogens that can cause eye infections. There are several products and methods for disinfecting:

  • Multipurpose solution
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Disinfecting devices

A multipurpose solution (MPS) can be used for routine rinsing as well as disinfecting. The procedure involves rinsing the lenses twice, placing them in a case filled with the multipurpose solution, letting the lenses soak, then rinsing them again before use.

The vast majority of eye doctors recommend an MPS for all disposable lenses

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant that should be used with care and only with a [neutralizer]. Rinse the lenses and place them in a special contact lens container, then dip them in the solution. A [neutralizer] may be built-in to special lens holders or is available in tablet form. After the solution has been [neutralized], you can rinse, dry, and wear the contact lenses.

Schedule a Contact Lens Exam, Fitting and Follow Up

To keep your eyes healthy and vision sharp, your contact lenses should be the right size and type to suit your vision requirements and lifestyle. A thorough contact lens exam and fitting are essential. Your eye doctor will perform a series of tests, including measurements of the cornea, iris and pupil, an evaluation of tear production and of the surface of your eyes.

A contact lens exam also includes questions about lifestyle and what kind of lenses you prefer. For instance, a teenager who is on a high school sports team may also need disposable lenses for road games and swim meets. The exam also involves a fitting session as well as follow-up exams to ensure the lenses do not cause irritation.

Follow up appointments are essential to allow the eye doctor to observe your eye health and make any adjustments to the lenses or your care regimen. It is essential to come to these exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems.

To schedule a contact lens exam, fitting or follow-up exam, contact us at Family Vision Care in ​​Mt Pleasant. We serve patients of every age, from children to seniors. Book your appointment with Family Vision Care today

At Family Vision Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 843-881-2492 or book an appointment online to see one of our Mt Pleasant eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Q&A

Why do my eyes feel dry when I wear contacts?

There are a few possible reasons your eyes may feel dry or irritated when wearing contacts. Your contacts may not be fitting properly or something may have entered into your eyes. There may also be an issue with your eyes and may be suffering from dry eye disease. It’s best to speak with your eye doctor and choose the optimal lens for ultimate comfort and hydration. If dry eye disease is diagnosed, your eye doctor will provide guidance and help you get the treatment you need for lasting relief.

How to Deal with Contact Lens Discomfort

Do your eyes itch or burn when wearing contact lenses? There are several reasons why you may be experiencing contact lens discomfort. Discover the possible causes behind the problem and see what you can do to relieve your discomfort.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

Some of the top causes of uncomfortable contacts are:

Dry eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that arises when your tears can’t keep your eyes sufficiently lubricated due to an imbalance in the tear film. Certain diseases, medications and environmental factors, like high levels of dryness and wind, can cause or contribute to red, itchy or irritated eyes, especially when wearing contacts.

Allergies

Allergens are typically harmless substances that induce an allergic response in certain people. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are some of the most common airborne allergens that trigger eye allergies. Cosmetics and certain eye drops, such as artificial tears with preservatives, can also induce eye allergies, which can make contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Corneal irregularities

The cornea at the front of the eye may be irregularly shaped due to astigmatism, keratoconus, eye surgeries (i.e. LASIK or cataract surgery), eye injuries or burns, scarring, corneal ulcers and/or severe dry eye. Irregular corneas often prevent traditional contact lenses from fitting correctly and comfortably.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Discomfort

  • Burning, itchy, stinging eyes
  • Sensation of something being stuck is in the eye
  • Excessive watering or tearing of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light

How to Relieve Contact Lens Discomfort

Try Different Contact Lenses

Nowadays, there are many types of contact lenses on the market, including specialty contacts for dry eyes and astigmatism. Meet with our optometrist for a personalized eye exam for contacts.

With the variety of contact lens brands available, switching to a different contact lens may be the simplest answer if you’re experiencing discomfort that isn’t connected to improper fitting or issues with tear production. If your existing lenses fit well but still irritate and dry out your eyes, speak to us about trying a different design or brand of contact lenses, or changing your lens-wearing schedule.

Artificial Tears or Eye Drops

Over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops are a common way to temporarily relieve contact lens discomfort. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless prescribed by an eye doctor, they may not be treating the root of the problem.

Moreover, certain eye drops are incompatible with contact lenses, and may damage your contacts or harm your eyes. We also recommend staying away from products that claim to remove redness from your eyes, which temporarily reduce the size of blood vessels to lessen redness, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition, and can actually worsen it over time.

Take Good Care of Your Lenses

Inadequate contact lens care leaves residue on your lenses, which can discomfort, harmful eye infections and inflammation. Below are a few important contact lens hygiene guidelines to follow:

  • Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
  • Remove your lenses before showering, bathing or swimming to prevent infection.
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses (unless they are approved for sleeping).
  • Replace your contact lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., don’t reuse daily wear lenses).
  • Regularly clean your contact lens case and ask your eye doctor when to replace it.
  • Only use a contact lens solution that is appropriate for your lenses.
  • Never reuse or mix contact lens solutions.
  • Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor.

If you are experiencing discomfort with your contact lenses, get in touch with Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant today. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and provide effective solutions for all-day comfort.

Q&A

What kinds of contacts are available?

Contact lenses are available in a wide range of materials and replacement schedules. Disposable contact lenses and extended wear contacts are the most convenient for many users.

I’ve already been fitted for contact lenses, so why did my optometrist ask me to come back?

If you’re asked to return a week later, it’s because your optometrist wants to rule out any issues, such as contact lens-related dry eye or irritation.

If it’s been around a year since your last eye checkup, you’ve likely been contacted to check whether your prescription has changed and to evaluate your eye health. The sooner problems are detected and treated, the better the outcome.

Is It Really That Bad to Sleep or Shower In Contact Lenses?

Is it safe to wear contact lenses while showering or sleeping?

No. It’s absolutely not safe to wear contacts while immersed in water or when sleeping (unless you have contacts specifically intended for overnight wear). 

Sleeping in your contact lenses can dry out your eyes and potentially harm your vision as a result of infection. Contact lenses should also be kept away from water as it’s a natural breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms, which can get trapped under the contact lens, putting you at risk of a waterborne eye infection. 

Why Does Sleeping in Contacts Increase the Risk of Infection?

To stay healthy, your corneas require hydration and oxygen. Blinking keeps your eyes wet, and the tears you produce allow oxygen to enter your eyes. 

Sleeping in standard contacts limits the amount of oxygen and hydration that reach your eyes. As a result, your corneas are more dry and susceptible to corneal abrasion, and they have a harder time fighting bacteria, causing your eyes to be more prone to infection. 

If, after sleeping in contact lenses, you experience blurred vision, discharge from your eyes, redness or watering, you may have an eye infection. Left untreated, infection can lead to corneal damage, and—in extreme cases—loss of vision.

What are the Risks of Showering While Wearing Contacts?

Contact lens wearers are more likely to develop keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea, if their lenses come into contact with water. Left untreated, keratitis can cause vision loss. 

In microbial keratitis, microorganisms invade the cornea and cause an infection of the eye. The microorganisms that cause these infections can be found in a variety of water sources, including rivers, lakes and streams, showers, tap, a pool or jacuzzi. Normally, the antimicrobial properties of tears protect your eyes, but that process is hindered by contact lenses.

Furthermore, contact lenses can stick to your eye when exposed to water, potentially leading to corneal abrasions. These scratches may enable microorganisms found in non-sterile water to penetrate the cornea and cause an infection.

Eye Care Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

  • In order to avoid eye infections, it’s important to follow the tips below. However, do not consider these tips as medical advice. Always speak to your eye doctor for individual advice on wearing and caring for your contact lenses.
  • Avoid water while wearing contacts. Keep your contacts away from water. Make sure to remove your contacts before showering, bathing, or swimming. Don’t rinse or store your contacts in water, and if it does occur, make sure to throw away or disinfect them thoroughly.
  • Don’t sleep in your contacts. Avoid wearing your contacts when sleeping, unless you have special overnight lenses or your eye doctor has told you that it’s safe to do so.
  • Use clean hands. Always wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before touching your contacts.
  • Follow product instructions. Always follow the directions when cleaning or disinfecting your contacts.
  • Store contacts properly. Make sure your contacts are exclusively stored in fresh contact lens solution. Never reuse old solution.
  • Wear contacts for the proper length of time. Avoid wearing your contacts for longer than the recommended time period.

So, remove those lenses before going to bed and showering. If you experience symptoms like eye pain, discharge, or sensitivity to light, immediately remove your lenses and consult Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant without delay.

Q&A

Who can wear contact lenses?

Almost everyone can wear contact lenses, no matter their age, prescription or lifestyle.

What if I accidentally fall asleep with my contacts?

If you fall asleep with your contacts on, you may wake up with them attached to your eye’s surface. If they don’t come out easily, blink and apply lens drops until the surface of your eye is moist. That should make it easier to remove the lenses.

A WIDE SELECTION OF CONTACT LENSES IN Mt Pleasant, South Carolina


We are dedicated to ensuring you have the most comfortable and enjoyable contact lens-wearing experience possible. Our Family Vision Care optometrists will evaluate your eye shape and prescription to help you determine the best option of contact lenses for your needs.

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Establishing a Good Contact Lens Fit at Family Vision Care

It starts with a thorough eye exam to ensure the most up-to-date prescription and rule out any pre-existing conditions that could interfere with contact lens wear.

*We are a contact lens recycling site! We take all contact lens materials and packaging to be repurposed and recycled. You are welcome to drop off packaging and materials at our practice!

Fitting lenses to your lifestyle
We will determine the best fitting lens based on your lifestyle needs and the shape and health of your eyes. In most cases, you’ll have the opportunity to try lenses on the same day as your exam. You may even go home with a few samples before making a final decision.

Follow up fittings
Our Mt Pleasant team will follow up after the initial fitting and then make any necessary changes in fit or materials to get you the best possible result. We teach all our patients proper contact lens care and also possible consequences if proper care is not taken. Then we continue with long-term follow-up to monitor the condition of the lenses and to ensure that proper hygiene is being maintained.

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Astigmatism


Astigmatism is a very common eye condition that's easily corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses and on occasion, surgery.

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What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism occurs when your eye is not entirely round. In truth, astigmatism is present in almost everyone, but it only leads to blurred vision when severe.

Think of your eye as a spherical ball. Usually, when light enters your eye it bends evenly. This creates a sharp image of what you see on the tissues at the back of your inner eye. However, if you have astigmatism, your eye is shaped more like an elliptical football. As a result, the light is not bent evenly and only one part of the picture is transmitted clearly and in focus.

Diagnosis & Treatment by Your Eye Doctor in Mt Pleasant

If you experience problems with your vision, we invite you to book an eye exam at our Mt Pleasant office. Our optometrist will inspect your vision and eyes to make a precise diagnosis and determine the most effective treatment. At Family Vision Care, our Mt Pleasant eye doctor is skilled and experienced in diagnosing and treating astigmatism, so that you experience crisp and clear vision.

What is a stigma?

Stigma refers to a type of refractive error known as astigmatism. There are three types of refractive error, myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The former two are more regularly referred to as nearsighted (poor distance vision) and farsighted (poor close-up vision). Astigmatism is the third category that affects both near and far vision at the same time. Much like nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism is corrected using glasses or contacts.

Technically speaking, an eye with astigmatism requires two different prescriptions to correct vision in one eye due to the oval shape of the cornea. This generally requires specialized contact lenses and a more comprehensive fitting procedure.

To learn more or to correct any vision issues, book an appointment at Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant today.

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Frequently Asked Questions - Vision Care

Q: How does astigmatism affect reading fluency?

  • A: Astigmatism can affect a child’s reading skills. If your child struggles to read, book an eye exam for your child today. Our eye doctors are here to help.

Q: What are Toric Contact Lenses?

  • A: Toric contact lenses are designed to correct astigmatism, and are custom-made for a perfect fit. Unlike standard contact lenses which are perfectly spherical, toric lenses have a more oblong shape made to accommodate the shape of the astigmatic eye. While toric lenses can be made of either soft or rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) lens material, soft toric lenses are the more common choice.


Quality Designer Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses - Computer Glasses In Mt Pleasant, South Carolina. Visit Family Vision Care for an eye exam and to find your perfect eyeglasses to match your style.

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