Which type of contact lens is right for me?
Many factors influence this decision such as LIFESTYLE, HEALTH, ASTIGMATISM, CORNEAL CURVATURE, ALLERGIES, DRY EYES, HYGIENE, PREVIOUS OVERWEAR, FREQUENCY OF USE. Your Optometrist will help you determine the best type of contact lenses for your eyes. You may have to return for further visits in order to finalise your fit. Remember that contact lens consultations are not the same as eye examinations or sight tests. They are usually performed after a full eye examination has taken place if the optometrist has never seen you before, or if your last eye exam was over a year ago. In the UK contact lens prescriptions are generally valid for a year, but this may be more or less depending on your clinical requirements. To find an optometrist,Click here.

LIFESTYLE: Your lifestyle often determines your sight correction requirements, which in turn influences the type of contact lens suitable, as well as frequency of use. For example, you may work in an office and use the computer all day, for which you wear spectacles; perhaps you play golf, or football once per week and find that your spectacles "steam up"? A limited supply of daily disposables just for sport would be your best option rather than monthly disposables, which require cleaning and will not be used often enough to make them worthwhile. If you are a rugby player and require good side vision in order to perform optimally, full-time contact lens wear is probably your wisest option. For those who wish to wear contact lenses socially in order to see the restaurant menu without needing reading glasses, a daily disposable progressive lens, or monovision system may be best. Constant jet-setters may prefer spectacles as contact lenses inevitably dry out whilst flying. Alternatively, newer less "dry" material contacts are now available with 1-Day Acuvue Moist, O2 Optix, Acuvue Oasys, Acuvue Advance and Proclear compatibles.

HEALTH: Your eye health must be good in order to wear contact lenses. If it is, you will want to keep it so. Daily disposables are great as these lenses are always sterile when inserted into the eyes since they are never kept overnight. This means that no dirt, bugs or tear proteins can accumulate which all have the potential to cause problems. Fortnightly and Monthly disposables are also available which still require daily cleaning and overnight storage with contact lens solutions. These contacts are usually cheaper than daily disposables for full-time wearers.

ASTIGMATISM: This is when your eye is shaped like an egg and is not perfectly round like a tennis ball. At a certain level of astigmatism the contact lens prescription needs to be "custom-made" in order for you to see clearly. Lenses that cater for this are called Torics and are available in both rigid and soft form. With lower levels of astigmatism it is often possible to fit a normal rigid contact lens and correct the problem without the need for a Toric. If you have mainly short or long-sight with very little astigmatism, a normal soft contact lens is generally fine.

CORNEAL CURVATURE: This tells us how steep or flat the front of your eye is and allows your optometrist to decide on a suitably curved contact lens to match. Contact lens curvatures are described with the term 'base curves' or BC. Two different lens types with the same base curve will not necessarily fit your eye in exactly the same manner. Ideally, the best way to assess the fit of your contact lens would be to have it checked after 4-5 hours of wearing time. Your optometrist may ask you to return for further visits in order to finalise your fit. Contact lens consultations are not the same as an eye examination or sight test. They are usually performed after a full eye examination has taken place if the optometrist has never seen you before, or if your last eye exam was over a year ago.

ALLERGIES: Hayfever, eczema or asthma sufferers may find contact lenses more uncomfortable than most people. Allergies can create an over-sensitised eye, rendering increased lens awareness. Also, the eye reacts to dirt and proteins on the lens much more and may cause the upper eyelid to develop bumps. This is called contact lens related papillary conjunctivitis. A solution for those with severe allergies is to wear lenses infrequently (up to 3 times/week) and to use daily disposables. If your lifestyle requires you to use lenses constantly, then disposables are still the best option. Occasionally some individuals are allergic to a certain lens material or a certain lens solution. Your optometrist can change you over to a more suitable brand if this is the case.

DRY EYES: Some individuals suffer from chronic dry, smarting eyes. This may cause increased lens awareness after some hours of lens wear. Your optometrist can prescribe an alternative lens with a different water content, fitting or material, in order to improve the comfort. Preservative-free contact lens comfort drops are also advised. In addition to the newer less "dry" material contacts available (1-Day Acuvue Moist, O2 Optix, Acuvue Oasys, Acuvue Advance and Proclear compatibles) ask your optometrist about mainly silicone containing lenses Purevision or Focus Night & Day. Although these are normally used for overnight wear, as daily wear lenses they offer dry eyes another alternative.

HYGIENE: If your lifestyle leaves your hands and fingernails dirty or you smoke, then daily disposables are the best lenses for you. Extended wear or overnight lenses are prescribed for those whose lifestyles demand it. Examples include doctors working in A&E, fire fighters, marine biologists and oceanographers. Adventures like a 30-day trek to the Himalayas or 2 weeks of Regatta sailing means overnight lenses make sense so that no routine handling is necessary.

PREVIOUS OVERWEAR: If you have previously overworn your contact lenses, your eyes will need more oxygen and you may be told to use a higher water content, or higher Dk lens. Lenses containing silicone deliver the highest oxygen levels. (Focus Night & Day, O2 Optix, Acuvue Oasys, Acuvue Advance and Purevision) It is important to wear the contact lens type that best suits the oxygen requirements of your eyes. Remember to give your eyes a break and try using your spectacles one day per week if you are a full-time wearer.

FREQUENCY OF USE: Perhaps you only wish to use contact lenses for a sporting activity once per week? A daily disposable will be most suitable from both a health and cost perspective. Rigid lenses are not recommended as they need to be used most days in order to achieve best comfort. Those who wear their lenses sporadically may wish to consider fortnightly or monthly disposables. Your optometrist will be able to discuss the various options most suited to your requirements. To find an optometrist Click here.
Can my contact lenses get 'lost' behind my eyeball?
No, this can NEVER happen as the eyeball has a 'safety net' situated underneath both eyelids. This 'safety net' is a membrane called the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a continuous membrane enveloping the outer portion of the eyeball as well. It is advised that you see your optometrist to have the lens removed if it is stuck.
Can I use any contact lens solutions or fluids for my lenses?
No. Always discuss your solutions with an optometrist if you are thinking of changing types. Whilst it is quite possible to change from one brand of multipurpose solution to another, it is not wise to change from a multipurpose solution to a peroxide type where neutralisation is required. Many contact lens wearers have made the mistake of using 3% hydrogen peroxide as a multipurpose solution.
Is it possible to get contact lenses for occasional use only?
Yes. Many spectacle wearers are happy using their glasses but want the option of contact lenses for certain occasions. Examples include partaking in a sporting activity once or twice per week or weekend or holiday use. Your optometrist will help you decide on the best contact lens system to meet your requirements. Generally, daily disposable soft lenses are the best type for occasional wear as they are so easy to use. The responsibility of cleaning them is removed since they are discarded immediately after use.
How soon can I get contact lenses?
If your contact lens prescription is immediately validated once your order is received, same working day deliveries* in Central London Zone 1 are offered for a nominal £5 charge. Next working day UK deliveries * by 13h00 for all orders placed before 15h00 on the preceding day also £5. All other orders are dispatched FREE OF CHARGE with Royal Mail First Class post and should take about 3-5 working days* to arrive. If you are new to contact lenses then you will need to see an optometrist in order to be taught how to insert, remove and take care of the contact lenses.
*Subject to your order being in stock. Should prescription verification be needed, same day, next day & Royal Mail First Class delivery service can only take place once this has been completed. It is your responsibility to ensure that a valid prescription is submitted within the deadline required. Onestopcontactlenses cannot reimburse delivery fees paid where late prescriptions have been submitted causing delays to processing.
Is it okay to sleep with my contact lenses in?
Unless your optometrist has specifically said that you can, sleeping with your contact lenses in is a no-no. UK Optometrists generally allow overnight wear only if you are using a silicone-hydrogel type of lens. For more information, see Overnight Contact Lenses
Do I still need specs if I wear contact lenses?
Absolutely YES! The key to successful contact lens wear is to allow your eyes a rest without them, at least one day per week for full-time wearers. This is why no contact lens wearer should be without a pair of spectacles. An average of 12 hours wear per day is generally recommended with standard hydrogel lenses. There will always be times when you cannot wear contact lenses. Examples include: when you have Hay fever causing the eyes to itch; if you have a bad cold or flu; if you have a mild conjunctivitis; if you are taking a course of medication which is not compatible with lens wear or if you are about to take a trip in an aeroplane. Perhaps you simply need to see your way to the kitchen in the middle of the night in order to grab a glass of water. As a parent of a newborn infant, you will understand the demands placed upon you throughout the night no time for contact lenses when baby calls. Your spectacles should also be updated so that the prescription matches that of your contact lenses. All too often contact lens wearers have spectacles that they cannot see with, as the prescription is so old. In order to overcome any dislike for your spectacles also ensure that you are aesthetically happy with the frames. Look good, see good and feel good!
Is it okay to use saliva or tap water to clean or re-wet my contact lenses?
Absolutely not! Always carry a travel-size solution pack with you if you can. If you are not able to do this then pop a few strips of contact lens comfort drops or your contact lens container filled with fresh solution into your back pocket. Tap water and saliva are extremely unhygienic sources of fluid and many dangerous bugs can find their way to your corneas if they are used with your lenses. Don't forget to wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
What should I do if my contact lenses feel dry?
It is always wise to carry contact lens comfort drops in your handbag or back pocket. The preservative-free single use drops are best recommended and may be used as and when required for extra comfort. Environments to watch out for are smoky pubs, dusty places, gyms, where working out causes your body temperature to rise and eyes to dry out as a result, air-conditioned and heated offices, especially when coupled with staring at a computer all day and long-distance driving. Take care to only use drops specified for use with contact lenses and ask your optometrist if you are unsure.
Can I wear contact lenses?
Yes - in most cases you will be able to use contact lenses. Certain individuals with unusual prescriptions or poor eye health may not be suitable. Ask your optometrist to advise on the options available.
How long can I wear my contact lenses in a day?
Try to average 12 hours of lens wear per day. If you require longer wearing times because of your lifestyle, speak to your optometrist about lenses that allow more oxygen to your eyes. Some individuals mistakenly believe that it is okay to wear one pair of lenses for some of the day and then change over to another pair for the rest of the day and so extend their wearing time. The suggested 12 hour wearing period is not specific to one pair of lenses. It means that in a day your eyes should not have more than 12 hours of lens wear irrespective of how many pairs you choose to wear!
Tell me more about Disposable Contact Lenses
In the UK, disposables are divided broadly into DAILIES, FORTNIGHTLIES and MONTHLIES. Your Optometrist may ask you to replace your lenses more frequently if necessary. In general all disposables represent the best system of contact lens wear as they combine the advantages of convenience and good eye health.
1. What are dailies and when are they recommended?
  • These are thrown away after one day's use and are a convenient and healthy type of contact lens for everyone. Eg. 1-day Acuvue, Focus Dailies and Soflens 1 Day.
  • If you are considering infrequent use of contact lenses and are worried that you may "waste" your lenses when not using them, dailies are ideal for you. They are still fresh whilst kept sealed and generally have a long shelf life.
  • If contact lens solutions cause your eyes to sting you should also consider dailies as no storage solutions are involved at all.
  • If you pick up a slight infection from time to time with your current lenses then dailies are definitely recommended. Small infections can lead to bigger ones if the same lens is re-inserted into the eye the next day.
  • Dirty fingernails, or smokers with nicotine stained fingers? Need we say more?
  • If you have severe allergies that cause an intense itching eye, then dailies would be best for you (if used on a part-time basis).

  • 2. Will my prescription be OK for dailies?
  • Short and Long sight can be corrected with dailies.
  • Dailies are also available to correct presbyopia (reading vision blur) as well as short-sightedness and long-sightedness using the Focus Progressive Daily Contact Lens.
  • Astigmatism of up to 2.00 dioptres is now correctable with Focus Toric dailies!.
    1. What are fortnightlies?
    This is where one pair of lenses is worn for two weeks and after that they are thrown away. Every evening they must be removed, cleaned and stored using the contact lens solution suggested by your optometrist. Acuvue Advance, Acuvue Bifocal, Acuvue Toric and Acuvue Oasys are examples of this type of lens.

    2. Is my prescription ok for Fortnightlies?
    The fortnightly Disposable Range can correct short-sight, long-sight, astigmatism and presbyopia. Ask your optometrist to advise you on the best option for your eyes.

    3. Are they better than monthlies?
    Fortnightlies are only better than monthlies because they are disposed of more frequently and therefore, they are healthier for the eyes. The range of fortnightlies is not as wide as for monthlies so you may find that your prescription or lens fitting is not perfectly catered for with these.
    1. What are monthlies?
    These are lenses that are worn for one month and then thrown away. As with fortnightly lenses they need to be cleaned every evening and stored overnight in contact lens solution, unless they are extended wear monthlies (See Overnight wear). No other cleaning should be required but your optometrist will advise you if this is necessary in your case. Examples include Frequency F55, Focus and Proclear Compatibles Monthly Lenses.

    2. Aren't they more expensive than Annuals?
    Generally monthly disposables are cost-effective contact lenses that also provide a healthier modality compared to annual lenses. They do not require protein cleaning or daily surface cleaning and so you save on this added cost. You also have more than one pair of lenses so if anything goes wrong, you will always have a fresh pair to use. Annual lens wearers who nick a lens or pick up a slight infection tend to continue using the lens as they have nothing else at hand.

    3. Is my prescription OK for Monthlies?
    Monthly Disposables cater for short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. Our range is so diverse that most monthly wearers are catered for.
    Other Contact Lenses Annual, Coloured, Overnight, RGP's
    What are Annual Soft Lenses?
    These are contact lenses that are replaced annually. They require extra cleaning agents in the form of daily surfactant drop cleaners, saline rinsing solutions (if the storage solution is not multi-purpose) and weekly protein removing tablets. In the UK fewer and fewer optometrists recommend the use of non-disposable lenses and only in rare cases are they prescribed.
    Interested in Coloured Lenses?
    Coloured contact lenses are available as dailies, monthly disposables and annuals. Whether you have green, blue or brown eyes the coloured lens range will suit all tastes.

    Should you wish to enhance your blue eyes and capture the sky in your gaze, ask about the sky blue enhancer lenses. Green eyes can be turned into emeralds using this type of lens. Enhancer lenses allow your own eye colour to be appreciated by creating a radiant yet natural appearance.

    If you wish for a complete change in eye colour you are in for a treat as the range of possibilities is huge. Colours include Violet, Hazel, Grey, Green, Blue, Honey, Turquoise, Aquamarine and Dark Brown to name but a few.

    Examples of coloured lenses available These include Freshlook and 1-day Acuvue Colours.
    1. What is extended or overnight wear?
    This is when you sleep whilst wearing your contact lenses. Sometimes this happens by mistake when, for example, you meander home one Friday evening in a decidedly inebriated state, collapse in a corner and awaken two days later to discover that a miracle of sight has taken place. Needless to say, this is generally not advised for most contact lens wearers.

    2. When can I sleep with my contact lenses in?
    Only when you are using silicone hydrogel contact lenses AND your optometrist has said that this is okay. Your optometrist would usually perform numerous check-ups if you are considering extended-wear lenses. Most of these checks will need to be done in the morning soon after waking. This allows the optometrist to ensure that you have no mucus stuck behind the lenses and that your eyes have not reacted adversely.

    3. Who makes silicone hydrogels?
    The silicone hydrogel lens types available in the UK are made by CIBA Vision (Night and Day Lens, O2 Optix), Johnson and Johnson Visioncare (Acuvue Oasys) and Bausch and Lomb ( Purevision, Purevision Toric)
    1. What are RGPs?
    These are rigid lenses with "pores" that allow oxygen to pass through. They stem from one of the first types of contact lenses ever developed: the old, virtually obselete non-gas permeable PMMA (poly-methyl methacrylate) lens, often referred to as the hard lens.

    2. When would I need to use an RGP? Some individuals may have enough astigmatism or lack of oxygen in their eyes to warrant the use of an RGP lens. Sometimes visual clarity is improved through use of RGPs when compared to soft lenses. Your optometrist will advise you of the best lens options for your eyes.

    3. How often should I replace my RGPs? As these lenses are more durable, their lifespan is greater than that of softs. However, RGPs require very careful cleaning in order to maintain the optical clarity of the surfaces and keep the eyes free of dirt and bugs. It is generally recommended that you change your RGPs at least once every two years.