Eyewear & Contacts

Eyewear & Contacts

Choosing the correct eyewear for your lifestyle is important for your vision and comfort.

When an optometrist prescribes lenses for your vision problems, there is a wide range of choices available for eyeglasses and contact lenses. Contact lenses are increasingly popular for all ages of patients and for more types of vision problems.

Important Information about Pupillary Distance (PD) Measurements

Optometrists measure your pupillary distance (the distance between the centers of your eyes) in order to properly align the centre of your eyeglass lenses with your eyes.

The general policy regarding PD in Saskatchewan is similar to that of the majority across Canada (with the exception of BC). The PD is the responsibility of the regulated professional providing the dispensing service.

Most optometrists do not measure or record PD measurements unless glasses are measured and dispensed in their office. In the event they did not dispense eyewear to a patient, they will normally provide an independent PD at a fee set at their own discretion.

If the PD is recorded in a patient’s file, the patient is entitled to this information and any other information from their personal health record.

Patients should be aware that the vertical height of the pupil, while wearing the chosen eyewear, is very important, especially if you have a bifocal or progressive prescription. An accurate PD can only be measured while wearing the chosen frame, after having the frame professionally adjusted to fit your face. Failure to use accurate vertical and horizontal PD can result in less than optimal vision, with unnecessary eye strain and headaches being a possible result.

Appropriate Eyewear for You

Optometrists are experts in finding eyewear for your specific vision problems. Following a thorough eye exam, your optometrist will help you select the correct lenses, lens coating, and frames to meet your needs.

Many optometrists have a wide range of frame styles to choose from. Optometrists have trained technicians available to help you select your frames, and to set your lenses in the frames to match your interpupillary distance. These steps will ensure that your specific vision problem is addressed properly.

Today, there are options available to purchase your frames and lenses online, but these options do have disadvantages. Please review these documents before deciding where to purchase your next pair of glasses.

Internet Purchase of Contact Lenses & Glasses Should I Buy Eye Glasses Online? Evaluation Study of Lenses and Frames Purchased Online

About Contact Lenses

The vast majority of people requiring vision correction can wear contact lenses without any problems. New materials and lens care technologies have made today’s contacts more comfortable, safer and easier to wear.

People will choose contact lenses for a variety of reasons, including: lifestyle, convenience, taste, improved peripheral vision and comfort. Contact lenses are also popular for active lifestyles and athletics.

Contact lenses do require an adjustment period. Soft lenses may require about a week, while rigid lenses generally require a somewhat longer adjustment period; however, each individual is different as are eye prescriptions and sensitivities and adjustment periods may vary.

All lenses will require regular cleaning and disinfection with the exception of some disposable varieties.

Bill C313 Comes Into Effect 

Effective July 16, 2017 decorative contact lenses (contacts used to change the look or colour of the eye) are officially regulated as Class ll medical devices in Canada. This means that manufacturers who want to sell decorative contact lenses in Canada must obtain a medical device licence before advertising or selling them. Bill C313, An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act, which facilitated the change was enabled in July, 2016.  However, Health Canada gave manufacturers a 12-month transition period to file for Class II medical device licences.  After July 16, manufacturers, importers and distributors selling decorative contact lenses in Canada without a license may face enforcement action.  

How Contact Lenses Correct Vision

Contact lenses are designed to rest on the cornea, the clear outer surface of the eye. They are held in place mainly by adhering to the tear film that covers the front of the eye and, to a lesser extent, by pressure from the eyelids.

As the eyelid blinks, it glides over the surface of the contact lens and causes it to move slightly. This movement allows the tears to provide necessary lubrication to the cornea and helps flush away debris between the cornea and the contact lens.

Contact lenses are optical medical devices, primarily used to correct: nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. In these conditions, light is not focused properly on the retina (the layer of nerve endings in the back of the eye that converts light to electrochemical impulses), resulting in blurred or imperfect vision.

When in place on the cornea, the contact lens functions as the initial optical element of the eye. The optics of the contact lens combines with the optics of the eye to properly focus light on the retina, resulting is clear vision.