Can I Use An Old Glasses Prescription To Get Contacts?

Have you ever wondered whether or not you can use your glasses prescription for your contact lenses?  This is a very common question that I will cover in this blog.

In short, the answer is no!  You can not convert your eye glass prescription to your contact lens prescription.  Equally, you can not change your contact lens prescription to a glasses prescription.

Why not?  Your contact lenses and glasses prescriptions do have some similarities.  For one, both have common refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism which requires toric lenses and presbyopia which requires multi-focal lenses.  Though both contacts and eye glass lenses may seem similar, this does not mean they will provide the same visual benefits and clarity if converted.

So, why can’t I use my glasses prescription for contact lenses?

This is a great question!  First, keep in mind that not everyone that needs glasses could also benefit from wearing contact lenses.  It is crucial that you get your eyes examined separately for glasses or contacts.  Some people who wear glasses may also have sensitive corneas which might prevent them from wearing contact lenses.  Switching from glasses to contact lenses could cause complications including dry eyes and other eye related problems.  Adapting to contact lenses may be difficult for some people so it is important to have your eyes examined to determine if contact lenses are the right fit for you.

Are glasses prescriptions the same as contact prescriptions?

It is very difficult to try and calculate your contact lens prescription based on your eye glasses.  Your glasses prescription will be different from your contact lens prescription for many reasons.  Keep in mind that your glasses sit slightly away from your eyes and your contact lenses sit directly over your eye!  This makes a huge impact on your prescription and proper measurements are required to calculate your required prescription.

Also, contact lens prescriptions do not require the same specifications as your glasses.

Contact lenses to not require measurements such as base curve, diameter and lens material.  These measurements are essential for eye glass prescriptions in order to determine actual shape of your eyes, how the lens fits over your eyes and lens materials required.

What is the difference between glasses and contacts?

In the olden days, glasses were made from actual glass.  Nowadays, most lenses are made from lightweight plastic.  On the other hand, contact lenses are made from a range of hydrogels.

Contacts are split into hydrogel and silicone hydrogel contacts.  Your optometrist will recommend a type of contact based on your eye health.  Those with sensitive eyes or problems with dry eyes do better with silicone hydrogen lenses as this will allow the eyes to hydrate.

Your eye glass prescription contains a sphere that indicates the lens power and strength of any astigmatism.  They also contain an add on which indicates additional positive power that will allow your eyes to focus up close.

With both glasses and contacts, there are only two measurements that can be found.  Contact lenses also have an axis if it is a toric lens for astigmatism or an add if it is a multifocal lens.

So how can I get my contact lenses online?

If you are switching from glasses to contacts, make sure to first schedule an eye exam with your optometrist.  Once you have a valid contact lens prescription, you can order your contact lenses online.

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