Contact lenses FAQ

Our Frequently Asked Questions about contact lenses should answer any questions you may have. If you have any other queries that aren’t covered here, please get in touch with us on [email protected], and we’ll be happy to help.

Contact Lenses

How much are gas permeable contact lenses?

How much gas permeable contact lenses cost will depend on your prescription and the brand you choose. If you are not sure if gas permeable lenses are right for you, contact your optician.

Gas permeable contact lenses are rigid lenses that transmit oxygen to the eye. Gas permeable lenses are also known as:

  • GP lenses
  • RGP lenses
  • Oxygen permeable lenses

While all these are rigid lenses, they must not be confused with the old-fashioned hard contact lenses, which are now hardly ever used.

Gas permeable contact lenses let in oxygen, which is essential to eye health and means they can be worn when doing sports and other activities.

One of the major benefits of gas permeable contact lenses is that it is possible to have multiple prescriptions, meaning they are ideal if you have the following eye issues:

  • Astigmatism
  • Eye conditions that cause the eye to be irregular in shape
  • Wearers of soft contact lenses who don’t find their vision sharp enough
  • Presbyopia

Gas permeable contact lenses do tend to be more durable and can usually be worn for longer periods of time than soft contacts. It is common for them to be worn daily and only need to be replaced every six to twelve months. Some people who switch from soft to gas permeable contact lenses, also find their vision is sharper when they do.

Disadvantages include:

  • They can take a while for the wearer to adjust to them
  • As gas permeable contact lenses are designed to move on the eye when the wearer blinks, this does mean there is a higher risk (compared with soft lenses) of dust and debris getting in under the lens
  • They require a higher level of care than soft lenses

If you find that rigid gas permeable contact lenses are not right for you, there are hybrid lenses also available, which are fitted with both gas permeable and soft lens material.

If you want to speak to your optician regarding gas permeable contact lenses, please contact your nearest Scrivens branch today.

How much do multifocal contact lenses cost?

How much multifocal contact lenses cost depends on your prescription and the brand you choose. If you are unsure whether multifocal contacts lenses are right for you, contact your optician.

Multifocal contact lenses have multiple prescriptions all in one lens. Usually, there is a prescription for things close up, one intermediate range and one for long distance. You would tend to need multifocal contact lenses to help correct:

  • Presbyopia
  • Long-sightedness
  • Short-sightedness

Due to the fact there are multiple prescriptions, multifocal contact lenses can cost more than ordinary lenses. Multifocal contact lenses tend to have a gradual transition, unlike bifocal contact lenses, which have a sharper edge.

There are two different types of multifocal lenses:

  • Soft lenses
  • Rigid gas permeable lenses

They also come in two main types of designs. The most common is a set of concentric circles of different prescriptions for the different viewing distances. The second is a blended design; this type of lens keeps the near and distance prescriptions close to the centre of the eye.

Multifocal contact lenses have many advantages such as:

  • A gradual switch between prescriptions, which makes it less abrupt
  • Improved visual acuity for the range of distances needed
  • Able to see in most conditions
  • No need for extra eyewear

While there are many advantages to multifocal lenses, they are not right for everyone. Disadvantages include:

  • The different viewing experience can make it more difficult to adjust
  • During the adjustment period, night time glare, hazy or shadowy vision can be an issue
  • Due to their complexity, multifocal contact lenses are more expensive


If you want to speak to your optician regarding multifocal contact lenses, please contact your nearest Scrivens branch today.

How much do hybrid contact lenses cost?

How much hybrid contact lenses cost will vary, depending on your prescription and your chosen brand. Your optician can help you find the right hybrid content lenses for your needs.

Hybrid contact lenses are large diameter lenses that have a rigid oxygen permeable centre with a peripheral zone made of soft or silicone hydrogel material. The benefits of having a lens that is made out of two materials are that you have the best of both worlds.

Hybrid contact lenses are used to correct a number of sight issues such as:

  • Long sightedness
  • Short sightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Keratoconus

Hybrid contacts for keratoconus have a special design that allows the central GP zone of the lens to vault over the irregularly shaped cornea. If you have mild to moderate keratoconus, it may be possible to get specially made-to-order soft lenses, which can be more comfortable than hybrid contact lenses. However, these do come at an extra cost.

While Hybrid contact lenses can be more expensive than soft contact lenses, they do have many benefits including:

  • Vision should not shift or blur
  • Keeps the lens stable in the eye
  • More comfortable than hard and ridged lenses
  • Less likely to pop out of the eye

If you have any questions or think hybrid lenses are right for you, please contact your nearest Scrivens branch and speak to an optician today.

How much are astigmatism contact lenses?

How much astigmatism contact lenses cost will depend on your prescription and your chosen brand. Your optician is best placed to help you find the right astigmatism contact lenses for your needs.

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that occurs in the cornea or lens when they are not a perfectly curved shape. Causing blurred or distorted vision, most people who wear glasses have a degree of astigmatism.

Most astigmatism contacts lenses are soft lenses, often known as ‘toric contact lenses.’ These differ from regular spherical lenses in two ways:

  • Astigmatism contact lenses can correct near-sightedness or far-sightedness in the different meridians of the lens. Meridians are imagery lines which pass through the centre of the pupil when viewing the eye head on. They are used to describe the shape of the corrective lenses.
  • Astigmatism contact lenses are specially designed so the lens can rotate to the proper orientation on the cornea. This means that the meridians can align in the right way for clear vision.

Every eye with astigmatism is unique; this can make fitting astigmatism contact lenses more difficult and takes more expertise than fitting ordinary soft contact lenses. They are also more complex in design. This can mean that astigmatism contact lenses tend to cost more than a regular contact lens exam and fitting.

Some Scrivens Branches offer Dreamvision contact lenses, which can be used for astigmatism. Dreamvision lenses are unique in the way that they are worn at night and removed in the morning to give clear vision throughout the day, without the need for glasses or contact lenses. They work by moulding the cornea in order to temporarily correct or reduce astigmatism.

If you have any questions or think that astigmatism are right for you, please contact your nearest Scrivens branch and speak to an optician today.

How long can you keep contact lenses in your eyes?

Generally, it is recommended that you should wear your contact lenses for a maximum of 10-12 hours per day, for up to five days a week. However, to an extent, this does depend on the characteristics of your eyes and the type of lenses that you have.

One of our highly qualified opticians will be able to discuss with you what is best for your individual needs. If you wear your contact lenses for longer that the recommended time, your eyes can become uncomfortable, red and they may even get infected.

It is recommended that you wear your glasses a couple of days a week to ensure your eyes receive enough oxygen to stay healthy. It is possible to have extended wear lenses which can be worn during the day and when you are asleep for up to a week.

Recommendations for how long you should wear your contact lenses can usually be found on the packaging. Although it is best to check with your optician, as they are in the best position to advise you based on your individual circumstances.

If your contact lenses start to feel uncomfortable, you need to take them out as soon as possible, give them a thorough clean and replace them. If you still find them uncomfortable to wear after cleaning, it is best to visit your optician as soon as possible and have your eyes examined, just in case.

It is always recommended to wash your hands when you handle your contact lenses and always clean them in the solution given, never in water.

I have worn contact lenses before but did not get on with them. Would I be able to try them again?

New lens designs and materials mean that contact lenses are now more comfortable than ever and provide exceptional vision. Many people returning to contact lens wear have found that they no longer have to compromise.

I have dry eyes. Will I be able to wear contact lenses?

New moisture rich lens materials mean that even people with drier eyes can wear contact lenses successfully.

Can contact lenses get lost in the eye?

Contact lenses float on the front surface of the eye and cannot get lost behind the eye.

How do you put contact lenses in and take them out?

If it’s your first time putting contact lenses in, the idea of putting something on your eye might make you feel a little squeamish. But there’s absolutely nothing to worry about, contact lenses are easy to apply and very comfortable.

It may take you a little while to get used to putting them in, but after some practice, and with the help of our handy guide, you’ll have no problem putting contact lenses in at all.

Here’s our guide to applying contact lenses:

Step 1.

Wash your hands.

This is very important to remember as any dust particles, germs or makeup on your finger will irritate your eyes and make the whole experience very uncomfortable.  Try to use soap that is fragrance free and one that is not too heavy on moisturisers as these ingredients could also irritate your eyes.

Dry your hands thoroughly, and you’re ready to start putting your contact lenses in.

Step 2.

Always start with the same eye.

Contact lenses are designed to fit each eye individually. You can’t swap them around as they simply won’t fit properly so it’s a good idea to start with the same eye every time. This is to help you make sure you put the correct contact lens in each eye.

If you are right handed, always start with your right eye. If you’re left handed, start with your left eye.

Step 3.

Get your contact lens ready.

Open the packet and scoop out the lens by sliding it up the ramp and out with your index finger. Look at the contact lens and make sure it looks like a bowl. If it has a lip or flat bottom, it may be inside out, so be sure to check. If it is inside out, just turn it over in the palm of your hand.

Clean your lens with contact lens solution. Never use water from the tap or anything else as you risk irritating your eye.

If your lens is torn or damaged, never place it in your eye.

Step 4.

Insert your contact lens.

Make sure you have a mirror ready for this part.

With your free hand, hold your upper eye lid open. This is important as you may try to blink reflexively.

Using the hand with your contact lens on, place your middle finger underneath your eye to stabilise your hand and pull the lower lid down.

You may want to look away at this point, or you may prefer to look straight at the mirror or contact lens – either way is fine. Place your lens gently on your eye and you’re nearly finished.

Step 5.

Blink, blink, blink.

Blink a few times to make sure the lens is in place properly and help your eye get used to the lens. If everything feels ok and you can see properly, you’ve successfully applied your contact lens.

Just repeat the procedure for your other eye and you’re ready.

For more information on the different types of contact lenses, click here.

If you are thinking about trying contact lenses but unsure as to whether they are right for you, click here to arrange your free contact lens trial.

Are contact lenses comfortable?

Soft contact lenses are thin and flexible and, with the new moisture rich materials that are available, they are so comfortable it is easy to forget you’re even wearing them!

Can anybody wear contact lenses?

Advances in technology mean that contact lenses are now available for a wide variety of prescription requirements, including astigmatism and high-powered prescriptions. We can even provide contact lenses that correct both near and distance vision in one lens, just like varifocal glasses.


Can I really just sleep and see?

Yes, once the effect is complete you simply sleep in the lenses each night and remove them in the morning. Also – and this is really clever – you will be able to see clearly with the lenses in when you wake up.

How quickly does it work?

After the first night your Dreamvision contact lenses will have made most of the necessary correction. Normally within less than a week you will be able to see clearly and will no longer be reliant on glasses or contact lenses during the day.

How is it possible to wear lenses overnight?

Dreamvision lenses are made of one of the very highest oxygen permeable materials, for maximum comfort and safety during overnight wear. The other unique benefit with Dreamvision is that unlike normal contact lens wear, your eye spends its waking hours with natural oxygen levels, uninhibited by contact lenses.

I work shifts and do not always sleep at night – could I still have Dreamvision lenses?

Yes. As long as you sleep on a regular basis for a reasonable amount of time, Dreamvision contact lenses will work.

What will it cost?

The monthly cost is similar to the price of wearing a pair of daily disposable contact lenses every day. This cost includes new lenses every six months in order to be sure that they are always providing optimum vision correction, plus all your aftercare from our Dreamvision specialists.