Contact Lenses

Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical in Knoxville offers many options for contact lenses.

There are a number of reasons why you might prefer contact lenses to standard eyewear: a glasses-free look, hassle-free vision correction, wearing non-prescription sunwear and goggles, or the convenience of not having to worry about misplacing your glasses. If you have a high prescription or astigmatism, contact lenses may provide more enhanced vision correction than glasses. Today, you can even replace your bifocal glasses with bifocal contact lenses.

Dr. Travis Thompson can recommend the best contact lenses for you based on a complete eye examination and a review of your visual needs both at work and play. Since most people can wear more than one type of lens, it’s important to know what the choices are and the advantages and disadvantages to each.

Soft Lenses

These lenses are comfortable to wear and must be replaced monthly, bi-weekly or daily depending on the type you choose. Soft lenses are often recommended for sports because they fit closer to the eye and are more difficult to dislodge. They can provide correction for most prescriptions including astigmatism. Today, with the introduction of newer materials like silicone hydrogels, which allow more oxygen to the eye, patients find it easier than ever to wear soft lenses comfortably.

Gas-Permeable (GP) Lenses

Made of moderately flexible plastics, GP lenses offer sharp vision and correct most vision problems. They are more durable than soft contact lenses and can be easier to handle and care for but require a longer adaptation period and consistent wear to maintain adaptation and are a lot more uncomfortable than soft lenses.

Multifocal Lenses

In both soft and GP designs, multifocal lenses offer patients both distance and near vision correction just like a pair of bifocal glasses.

Color Contact Lenses

Enhance your eye color or even change it completely. Colored contact lenses are fun and come in a variety of colors for both light and dark eyes.

Silicone Hydrogels

Silicone hydrogels are soft contact lenses that have high oxygen permeability and are comparable to GP lenses.

Regardless of the type of contact lenses you wear, an annual eye exam is recommended to ensure the continued good health of your eyes. Schedule an appointment for an assessment and advice at Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical in Knoxville, and we will be in touch with you shortly.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the right contacts?

The most important factors are choosing contacts that fit your personality and lifestyle. Daily lenses are the healthiest for your eyes and are much less likely to cause an infection because they do not build up protein deposits or bacteria on the lens since you only wear them once. Daily lenses are the most comfortable and do not require cleaning or using contact lens solution and are the best lenses for kids because it takes the responsibility of cleaning and taking care of the lenses out of the equation. The major downside for these lenses is that they are typically more expensive, however, newer rebates can often make them more affordable.

With proper cleaning and care, monthly lenses and two week lenses will work fine. Overwearing lenses is very bad for your eyes because it deprives your eyes of oxygen, which can lead to corneal neovascularization, which is blood vessel growth into your cornea. This raises your risk for infections and is something that you can’t feel.

Free Quiz: Are Glasses or Contacts Better for My Lifestyle?

Take our short, four-question quiz to find out whether contacts or glasses fit your lifestyle better!

How old should you be to start wearing contact lenses?

While there is no “right” or minimum age to begin wearing contact lenses—almost anyone of any age can wear them—contact lenses require a level of responsibility and care to properly follow a wear-and-care routine. If you feel your child can responsibly care for lenses, then talk to their eye care professional to discuss options. Many teens and first-time wearers see success with daily disposable lenses, which are only worn once and then thrown away; these lenses typically have the easiest to follow care regimens.

What is the proper way to wear contact lenses?

The specifics vary from lens to lens, but you should always wear any contact lens as directed by your eye care provider including the appropriate replacement schedule, proper cleaning routine, and recommended cleaning products.

What is the proper way to clean contacts?

Basic cleaning of contact lenses consists of five easy steps.

  1. Wash your hands to avoid transferring germs or debris from your hands to your eyes.
  2. Rub the lens using a few drops of the recommended contact solution to clean off any debris or protein buildup.
  3. Rinse with contact solution to remove any loosened debris.
  4. Store in a clean case with fresh contact solution. Make sure you’re replacing your cases every 3 months and never reuse old solution—old contact solution will not properly disinfect your contact lenses and can cause infections.
  5. Repeat with the other lens.

When should I consult an optometrist?

At a minimum once a year. Contact lens prescriptions expire every year and your prescription may change from one year to the next. In addition, your annual eye exam, when your optometrist renews your prescription, they also check for infection and other eye issues to make sure your eyes are healthy.

In addition to your annual exam, it is important to see your optometrist anytime you are considering a change to your eye care regimens or products; some products and lenses aren’t compatible with each other and can harm your eyes if used incorrectly.

Can you get bifocal or progressive contact lenses?

Yes! Progressive or bifocal contact lenses can be worn to correct focusing issues up close(Presbyopia) for people who are nearsighted or farsighted. This will keep you from having to pull out readers to see things up close. While bifocal contacts have been around for many years, it was only recently that became more popular as newer technology has increased their effectiveness. Bifocal and progressive or multifocal contact lenses come in both soft materials and more rigid gas permeable (GP) materials. Contact us today to discuss your lens needs!

Should you wear contacts while swimming?

No. Wearing contacts while swimming puts you at risk of serious eye infection, such as acanthamoeba keratitis, which although rare, it is caused by an organism found in all impure water sources including pools and lakes. Soft contact lenses are absorbent and breathable to allow oxygen into the eye, but they also absorb water—along with bacteria and chemicals in that water.


Ready for new contacts? Looking to change your care regimen? We’d love to hear from you!

Whether you have questions about proper contact lens care, lens care product recommendations, or simply want to set up your yearly appointment, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us today or request an appointment online.

Book an appointment today to experience the freedom that clear vision can bring!
“Best in the business! Dr. Travis has helped my son with contacts and is always professional. I'll never go anywhere else.”
Jason B.