Joan Gewirtz, MD - Ophthalmologist

Contact Lens

Prescriptions and FAQ
Who can wear contact lenses?
Who can wear contact lenses?
Most patients who require vision correction can wear contact lenses. Contacts provide a safe and effective way to correct vision problems when used with proper care and supervision. Contact lenses offer an excellent alternative to eyeglasses, depending on your eyes and your lifestyle whether you're nearsighted or farsighted, older or younger. Contact lenses are used to correct the same conditions that eyeglasses correct.

Contact lenses move with your eye, allow a natural field of view, have no frames to obstruct your vision and greatly reduce distortions. Contacts do not fog up, like glasses, nor do they get splattered by mud or rain. Contact lenses do not get in the way of your activities. Many people feel they look better in contact lenses.

Contact lens can help you correct:

  • Astigmatism (distorted vision)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Presbyopia (need for bifocals)
Patients also used special tinted contacts to change the color of their eyes for cosmetic reasons. However, our office deems that the health of your eyes should be your most important concern. An eye doctor such as Dr. Gewirtz can help you decide whether contact lenses are the right choice for you. As mandated by law, you can buy contact lenses only if you have a current, valid prescription.
Are contacts good for my eyes?
Are contacts good for my eyes?
Contact lenses have been proven by millions of people who use them daily to be a healthy vision choice. Proper care on your part and regular supervision by an eye doctor can determine the continuous good health of your eyes. If you follow all prescribed steps for inserting, removing, and caring for your contacts, contact lenses will continue to be a safe and effective alternative to glasses. Adhere to lens wearing schedules and make sure you check with your eye doctor on a regular basis to ensure long-term corneal health.


Do I need to get fitted for Contact Lens?
The first step to wearing your new contact lens is to get fitted at our office in Stamford, CT by Dr. Joan Gewirtz. Contacts fitting are required even if you don't have a vision problem or you want to just change your eye color for cosmetic reasons. Contact lens come in different sizes and brands, an eye exam with your eye doctor will measure your eyes to determine which size and brand is right for you. If you already wear contact lens but want to try a different brand, fitting is still required with the doctor for that contact lens brand. Contact lens fitting is critical to make sure that your eyes are healthy and comfortable while using the contacts. Contact lens prescriptions are brand specific and most often cannot be substituted.

Once you have been fitted for contact lenses and have your prescription, you are ready to purchase your contacts from our office or from any provider you choose.


Can I get a copy of my contact lens prescription?
Yes. If you requested a contact lens prescription, our eye doctor, Dr. Joan T. Gewirtz, will give you a copy of your current contact lens prescription. Contact lens prescriptions require a contact lens fitting first to make sure that there is no eye health reason preventing you from wearing your contact lens and that your eyes are comfortable. When you get an eye exam, you have the right to get a copy of your prescription. You can use this prescription at another vendor or to order contact lenses on the Internet, over the phone, or by mail.


Are copies of my contacts prescription free?
Yes. After your eye examination and contact fitting, you can get a free copy of your contacts prescription to order from a contact lens retailer or we can provide you with the contact lens during your visit. We have most popular brands in stock.


Are contact lenses hard to take care of?
Contact lens can help you correct:
  • No maintenance is required with daily disposable soft lenses.
  • Soft lenses that are replaced quarterly or annually might require weekly enzyming in additional to daily care.
  • GP contacts need daily cleaning and disinfecting, but their slick surface resists deposit buildup much better than soft lenses and they last for years.
  • Other disposable soft lenses are usually cleaned at the end of the day, and then soaked in disinfecting solution until they are worn again. These types of contact lenses may be replaced weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Can I sleep in my contact lenses?
As technology advances, some contacts are designed for overnight wear. However, the ophthalmologist, Dr. Joan Gewirtz strongly discourages it.

Many people fall asleep while still wearing their contact lenses. Most patients do not develop eye infections, which could possible lead to permanent corneal scarring and loss of vision. However, regularly wearing contact lenses during sleep can cause permanent vision damage.

Despite the risks and warnings, some patients still sleep with their lenses. If they do wake with redness or irritation, they should remove the lenses right away as this could signs of major problems developing. We urge patients to seek Dr. Joan Gewirtz immediately to check for abrasions or infections. If promptly started, appropriate treatment, will normally prevent serious consequences.
Can I wear contact lenses while playing sports?
Yes. Patients can wear contacts while playing sports and doing other physical activities. Contact lenses are the best vision correction option for athletes.

Contact lenses are a more flexible, safe and stable form of eye correction than eyeglasses. They can enhance visual skills like depth perception, peripheral awareness, and eye-hand/eye-foot coordination. If your activity involves vigorous exercises, a soft contact lens is an appropriate choice.
Can I wear contact lenses while playing sports?
What are the differences between the types of contact lenses?
There are two general categories of contact lenses – soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP). All contact lenses require a valid prescription.
Can I wear contact lenses while playing sports?
  • Soft Contact Lenses
    Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. Soft contact lenses may be easier to adjust to and are more comfortable than rigid gas permeable lenses. Newer soft lens materials include silicone-hydrogels to provide more oxygen to your eye while you wear your lenses.
  • Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Hard Contact Lenses
    This type of contact lenses are very easy to take care of and more durable than soft contact lenses. Rigid gas permeable lenses are made with silicone polymers that allow oxygen to circulate to the cornea of the eye. Compared to soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable contacts maintain their shape and offer clearer, crispier vision for some types of eye problems corrections. The time required to adjust to rigid gas permeable contact lenses is longer than with soft contact lenses. These contacts tend to be less expensive over the life of the lens since they last longer than soft contact lenses. They are easier to handle and less likely to tear. However, they are not as comfortable initially as soft contacts and it may take a few weeks to get used to wearing RGPs, compared to several days for soft contacts.
  • Extended Wear Contact Lenses
    Extended wear contact lenses are available for overnight or continuous wear ranging from one to six nights or up to 30 days. Extended wear contact lenses are usually soft contact lenses. They are made of flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. There are also a very few rigid gas permeable lenses that are designed and approved for overnight wear. Length of continuous wear depends on lens type and your eye care professional's evaluation of your tolerance for overnight wear. It's important for the eyes to have a rest without lenses for at least one night following each scheduled removal.
  • Disposable (Replacement Schedule) Contact Lenses
    The majority of soft contact lens wearers are prescribed some type of frequent replacement schedule. “Disposable,” as defined by the FDA, means used once and discarded. With a true daily wear disposable schedule, a brand new pair of lenses is used each day.

    Some soft contact lenses are referred to as “disposable” by contact lens sellers, but actually, they are for frequent/planned replacement. With extended wear lenses, the lenses may be worn continuously for the prescribed wearing period (for example, 7 days to 30 days) and then thrown away. When you remove your lenses, make sure to clean and disinfect them properly before reinserting.
What kind of eye doctor should I see for contacts?
  • You can see an Ophthalmologist such as Dr. Joan T. Gewirtz, in our Stamford, CT office. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors (MDs) who specialize in eyes. Some concentrate on eye surgery and treatment of disease, but some specialize in contact lenses or both.
  • You can also see an Optometrist (Doctor of Optometry, or OD). Optometrists perform eye examinations, prescribe vision correction, fit contact lenses, treat eye disease and dispense eyeglasses.
  • In some states, specially trained opticians or contact lens technicians are licensed by the state to fit your contact lenses. Since opticians or contact lens technicians must fit the lenses from an optometrist's or ophthalmologist's prescription, they often work in the same office.
How do I schedule a contacts fitting or an eye exam?
You can contact our Stamford, CT office to make an appointment by calling (203) 348-0868
How do I schedule a contacts fitting or an eye exam?
Important Contact Lens Care Tips
  • Follow recommended wearing schedule.
  • Do not substitute sterile saline solutions for multi-purpose solutions.
  • Rub and rinse your contact lenses as directed by your eye care professional.
  • Do not “top-off” the solutions in your case. Always discard all of the leftover contact lens solution after each use. Never reuse any lens solution.
  • Clean, rinse and air-dry your lens case each time lenses are removed.
  • Do not expose your contact lenses to any water: tap, bottled, distilled, lake or ocean water.
  • Contact our office if you experience any symptoms of eye irritation or infection.
Important Contact Lens Care Tips
Contact Lens Solutions and Products
There are a variety of solutions that can be used for the various types of contact lenses. But these solutions can also cause serious problems if not used correctly. Incorrect care of contact lens solutions can increase your risk of eye infections and corneal ulcers. These conditions can develop very quickly and can be very serious. In rare cases, these conditions can cause blindness.
To reduce your risk of infections:
  • Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses to reduce the chance of getting an infection.
  • Remove the lenses immediately and consult your eye care professional if your eyes become red, irritated, or your vision changes.
  • Always follow the directions of your eye care professional and all labeling instruction for proper use of contact lenses and lens care products.
  • Use contact lens products and solutions recommended by your eye care professional.
  • Do not use contact lens solutions that have gone beyond the expiration or discard date.
  • Only use sterile saline solutions for rinsing. Do not use them for cleaning and disinfecting your lenses.
  • Rub and rinse your contact lenses as directed by your eye care professional.
  • Clean and disinfect your lenses properly following all labeling instructions provided with your lens care products.
  • Do not “top-off” the solutions in your case. Always discard all of the left over contact lens solution after each use. Never reuse any lens solution.
  • Do not expose your contact lenses to any water: tap, bottled, distilled, lake or ocean water. Never use non-sterile water (distilled water, tap water or any homemade saline solution). Exposure of contact lenses to water has been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a corneal infection that is resistant to treatment and cure.
  • Do not put your lenses in your mouth to wet them. Saliva is not a sterile solution.
  • Clean, rinse and air-dry your lens case each time lenses are removed. You may want to flip over your lens case while air drying so excess solution may drain out of the case. Contact lens cases can be a source of bacterial growth.
  • Replace your contact lens storage case every 3-6 months.
  • Do not transfer contact lens solutions into smaller travel size containers. This can effect the sterility of the solution which can lead to an eye infection. Transferring solutions into smaller size containers may also leave consumers open to accidentally using a solution not intended for the eyes.
Contact Lens Risks
If you do not follow rigorously the instructions as recommended by your eye doctor and/or the manufactures, wearing contact lenses can put you at risk of several serious conditions including eye infections and corneal ulcers. These conditions can develop very quickly and can be very serious. In rare cases, these conditions can cause blindness.

Get professional help from an eye doctor such as Dr. Joan Gewirtz to determine your problem if you are experiencing one of the following symptoms:
If you experience any symptoms of eye irritation or infection,
  • Remove your lenses immediately and do not put them back in your eyes.
  • Contact your eye care professional right way.
  • Don't throw away your lenses. Store them in your case and take them to your eye care professional. He or she may want to use them to determine the cause of your symptoms.
  • Report serious eye problems associated with your lenses to the FDA's MedWatch1 reporting program.
  • Symptoms of Eye Irritation or Infection
  • Discomfort
  • Excess tearing or other discharge
  • Unusual sensitivity to light
  • Itching, burning, or gritty feelings
  • Unusual redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling
  • Pain
Serious Hazards of Contact Lenses
Symptoms of eye irritation can indicate a more serious condition. Some of the possible serious hazards of wearing contact lenses are corneal ulcers, eye infections, and even blindness.

Corneal ulcers are open sores in the outer layer of the cornea. They are usually caused by infections. To reduce your chances of infection, you should:
  • Rub and rinse your contact lenses as directed by your eye care professional.
  • Clean and disinfect your lenses properly according to the labeling instructions.
  • Do not "top-off" the solutions in your case. Always discard all of the left over contact lens solution after each use. Never reuse any lens solution.
  • Do not expose your contact lenses to any water: tap, bottled, distilled, lake or ocean water. Never use non-sterile water (distilled water, tap water or any homemade saline solution). Tap and distilled water have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a corneal infection that is resistant to treatment and cure.
  • Remove your contact lenses before swimming. There is a risk of eye infection from bacteria in swimming pool water, hot tubs, lakes and the ocean.
  • Replace your contact lens storage case every 3-6 months.
Other Risks of Contact Lenses
Other risks of contact lenses include
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Eye irritation
Everyday Eye Care
Here are some safety tips you should follow if you wear contact lenses.
Make sure to:
  • Get regular eye exams to assure the continued health of your eyes.
  • Always have a back-up pair of glasses with a current prescription in the event that you have problems with your contact lenses.
  • Always ask your eye care professional before using any medicine or using topical eye products, even those you buy without a prescription. Some medicines may affect your vision or irritate your eyes.
  • Ask your eye care professional about wearing glasses or contact lenses during sports activities to minimize your chance of injury.
  • Apply cosmetics after inserting lenses and remove your lenses before removing makeup.
  • Apply any aerosol products (hairspray, cologne, and deodorant) before inserting lenses.
  • Always inform your employer if you wear contact lenses. Some jobs may require the use of eye protection equipment or may require that you not wear lenses.
  • Follow and save the directions that come with your lenses. If you didn't get a patient information booklet, request one from your eye care professional or look for one on the manufacturer's website.
  • Replace contacts as recommended by your eye care professional. Throw away disposable lenses after recommended wearing period.
Do Not:
  • Do not sleep in daily wear lenses because it may increase your chance of infection or .
  • Do not purchase contact lenses from gas stations, video stores, record shops, or any other vendor not authorized by law to dispense contact lenses. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription. See Buying Contact Lenses1 to help you take simple precautions to make your purchase safe and effective.
  • Do not swap contact lens with another person. Swapping provides a way to transfer germs between people. Contact lenses are individually fitted. Incorrectly fitted lenses may cause permanent eye injury, infection and may potentially lead to blindness..
  • Do not smoke. Studies show that smokers who wear contact lenses have a higher rate of problems (adverse reactions) than nonsmokers..
  • Do not swim while wearing contact lenses. There is a risk of eye infection from bacteria in swimming pool water, hot tubs, lakes and the ocean.
Telephone: (203) 348-0868 © Joan Gewirtz, MD. All Rights Reserved
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