You know when you take your contacts out, either to clean them because something got under them or because it’s the end of the day? You may have noticed little lines in the contacts. If your contact was bothering you, it’d be natural to assume that these lines are scratches and that you should toss out your old pair and trade them in for something new. However, it’s perfectly normal for contact lenses to have lines on them!
This probably isn’t something that your eye doctor told you about, unless you specifically asked about it or this is a new type of lens for you. And truthfully, it’s not something that affects how your contacts work for you either.
Here, we’ll go into why your contacts have lines on them. We’ll also touch on how to tell whether or not your contacts have been scratched, so that you can better distinguish between normal lines and concerning scratches. Let’s get into it!
What Are Those Lines On My Contact Lenses?
These are called scribe marks. They’re used with toric contact lenses, which are specially made in order to correct astigmatism (which is when either the cornea of your eye or the lens in it isn’t smooth and with an equal curve, causing blurry vision).
Do All Contacts Have Lines On Them?
No, they don’t! Toric contact lenses are different from standard contact lenses. They’re specially designed to treat astigmatism. So, if you read the title of this blog and were confused because your contacts don’t have lines on them, this is probably because you have standard contact lenses.
What Do The Lines On My Contact Lenses Do?
Now that we’ve gone over why your toric contact lenses have lines on them, let’s touch on what exactly the purpose of these lines is. Basically, because toric lenses are meant to sit a specific way on your eye, they are weighted and shaped in a way where they can sit on your eye as they should and where it’s obvious to tell whether or not they are inside out before you put them in.
Enter in scribe marks. These don’t serve a purpose to you and they don’t affect your vision. They’re not something that you’ll notice while you’re wearing your contact lenses. What these do is show your eye doctor whether or not your contact lenses are oriented properly on your eyes.
How Do You Know If Your Contacts Have Lines Or Are Scratched?
If you don’t know what scribe marks are and you haven’t really paid too much attention to them, it’s only natural that you might assume that the scribe marks are scratches.
Now, usually if you have toric contact lenses, this is something that your eye doctor should have informed you about. But if you started wearing contacts when you were young and your parents did all the talking to your eye doctor, you may not have been paying attention when they were talking about it or you may not have retained the information. As such, this may be news to you.
It could also be the case that even if you know you have toric contact lenses, you don’t know about the scribe marks or what they do. It’s a commonly asked question for a reason!
How To Tell If They Are Scribe Marks
Scribe marks are very specific, uniform lines on your contacts. They can be oriented in multiple different ways, depending on your needs. While you can see them when your contacts are out, they don’t affect your vision. They don’t irritate your eyes. There’s no need to worry about them hurting your eyes or anything, as their purpose is to help eye doctors ensure that your contacts are situated correctly.
How To Tell If They Are Scratched
Scratches, on the other hand, are not uniform or specific. You may notice tears on the edges or cracks along the dome of the lens. In some cases, you won’t be able to feel if your contact is scratched, while in others, it could irritate your eyes. If your contact is scratched, throw it away and replace it with a new one. Scratched contact lenses cannot be fixed and can cause infection and corneal abrasions if you continue to wear them.
So, if the lines look intentional and too clean to be what you’d think a scratch would be, they are likely scribe marks. You can always call your eye doctor if you’re unsure, as the last thing you want to do is put a scratched lens on your eye. If your contact is ripped or torn at all, replace it right away.
Do You Need Contact Lenses?
Wolcott Optical provides corrective lenses ranging from glasses to prescription sunglasses to contact lenses. Contact us today to learn more about the services we provide and how we can help your vision be as clear as possible!