Frequently Asked Questions About Contact Lenses

Frequently asked questions about contact lensesCommon Questions Asked by New Contact Lens Wearers

While millions of people wear contact lenses all over the world, many have never tried, partly through fear and partly because they simply don’t know whether contact lenses will be right for them. These frequently asked questions are broken down into sections to help alleviate some of those fears.

Contact Lens Comfort

How long does it take to get used to wearing lenses? Depending on the type of lens, it can take from a few days to a couple of weeks. Rigid gas permeable lenses require a minimum of a week, building up wear time gradually; soft contact lenses are comfortable almost immediately.

Does it hurt if a contact lens is inserted inside out? Only soft lenses can be inserted the wrong way round; it doesn’t hurt but it may feel a little strange and the lens usually falls out fairly quickly.

Are lenses comfortable for everyone? Some people experience discomfort wearing any type of soft or rigid contact lens, perhaps, for example, due to an extreme case of astigmatism where the cornea or the lens of the eye is irregularly shaped. Alternatives are reverting to glasses, trying custom made contact lenses or considering laser eye surgery.  In addition, there are contact lenses offering maximum comfort and breathability that can be worn for days in row.

How long should contact lenses be worn? Lenses intended for daily use can be worn for up to 14 hours without discomfort but some wearers like to take them out during the evening if eyes feel tired.

contact lens comfortKeeping Eyes Healthy Wearing Contact Lenses

Can daily disposable lenses be worn for more than one day? In principal, this is possible but not recommended; lenses are much thinner and more likely to tear on removal plus they will not be as comfortable on the second day. Rather than trying to save money by reusing a single-use lens, simply buy 2 weekly disposables instead.

Will eyes be harmed if lenses are accidentally left in overnight? Most contact lens wearers have fallen asleep in their lenses at some point. Provided eyes are left to breathe for a few hours, no harm should be done, although rigid lenses will be more difficult to remove and eyes may feel taut for a while. It’s a good idea to revert to glasses for a day if this happens.

Do contacts that emphasize your eyes’ natural color require a prescription? Even if choosing colored lenses for cosmetic purposes rather than to correct vision, they are still medical devices and require an eye test and a prescription from an eye doctor. Beware of online retailers selling cheap colored lenses without the need for a prescription for fancy dress parties or sports events as they may be harmful to the eyes.

How safe are extended wear lenses, worn overnight? The FDA has to approve the wear time for all extended wear contact lenses but just as most people would not wear the same underwear for a week/month, many eye doctors will not prescribe extended wear lenses due to the higher risk of protein and dirt build-up which can lead to serious eye infections.

Can lenses be lost behind the eye? No, the membrane between the eye and the eyelid prevents this, although some users rub their eye and move the lens to one side or under the eyelid, making it seem as if the lens is lost. Don’t panic, just gently maneuver the lens back into position.

Open contact lens case and lens solutionCleaning Contact Lenses

Can water or spit be used to clean lenses? To avoid infection, you have to clean your contacts properly using the right solution. Also, you should keep your contact lens solution and case for storing lenses sterile to prevent health problems.  Always carry a small bottle of solution or a spare disposable lens in case of emergency.

Tips for Wearing Contact Lenses

Those new to lenses should take heed of the following contact lens care tips:

  • New wearers should keep fingernails short to avoid scratching the eyeball when taking soft lenses out.
  • Always wear gloves when handling hot chilies. Even if hands are thoroughly washed, it can be a painful experience removing a lens!
  • Struggling to remove contact lenses? Ask your eye doctor for a special device which acts as a suction device to remove the lens.
  • Always apply makeup AFTER putting in lenses and discard old eye makeup frequently to avoid lenses becoming contaminated and causing an eye infection.
  • Remove lenses if eyes feel uncomfortable.

Feel Confident with Contact Lenses

Most wearers quickly get used to wearing contact lenses. Those that experience discomfort or blurred vision should consult their eye care practitioner to discuss possible alternatives.

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

Authentic 11th Century Pageantry in Nine North American Locations

Inspired by true medieval tradition, the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament has become the number one dinner attraction in North America.

Realistically set in 11th century Spain, attendees are part of a Medieval Times show, representing guests invited by royalty to a festival and feast to watch knights compete on horseback and battle on foot. Royal guests are entertained by a falconry demonstration, an equestrian show and medieval games, all leading up to the main event – an authentic tournament for the Battle of Champion.

Medieval Times Pre Show

Castle doors open 90 minutes prior to the Medieval Times show’s start time, and plenty is offered to keep guests entertained leading up to the show. Within the Hall of Arms waiting area reside gift shop areas, a medieval torture museum, weaponry and artifacts, and bars with specialty and souvenir drinks. Knighting ceremonies take place pre-show as well.

Medieval Times Show

Upon entering the castle, guests are appointed a specific knight to root for – any of six, each representing a different region of medieval Spain – and receive a crown for their knight. Multicolored, stadium-style seating spans out surrounding the central show grounds, in black and white, blue, red and yellow, yellow, red and green knight sections.

Through various authentic dinner courses, royal guests cheer on their knight, as they are taken back to the 11th century with accurate weaponry and costuming, and “Hollywood-caliber” special effects. The characters and storyline change every few years to keep the excitement fresh, but an action-packed show is always a given.

The Medieval Times Dinner

Dinner is an important part of the Medieval Times experience, as the feast was an integral part of the medieval tradition it is based after. Being as true to the 11th century as possible while still producing a great show, no utensils are served with the meal, forcing guests to eat with their hands, medieval style.

The meal starts with a bowl of tomato bisque soup, a slice of garlic bread and a cold beverage. Upon the king’s request to “let the feast begin,” the servers bring out roasted chicken, spare ribs and herb-basted potatoes for guests to enjoy as they watch the show play out in front of them.

For non-meat eaters, a vegetarian option is available and includes a large Portobello mushroom cap stuffed with whole grains, rice and beans; a skewer of roasted vegetables; and hummus served with pita chips. For dessert, each guest receives the “pastry of the castle” and coffee. Alcoholic beverages are available as well.

Medieval Times Tickets and Current Promotions

The Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament take place at nine castles throughout North America, including Kissimmee, Florida; Buena Park, California; Lyndhurst, New Jersey; Schaumburg, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Hanover, Maryland; and Atlanta, Georgia. Regular admission to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament varies depending on the property visited but runs anywhere between about $50 to $60 for adults and about $30 to $35 for children.

Several upgrade options are offered at each location. For an extra $20 per person, the King’s Royalty Package includes VIP first-row, all sections or second-row, center section seating; a framed group entrance photo with King Philippe; a behind the scenes DVD; a commemorative program; and a cheering banner for your assigned knight.

For an extra $10, the Royalty Package gives guests preferred seating in the second and third rows; a cheering banner for your knight; a behind the scenes DVD; and a commemorative program. Lastly, the Celebration Package offers preferred seating in the second or third row; a slice of cake; a framed group photo; a behind the scenes DVD; a commemorative program and a cheering banner for an extra $16 per person.

Discounted promotions are often offered as well. For shows through June 30, 2010, tickets can be purchased for as little as $30 each when four admissions are bought at once. Three admissions can be purchased for $100 total, or two for $75. Through April 18, when one adult ticket is purchased, a second adult or child admission is free. A free upgrade to the Royalty Package is available through March 31 with each full-priced admission.

Year ’round, folks celebrating their birthday can receive free admission with a paid admission if signed up online more than a week prior to their birthdays. Discounts are available for tickets purchased online and over the phone, and cannot be combined. Visit Medieval Times for discount codes and information.


Medieval Sacred Drama – the Mystery Plays of England

The great cycles of mystery plays, usually performed at the Feast of Corpus Christi, told the story of mankind from the Creation to the Day of Judgment.

The mystery plays generally date from the High Gothic era, and their high point came in the 14th and 15th centuries. Modern revivals have shown the power that these sacred dramas still retain.

In England, the plays were usually performed by the guilds, from which came the word ‘mystery’ – the Latin word mysterium meaning ‘occupation’, ie. the guilds.

Characteristics of the Mystery Plays

The plays dramatized sacred history from the Creation to the Last Judgment, including along the way Old Testament stories such as the Flood, Nativity plays, and episodes from Christ’s ministry, as well as the passion and resurrection.

All the surviving plays use homely and often outspoken language to make biblical stories real to ordinary people. They often had enormous casts – in York, many hundreds of people took part in performances.

The Surviving Cycles of English Mystery Plays

It is possible that many towns had their own versions of the mystery plays, but only four cycles of mystery plays have survived. The longest is the York cycle, which contains 48 episodes. It probably dates from the last quarter of the 14th century and is therefore probably the earliest cycle, though it has later additions and alterations.

The town of Wakefield, in Yorkshire, had its own cycle of mystery plays, 32 in total, of which five were borrowed from the York cycle and others probably written by a single author, dubbed the ‘Wakefield Master’. Both the York and Wakefield plays share the same robust humor and earthy realism.

The Chester cycle comprised 25 plays, of which only 24 remain. Compared with the two Yorkshire cycles, the Chester plays have a simpler and more austere tone.

The fourth surviving group, consisting of 42 plays, is known as the ‘N-Town’ plays. Originally these were thought to have come from Coventry, but seem in fact to have been probably a touring cycle of East Anglian origin, performed by traveling players who were probably professional actors.

How the Mystery Plays Were Staged

The plays would have been performed on pageant wagons, large wagons with two tiers, with the performance up above and the lower tier used as a dressing room. The wagons would have been hauled from one location to the next.

Often the plays would have been performed in a single day. In York, with its cycle of 48 plays, probably performed at 16 different stations, the plays would have started at first light and continued well after dark. At Chester, however, the plays were probably performed over three days in five different locations.

Modern Revivals of the Mystery Plays

In 1977, to great acclaim, the National Theatre staged The Mysteries, an adaptation of the Wakefield cycle with elements of some of the other cycles, and since then a number of other revivals of these ancient and powerful plays have taken place.