Our Top Tips for Contact Lens Care
Tips for Contact Lens Wearers
Wearing contact lenses is a big responsibility. You are more open to infection when you wear contact lenses, especially if you are not careful with the wearing schedule and maintenance of your contact lenses. Here we have some basic ways of keeping your contact lenses and your eyes as healthy as possible.
Forming Good Habits
You should give your eyes a simple 'self-check' once a day.
- How do the contact lenses feel in my eyes?
- How do my eyes look?
- Do I continue to see well?
Always thoroughly wash your hands and dry them with a lint-free towel before you touch your eyes or contact lenses.
Don’t rub your eyes. It is easy to touch your eyes without thinking about it, but you don’t want to get any dirt or oil from your fingers in your eyes, or dislodge your lens.
Maintain good hygiene practices. Clean, disinfect and store your lenses and lens case as instructed. Never rinse your contact lenses or lens case with tap water.
Stick to the schedule and replace your contact lenses as recommended by your eye doctor.
Don’t wear your contact lenses for longer than instructed by your eye doctor.
Can you feel the lens in your eye?
If your contact lenses are in correctly, you should not be able to feel them. Here are some things to double check:
- Is the lens the right way around? If the lens is inside out, it won’t fit correctly and may feel a bit strange.
- To work out which way round it is, just put the lens on the tip of your finger and hold it up to the light. If the edges flare out, it's inside out. If it looks like a smooth edged cup, it’s ready to go.
- Do you have an eyelash, a tiny particle of grit or lint on the lens? With clean, dry hands, carefully slide the lens off of the centre of your open eye and gently move the lens back to the center while using finger pressure on the upper and lower eyelid.
- Is the lens damaged? A split or tear in the lens will irritate your eye. If you think your lens is split or torn, wash and dry your hands with a lint-free towel and replace the lens with a new one.
Are your eyes feeling dry?
Most people experience dry eyes around air-conditioning, smoke, dust or if they spend a long time in front of the computer.
Here are some tips to help if you are wearing contact lenses too.
- Use rewetting drops recommended by your eye care practitioner to keep your eyes hydrated.
- Drink lots of water to ensure your body is hydrated too.
- Blink often, to maintain a layer of moisture on your eye, especially when working in front of a computer screen or watching television.
- Wear contact lenses specially designed to retain moisture
Looking after your contact lenses properly is very important to keep your eyes healthy.
The type of lens you have determines how you care for it.
Disposable extended-wear soft lenses need the least care. Conventional soft lenses take the most work. Follow all directions, or you could have vision problems. If you have a hard time with these steps, talk to your eye doctor. You may be able to make the steps easier, or you could switch to disposable lenses.
- Before you handle contacts, wash and rinse your hands with a mild soap. Make sure it doesn’t have perfumes, oils, or lotions. They can leave a film on your hands. If they get on your lenses, your eyes could get irritated or your vision might be blurry.
- Dry your hands with a clean, lint-free towel.
- If you use hair spray, use it before you put in your contacts. It’s also a good idea to keep your fingernails short and smooth so you won't damage your lenses or scratch your eye.
- Put on eye makeup after you put in your lenses. Take them out before you remove makeup.
- Some contacts need special care and products. Always use the disinfecting solution, eye drops, and enzymatic cleaners your doctor recommends. Some eye products or eye drops aren’t safe for contact wearers.
- Never put tap water directly on your lenses. Even distilled water can be home to nasty little bugs that can cause an infection or hurt your vision.
- Never put a contact in your mouth to rinse it.
- Clean each contact this way: Rub it gently with your index finger in the palm of your other hand. Lightly rubbing your contact removes surface buildup.
- Clean your lens case every time you use it. Use either sterile solution or hot tap water. Let it air dry each morning, and replace the solution with new solution each night.. Replace the case every 3 months.
Taking Care of Your Lenses
The single best way to avoid eye infections is to follow proper lens care guidelines as prescribed by your eye care professional. In particular, including a "rub and rinse" step in the lens cleaning process, minimizing contact with water while wearing contact lenses and replacing the lens case frequently can help reduce the risk of infection.
For more about contact lens care, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology website: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/contact-lens-care