You have completed your eye doctor appointment, you were prescribed contact lenses, and now you are at home staring at the box full of lenses. If only you could remember everything you were told at your contact lens instruction class. You know they are supposed to be kept moist, but how else do you care for them? Crank up your contact lens confidence and competence with our tips. Not only will your contact lenses thank you, but your eyes will, too!
Contact Lens Care
1. Wash your hands before you handle your contact lenses. You do not want any residue or debris from your previous activities making their way onto your contact lens!
2. Wear your contact lenses for only the prescribed amount of time. The short term side effects of over wearing your contacts can be red, sore eyes and compromised vision. Ignoring these symptoms and continuing to wear your contacts puts you at high risk for more serious consequences with a risk of permanent vision loss.
3. Do not wear your contact lenses at night unless you have extended wear contacts. Regular contacts will irritate your eyes and can even stick to them. If you awake and find you have slept with your contacts still in, use an eye drop solution to moisten them, then wait a few minutes before removing them. Remember, not all artificial tears are safe to use with your contact lenses. Check the packaging to make sure the drops you purchase are compatible with contact lenses.
4. Regularly clean your contact lens case with hot water or sterile solution and let it air dry. Replace it monthly. This will help keep bacteria from growing inside the case and keep debris from getting on your lenses.
5. Wash your contact lenses daily to prevent build-up of grime and other contaminants. Rub them gently in the palm of your hand with solution, not plain water, which cannot get rid of microorganisms. There are also no-rub solutions available that allow you to simply rinse the contacts instead of rubbing them.
6. Put your contacts in before you put makeup on. Because makeup often houses bacteria and germs, putting it on after your contacts are already in prevents the bacteria (and makeup residue) from getting on your contacts. When removing your makeup and contact lenses, wash your hands first, then remove your contact lenses, and finally remove your makeup.
7. Keep the tip of the solution bottle clean. Don’t allow it to touch your fingers or other items.
8. Never share contacts. Sharing contacts also means sharing germs, which could lead to an infection in your eye, even if there is no infection present in the sharer’s eyes. You could also wear the wrong prescription, type, or shape of contact, which can cause irritation.
9. Apply rewetting solution or lubrication whenever your eyes feel dry; this prevents irritation as well as infection.
10. Stop using your contact lenses as soon as an eye infection develops. Wearing contacts can cause the infection to become worse; follow your eye doctor’s instructions regarding your contacts during and after the infection.