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Contact Lens Care Tips: What Eye Care Professionals Recommend

How to Care for Your Eyes With Contact Lenses

Proper contact lens care is necessary for your eye health. According to eye care professionals, if you are not a regular lens wearer, daily disposable lenses are the safest since you discard them after only 1 use, which takes away the hassle of a care routine.
However, in case you’re using extended wear lenses, you should be aware of the proper way to take care of them in order to avoid any eye infection.
There are basic things you should do and things you shouldn’t do that your eye care professional would recommend.

Things You Should Do:

Keep your hands clean and dry

Before you handle lenses make sure you wash, rinse and dry your hands to reduce the chance of getting an infection.

Clean your lens case

At least once a week, make sure to clean your contact lens case and let it dry well before reusing it.

Replace your lens case

Your lens case needs to be replaced every 3 months or as directed by your eye care professional.

Store contacts immediately after removing

Store your contact lenses in a closed lens case right after removing them so they aren’t exposed to germs.

Keep your eyes moist

By using a liquid-like contact lens solution or eye drops, you prevent your eyes from drying.

Follow instructions on solution labeling

Different contact lens solutions cannot always be used together nor with all types of lenses. Do not alternate or mix them unless it’s indicated on the solution labeling.

One-month rule

Replace your contact lens solution 30 days after you’ve opened it even if there is some left in the bottle.

Clean one lens first 

To avoid mix-ups, clean the first lens, put it into the correct compartment of the lens case, then repeat the procedure for the second lens.

Use your index while cleaning contacts 

Rub your contacts with your index finger gently in the palm of your other hand, this way you remove all surface buildup. 

Respect wearing period 

Remember the date you opened your lenses in order to discard them after the expiration of the wearing period prescribed.

Get a regular eye exam 

Check with your eye doctor to schedule a regular follow-up examination to assure the continued health of your eyes.

Apply aerosol products before inserting lenses 

If you use hairspray, cologne, deodorant, or any other aerosol product daily, it should be applied first before inserting contact lenses, especially if you have sensitive eyes. By doing so, you allow the mist of the spray to vanish from the air before you open your contacts to avoid contaminating your contacts.

Things You Shouldn’t Do:

Don’t wear contacts when you’re sick

Germs can easily spread from your hands to your eyes when you’re sick. Never underestimate it even if it’s just a cold.

Don’t clean contacts with tap 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.

Don’t swim with contact lenses

Unless you’re wearing goggles, swimming with contacts can result in eye infections, irritation, and potential sight-threatening issues.

Don’t transfer lens solution into smaller size containers 

This can affect the sterility of the solution which can lead to an eye infection. Also, it may leave consumers open to accidentally using a solution not intended for the eyes.

Don’t share your contacts 

Contact lenses are individually fitted, sharing your own lenses or wearing someone else’s is very unhealthy. This behavior provides a way to transfer germs and particles between people and as a result, can cause an infection.

Don’t use your nails

To prevent accidentally scratching your eyes or damaging your contacts with your nails, use your fingertip while inserting or taking out your lenses.

Don’t wear unbranded lenses

To ensure both the quality and safety of your contact lenses, use branded ones only. This also applies to lens solutions.

Don’t sleep in daily contact lenses

Sleeping in daily wear lenses is dangerous and can increase your chance of infection or irritation.

Don’t use saliva 

Do not put your lenses in your mouth to wet them. Saliva is not a sterile solution.

Don’t reuse lens solution 

Always discard all of the leftover contact lens solutions after each use.

Follow-Up for Contact Lenses:

Contact lens wearers should be aware that having an annual follow-up examination is necessary. If you are using extended-wear lenses, the examination often happens every three to six months. 
Remember that wearing contact lenses that are not designed or approved for extended wear increases the risk of a serious eye infection and is not recommended.

These examinations allow the doctor to review the care, wearing, and fit of the lenses. Potential problems may be found during these examinations without notice and may interfere with your vision.

These tips will help maintain a comfortable contact lens experience. Remember, your eyes will only be as healthy as the lenses you put in them.