Wearing Contact Lenses for the First Time
Switching from glasses to contact lenses can be a huge leap. Everything from the cleaning to the storage is different and if you are a long-time user of eyeglasses, you may experience a learning curve. This blog post will help you understand all the basics of contact lens usage so that you can get accustomed to your lenses in no time!
Types of Contact Lenses
There are a number of different types of contact lenses, each made for specific eye conditions or for various durations of use. Identifying the type of lenses you have will allow you to care for your contact lenses in the appropriate manner. Always make sure to follow the medical advice of your eye doctor and read the information on the box.
Here are some of the most common types of contact lenses that you will find:
Daily Disposable Lenses
These are lenses that need to be disposed of after each use. With Daily Disposable Lenses, you don’t have to worry about cleaning them.
Extended-wear lenses can be used from one week up to a month or more. These lenses need to be cleaned after every use.
Toric / Astigmatism
This type of lens is used for those with astigmatism, a condition that can cause blurry vision.
Bifocal / Multifocal
Bifocal type of lens is used to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness
How to Insert Your Contact Lenses
Step 1: Wash your hands
Before handling your contacts, make sure to clean your hands with soap and water and dry them thoroughly.
Step 2: Note: Always handle the lenses one by one
Pick up a lens and place it in the palm of your hand. Add a few drops of contact solution and use a single finger from your other hand to gently rub the lens.
Step 3: Insert the lens
Keep your eyes open with your finger and look upwards before inserting the lens into your eye
Step 4: Allow the lens to settle on your eye
Close your eyes and let the lens settle into place. Repeat the same process for your other eye.
How to Remove Your Contact Lenses
Step 1: Wash your hands
Just as you would when inserting contacts, you also need to wash your hands with soap and water and dry them thoroughly before handling the contact lenses.
Step 2: Always handle the lenses one by one
Pull down the lower eyelid and pull up your upper eyelid with one hand.
Step 3: Gently pinch the contact lens
Use your index finger and thumb to gently pinch the lens
Step 4: Slide the lens off
Look up and slide the lens down toward the white your eye and onto your finger.
Cleaning and Storing Your Contact Lenses
Cleaning your lenses and storing them properly are essential to proper lens care. Whether you wear daily disposable lenses or reusable ones, proper care is essential to prevent eye infections and discomfort. Our article on contact lens solutions explains all you need to know about lens solutions and how to use them. Please note that daily disposable lenses need to be disposed of after each use and therefore do not require any cleaning.
Dos and Don’ts of Contact Lenses
Do the following:
Wash Your Hands - Always wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a clean towel before handling your contact lenses.
Clean Your Lenses Regularly - Clean your contact lenses either with a hydrogen peroxide-based solution or a multi-purpose solution.
Use Fresh Solution - Always use fresh contact lens solution to store your lenses. Never reuse the solution that is already in your lens case.
Stick to the Schedule - Follow the prescribed wearing schedule for your contact lenses. Replace them on time, whether you have daily, bi-weekly, or monthly lenses.
Handle Lenses Gently - Be gentle when handling your lenses. Avoid using sharp objects or excessive force that can damage them.
Don’t do the following:
Don't Use Tap Water - Never use tap water to clean or store your contact lenses.
Don't Swim or Shower with Lenses - Avoid wearing contact lenses while swimming or showering.
Don't Share Lenses - Contact lenses are not meant to be shared. Sharing lenses can transmit eye infections and may not fit the other person's eyes properly.
Don't Sleep in Lenses Not Intended for It - Do not sleep in lenses that are not specifically designed for extended wear. Sleeping in regular lenses can lead to eye problems.
Don't Use Damaged Lenses - If your lenses are damaged or torn, do not attempt to wear them. Discard damaged lenses and use a new pair.
Following these dos and don'ts is essential for the safe and comfortable use of contact lenses while maintaining your eye health. If you have any questions or concerns, always consult your Ophthalmologist for guidance.
When to Call Your Doctor
If you experience unusual symptoms and discomfort, it is best to immediately discontinue use and contact your health care provider or your eye doctor. It is important to be aware of common but harmless side-effects you may experience as a new lens wearer and side-effects that are concerning.
To reduce the chances of complications, it is always best to follow the advice of your eye doctor and adopt healthy eye care practices.