Contact Lenses Care

More and more individuals wear contact lenses in order to achieve optimal vision without the inconvenience of glasses. When fitted properly by an eye doctor and cared for correctly, contact lenses are safe, comfortable and versatile.

It is extremely important, however, to incorporate careful and responsible contact care into your everyday routine to ensure good eye health and long-term, healthy contact use.

Types of Contact Lenses

Naturally, different types of contact lenses require different types of care. Your eye doctor will detail exactly what you need to do to safely and effectively wear and clean your lenses. Here is a brief description of some of the different types of lenses available and how you should care for them:

  • Continuous Wear Lenses: You can keep continuous wear lenses in your eyes for approximately six days. You should use rewetting drops to cleanse the lenses in your eyes, or you may prefer to remove and disinfect the lenses.
  • Daily Disposable: With these lenses, no cleaning is required. You wear the lenses for one day and then throw them away. The next day, you put on a new pair.
  • Daily Wear Lenses: These lenses are generally removed at the end of each day, cleaned and disinfected and then stored in a sterilized lens case. You can wear them again after disinfection and rinsing.

Caring for Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are often not noticed at all by those wearing them. As long as people are careful about hygiene and safety, it is easy to maintain a healthy contact care regime. Follow these tips for contact care:

  • Always wash your hands with warm, soapy water before touching your eye or handling your contact lenses.
  • Clean and store your lenses in fresh solution and in a clean case.
  • Clean your contact lens case with sterile solution or hot water after every use.
  • Make sure that you are using products made specifically for your lenses.
  • Remember that any residue left on your hands (soap, lotion, etc.) can cause blurriness or irritation if it is transferred to the lens.
  • Remember to apply makeup after your lenses are already in your eyes.
  • Wear lenses according to the wearing schedule detailed by your doctor.

What Not to Do when Caring for Contacts

Here are a few dangerous contact care techniques that you should always avoid:

  • Do not clean contacts with plain water. This could cause microorganisms to attach to the lens and transfer to your eye.
  • Do not clean lenses in your mouth or with saliva.
  • Do not share lenses with another individual. This could cause eye infections.
  • Do not continue to wear a lens if there is any indication of infection or discomfort. If this occurs, remove the lens and call your eye doctor.
  • Do not let the tip of any solution bottles touch any other surfaces (like your fingers). This will increase the chance of contamination.

How to Put on Contacts

Although some first-time contact lens wearers may be nervous about putting their lenses in, they will soon find that it’s a very easy procedure. With a little practice it will become as routine as any other part of your day. Here are the steps you should follow for putting on contacts:

  1. Wash hands thoroughly with soap, rinse and dry.
  2. Using your finger, take one contact lens out of its case.
  3. Rinse lens according to specific instructions and place on the index finger of your dominant hand. Make sure the lens isn’t inside out.
  4. Pull down lower eyelid and gently place lens in eye. Release lid and blink.
  5. Repeat the process for the other lens.

Basic Contact Care Products

Although it can be a bit overwhelming to walk down the contact lens supply aisle in your local pharmacy, each type of contact lens comes with a list of specific products that are appropriate. Make sure that your eye doctor has also detailed exactly which products are most appropriate for your eye type, as well as your prescribed lenses.

Here are a few of the contact lens products that are available:

  • cleaning and disinfecting devices
  • daily cleaner
  • daily protein remover
  • enzymatic cleaners
  • hydrogen peroxide solutions
  • multipurpose solutions
  • saline solutions.