Most people use contact lenses to correct their vision in an unnoticeable way. Some wear them to change their eye color for an event or to compliment their active lifestyle. Whether you’re wearing a pair for a special dress-up event or just starting out, knowing how to take care of your lenses helps keep your eyes healthy. Here are five tips for proper contact lens care and hygiene.
Wash Your Hands
Every time you handle contact lenses, you need to wash your hands. If you use daily contact lenses, you can take them out and dispose of them once you’re done. Follow the care instructions for the best experience with soft monthly or bi-weekly lenses.
Use a mild, fragrance-free soap without oils. Then, dry your hands with a lint-free towel or a paper towel. Your hands must be free from oils or particles that may stick on the lenses. This will prevent any eye irritation or blurriness from oil film.
Only Use The Correct Contact Solution
Always use your recommended contact solution and eye drops. Some contacts require special products to keep them clean and safe. If you purchase contact lenses online, ensure you have all the information about your required lens type, prescription and care products.
While it may seem harmless, water or saliva can put acanthamoeba on your lens — a type of bacteria that can infect the cornea and cause vision issues. You must clean and care for them properly to prevent the buildup of proteins or particles, and maintain the lenses’ flexibility and moisture. Ask your optometrist to give you a multi-purpose contact solution. That way, you have one solution to rinse, clean and store your lenses safely.
To clean your contact lenses:
- Place the contact in your palm.
- Squeeze a few drops of lens solution onto your palm.
- Use your index finger to rub the lens gently to remove any buildup.
- Rinse the contact lens with more contact solution.
- Fill your case with fresh solution and place your contacts in the case. Make sure the solution covers each lens and store them overnight.
Alternatively, you may want to use daily contact lenses. These help if you are busy, or wear lenses for events or special occasions only. People use single-use medical items for hygiene purposes like preventing contamination and bacteria spread that may cause health issues. Similarly, you want to treat your lenses like sterile medical items to protect your eyes and prevent any problems.
Take Care Of Your Contact Case
Taking care of your contact case is essential to your contact lens routine. Since it stores your lenses, it also needs regular cleaning. Every time you remove your lenses from the contact case, you should clean it with some multipurpose solution — not water — and let it air dry on a lint-free towel or paper towel.
When it’s time to take out your lenses, fill the case with fresh contact liquid. While it’s convenient to keep your lenses in the bathroom ready for your morning routine, it’s wiser to keep them in a clean place with low humidity. You must also replace your contact lens case every three months to prevent any particle or bacteria buildup.
Using Monthlies? Keep Track Of Your Wear
You may prefer wearing your contacts over your glasses for extended periods, so you may have chosen to wear bi-weeklies or monthlies. Whichever type you choose, always follow the doctor’s instructions regarding how long to wear your lenses and how often to replace them. If you need help remembering, keep track in a calendar on your phone or print out a chart to tick off as you wear the lenses.
Wearing lenses for the recommended time will prevent any itchiness or eye health issues that could occur. Overwearing contacts can result in irritation, reduced vision and risks of infection. You want to protect yourself from that by wearing your lenses as suggested.
Carry An Extra Pair of Glasses
Contact lenses are great for their convenience, especially if you have an active lifestyle or prefer to go frame-less. However, you should carry your prescription glasses in case you need to remove your lenses. You might want to go for a swim at the gym and driving back with glasses may be more convenient than putting your lenses on. If you spend lots of time in front of a computer screen, protect yourself from digital eye strain with blue-light-blocking glasses.
Practice Proper Lens Care And Hygiene For Eye Health
Treat your lenses like medical tools that need the utmost care. This will help you always have clean contact lenses, and prevent eye infections from stray particles or bacteria.