How good are you at taking care of your contact lenses? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably, “not great.”
Forty-five percent of adults who wear contact lenses report wearing their lenses longer than they’re supposed to, and 32.9 percent report sleeping or napping while wearing their contacts.
Another six out of seven contact lens wearers have admitted to engaging in at least one practice that puts that at risk of infection.
If you’re not great at taking care of your lenses, or if you’re not sure what you should or shouldn’t be doing to keep them in good shape, keep reading.
Listed below are some important dos and don’ts of proper contact lens care.
Why Does Contact Lens Care Matter?
Contact lenses have come a long way over the last few years, in terms of design and function. There are even contact lenses that only have to be changed once a month instead of every day.
At the same time, these improvements have lulled some people into a false sense of security.
Many people think that thanks to the advancements in contact lens design, they don’t have to clean or maintain them. That’s definitely not the case, though.
Proper contact lens care helps to prevent a variety of infections and diseases. By caring your lenses properly, you can also avoid injuries like corneal abrasions.
Some of these infections and injuries can permanently damage your eyesight, especially if you don’t address the issue right away.
Dos of Contact Lens Care
Clearly, contact lens care is important. But, what should you actually be doing to make sure you keep your lenses in good shape?
Start by implementing the following practices:
Do Stick to a Schedule
Whether you’re supposed to change your contact lenses once a day, once a week, or once a month, be sure to stick to the schedule your doctor prescribes.
Do Clean Your Lenses with Fresh Solution
Empty out your contact lens case after every use and fill it with fresh solution. Use liberal amounts to make sure your lenses stay clean and moist.
Do Use the Solution Your Doctor Recommends
If your doctor recommends a specific brand or type of contact lens solution, be sure to use that particular brand or type. Remember, they recommended it for a reason.
If you do want to use a different brand or type, talk to your doctor before switching.
Do Inspect Your Lenses Before You Wear Them
Always check your lenses for rips, tears, debris, or other types of damage.
Do Remove Your Lenses at the First Sign of Irritation
If your eyes start to feel dry, itchy, or gritty, or if they begin to look red or runny, take out your contact lenses and let your eyes “breathe.”
Do Wash and Dry Your Hands Before Handling Your Lenses
Always insert or remove contact lenses with clean, dry hands. This helps to prevent irritation, injuries, and infections.
Do Keep Your Fingernails Trimmed
It’s very easy to nick your eye or damage your contact lens if you’re inserting or removing them with long fingernails. Keep them neat and trimmed at all times.
Do Insert Your Lenses Before Applying Makeup
To avoid irritating your eyes or getting debris stuck to your lenses, be sure to insert your lenses before you apply eye makeup. And, take them out before you remove your makeup.
Do Keep Your Contact Lens Case Clean
If you’re cleaning your lenses but not cleaning your lens case, you’re going to have a hard time avoiding irritation and infections. Rinse out your contact lens case and clean it regularly before filling it up with lens solution.
Do Go and See Your Doctor for Regular Check-ups
Even if you aren’t experiencing any irritation or other issues, it’s still important to go see your eye doctor for regular check-ups. They’ll make sure your eyes are healthy and your contacts are working for you.
Don’ts of Contact Lens Care
At the same time, there are also some things you shouldn’t do if you want to keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision problems in the future.
Keep these don’t’s in mind so you can take proper care of your contact lenses:
Don’t Try to Extend the Life of Your Lenses
Remember, stick to your doctor’s schedule. Don’t try to extend the lift of your lenses so you don’t have to re-order lenses as frequently.
Don’t Use Water to Clean Your Lenses
Only clean your contact lenses with lens solution. Never use tap water or saliva to clean them.
Don’t Insert Ripped or Torn Contact Lenses
Inserting a ripped or torn contact lens is a recipe for disaster. If you notice any damage, throw the lens away and get a new one.
Don’t Let Your Contact Solution Bottle Touch Other Surfaces
If the tip of your contact lens solution bottle touches other surfaces, it could become contaminated. This, in turn, could put you at a greater risk of infection or irritation.
Don’t Try to Reuse Solution
Remember, clean out your contact lens case between uses. Don’t try to reuse the solution that’s left in there from the day before.
Don’t Share Solution
Sharing contact lens solution increases your risk of infection. Your eyes also might become irritated if you’re using a new solution that wasn’t recommended by your doctor.
Don’t Wear Your Contact Lenses While Sleeping
Wearing your contact lenses while you’re sleeping increases your chances of experiencing infections, corneal abrasions, or other injuries.
Don’t Wear Contacts During Water Activities
Never wear your contact lenses while swimming in a pool, lake, or ocean. Exposing them to potentially contaminated water could lead to infections and other serious issues.
Do You Need New Contact Lenses?
Have you been neglecting your contact lens care?
Now that you know more about the dos and don’ts of caring for your contacts, you might want to start fresh with a new pair. If you need new contacts, or if it’s been a while since your last exam, come and see us at Eye Pros today.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment, or order new lenses online from the comfort of your own home!