Contact Lens Care

We get contact lenses in order to help our eyes, but as with any device, medical or otherwise, it only works as well as it should if it is properly maintained.

Take Care of What Takes Care of You

As with anything you make use of daily, being it a tool or a medical device, it is important that you take care of it so that it will perform its function for you at the highest level. This of course applies to your contact lenses as well.

Why is it Important to Take Proper Care of My Contact Lenses?

If your lenses are not properly maintained, they can become harder to see through, thus defeating their purpose, and they will not last as long. Also, if they are not properly cleaned and disinfected, they can scratch your eyes and you could contract a potentially serious eye infection

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How Should I Take Care of My Contact Lenses?

The most important thing to remember is to follow the instructions. Both those of your doctor, who will tell you when your lenses should be worn and replaced, and those of the lens manufacturer. The manufacturer will provide you with directions on how they should be stored, cleaned, and disinfected, and this will vary based on what type of lenses you have. Additionally, if you have allergies, be sure to confirm that you aren’t allergic to either the lens material or something in the cleaning solution.

Proper Lens Storage

When it comes to lens storage, make sure to properly maintain their case. Keep it clean, and rinse it with sterile contact lens solution (not tap water, which is not completely sterile). Let the case air dry.

The case should be replaced approximately every three months, or immediately, if it is damaged.

Additionally, be aware of how long your lenses have been in storage for. Depending on the type of lens, they may have to be disinfected before use.

Contact Care

Be sure to both clean and disinfect any contact lenses you remove from your eyes before returning them to their storage case. It is also advised that you wash your hands with soap and water, then dry them with a lint free towel before touching them (either to remove or put on.)
Use the “rub and rinse” method to clean the lenses. Rub the lenses with properly cleaned fingers, then rinse them with your lens solution before soaking them.

What to Do

For all types of lenses:

  • Properly wash and dry your hands before handling your contact lenses.
  • Put on your lenses before applying any makeup and remove them before you take off your makeup.

For reusable lenses:

  • Properly clean, disinfect, and store your reusable contacts according to the instructions of your doctor and the lens manufacturer.
  • Replace your reusable contacts as directed by your doctor (most often this will be every 30 days.)

For daily disposable lenses:

  • Throw away daily disposable lenses before bed, so you don’t put them back on by mistake.
  • See your eye doctor yearly for an exam. Prescription requirements can change over time, so this is essential to making sure your lenses are of the right strength and fit properly.

What Not to Do

  • Do not partake in any activity where water might get into your eyes while wearing contacts. This includes swimming, using a hot tub, and even showering.
  • Do not use your saliva (spit) to wet your contacts. Saliva is not a sterile solution, and can introduce germs into your eyes which may lead to infection.
  • Do not rinse or store your contact lenses in water.
  • Do not use homemade saline solution to clean your lenses.
  • Do not use saline solution as a disinfectant. Saline solutions are not designed as disinfectants.
  • Do not reuse or top off old cleaning or disinfecting solutions.
  • Do not pour contact lens solution into another bottle.
  • Do not allow the tip of your lens solution bottle to touch any surface, and do not forget to properly close it when it is not in use.
  • Do not sleep in lenses not designed to be worn overnight.
  • Do not wear daily disposable contact lenses for more than a day.
  • Do not share contact lenses.
  • Do not wear torn or otherwise damaged contact lenses.

Take Care of Yourself

If your eyes feel irritated while you are wearing your contact lenses, remove them immediately and do not wear them again until you have consulted with your eye care professional. If you continue to wear them, you may contract an eye infection.

If you experience sudden vision loss, persistent blurred vision, light sensitivity, eye pain, redness, or extreme irritation, remove your contact lenses and consult with your doctor immediately. These may be symptoms of an eye infection.

Daily Disposable Lenses

If you want to avoid having to concern yourself with most of the care required for reusable contact lenses, you can ask your doctor about daily disposable lenses, which, as the name implies, are used once and then discarded.

Common Questions

Daily disposable contact lenses are single-use contacts that are discarded after one day’s use. With this design you open up a fresh new pack every day. Daily disposable contacts are more convenient because there is no lens cleaning required and they do not need to be stored in a solution or case. Daily disposable contact lenses are also healthier on the eyes since they are less prone to lens deposits accumulating and there is less of a chance to develop contact lens related eye infections. Daily disposable contacts are also sometimes found to feel more comfortable due to the thinner nature of the lens.
You can apply artificial tears to help alleviate discomfort. Also, if you feel like your lenses aren’t comfortable at the end of the day you can try to reduce the number of hours you wear your lenses, or talk to your eye doctor to possibly switch you into a different contact lens brand that allows for more oxygen permeability. Also, if you feel like your eyes are dry talk to your eye doctor to see what is the best dry eye treatment for you.
Typically soft daily disposable contacts with a high oxygen permeability are the most comfortable for patients. The specific contact lens depends on the curvature of the patient’s eyes. Different contact lens brands have different parameters and optics, so a proper contact lens evaluation by your eye doctor has to be performed to see which lens fits the best on the patient’s eye to provide the most comfortable vision.
If you wear contacts longer than recommended then this places you at a greater risk for developing contact lens associated eye infections and complications which can lead to permanent vision loss. It can result in scratches on your cornea, corneal ulcers, new blood vessels to grow on your eye, and make your eyes feel irritated, uncomfortable and painful. Different types of contacts lenses have different disposal schedules, for instance if you have dailies you must throw them away after a single use whereas if you have monthly lenses you must not wear them longer than 30 days. Contact lenses are a medical device so it’s very important to maintain proper contact lens hygiene, don’t overwear your lenses, and listen to your eye doctor’s wear schedule guidelines.
At what age can I start wearing contact lenses? Answer: Instead of using age to determine if a patient can start wearing contact lenses, it is best determined by their maturity level. Children as young as 8 years old can safely wear contact lenses. (In fact studies have shown that kids practice better contact lens hygiene than some teenagers!). There are several different factors that are taken into consideration when determining who is a good contact lens wearer candidate so be sure to visit your eye doctor today for a proper contact lens evaluation.
Definitely. Contact lenses are a medical device placed on your eye so you need a proper contact lens evaluation by your eye doctor. During the contact lens evaluation your eye doctor will determine which modality and what specific brand of contact lens is best for you. Different contacts come in different contact lens parameters, such as the power, curvature and diameter of the lens. Thus, it’s imperative for your eye doctor to conduct a proper contact lens evaluation to ensure proper vision and fit of the lens. This is especially important to reduce any risk of contact lens associated infections or eye problems/discomfort.
Over the years there have been a lot of advancements in the technology of how contact lenses are made. Contacts are now made of material that provide higher oxygen permeability. There has also been an increase in the contact lens parameters including higher minus and plus powers as well as contacts with astigmatism, and multifocals for patients with presbyopia. Thus, there may now be a new option available for you, depending on the reasons why you weren't previously a candidate for contact lenses. Be sure to visit your eye doctor to have a proper contact lens evaluation and discuss which lens options are best for you.
Daily disposable contact lenses are single-use contacts that are discarded after one day’s use. With this design you open up a fresh new pack every day. They are becoming more popular because they are considered one of the healthiest contact lens options for your eyes. Since dailies are less prone to lens deposits accumulating and less of a chance to develop contact lens related eye infections. There are also other advantages to dailies such as them being more convenient because there is no lens cleaning required and they do not need to be stored in a solution or case. Daily disposable contacts are also sometimes found to feel more comfortable due to the thinner nature of the lens.
Yes. Daily disposable contact lenses are single-use contacts that are discarded after one day’s use. With this design you open up a fresh new pack every day. Daily disposable contacts are more convenient because there is no lens cleaning required and they do not need to be stored in a solution or case. Daily disposable contact lenses are also healthier on the eyes since they are less prone to lens deposits accumulating and less of a chance to develop contact lens related eye infections. Daily disposable contacts are also sometimes found to feel more comfortable due to the thinner nature of the lens.
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Summary

You have contact lenses to take care of your eyes. Make sure you understand and take proper care of them as well. Be sure to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer and use your lenses appropriately.

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