Proper contact lens care is essential to keeping your eyes healthy.
Wearing contact lenses can be a major convenience when it comes to your daily activities. You don’t have to worry about glasses becoming lost, damaged or broken while participating in sports, entertainment, and other activities. However, because contact lenses are in direct contact with your eyes, they can introduce contaminants into the eye area that can cause irritation or damage.
Here are some tips straight from Dr. Fruchtman to help keep your eyes safe and healthy when using your contact lenses.
Basic Contact Lens Care
Always wash your hands before touching your eyes or putting your contact lenses in. Your hands can harbor microscopic germs that you won’t want to introduce to your eyes.
Always clean and store your contact lenses in fresh, sterile contact solution. Do not use tap water, distilled water, bottled water, saliva, homemade solution or reuse old solution! Microorganisms live in water as well as your saliva. While it may be safe for drinking, these microorganisms can burrow into your contact lenses. And irritants can be present in old contact solution.
Wash your contact case with contact solution, not water. Let your case dry between uses. We suggest replacing your contact case at least every three months.
Put contacts in BEFORE applying makeup.
Don’t put contacts in inside out. Your contacts should have a U shape, not a V shape.
Never transfer contact lens solution into other containers. Non-contact containers are not sterile. Solution and contacts placed in other containers will immediately become contaminated.
Safety When Wearing Contacts
How you take care of your contacts when you’re wearing them is equally essential.
Avoid rubbing your eyes. Rubbing your eyes can increase irritation, damage your contacts or introduce contaminants into your eyes.
Keep your eyes hydrated. Moisture is important. So, drink water, blink often, and use eyedrops if necessary. Dry eyes can be uncomfortable for contact wearers.
Always follow instructions for the length of time to wear your contact lenses. Don’t wear your contacts overnight—or for a nap—unless they are designated for that use and we’ve told you its Okay. The surface of your eyes need oxygen to stay healthy. So, wearing the wrong contacts for too long deprives your eyes of oxygen and your eyes can feel uncomfortable. You could also develop dry eye or an eye infection. Even if your contact lenses are designated for overnight use, it’s still best to remove them for sleep.
Wear sunglasses. Your contacts may offer UV ray protection. But, it's good practice to wear sunglasses to protect your vision.
Remove contacts before swimming. Contaminated water from a lake, pond, ocean, river, pool or other body of water can get under your contacts and cause an eye infection.
Clean makeup daily. Don’t allow your makeup—especially eye makeup—to remain. Be sure to wash makeup from your face every day. And clean your eyes with eye drops if you get makeup in your eye during application or at any other time. Follow your optometrist’s instructions. Your optometrist has your best interests in mind. Also, come in for a regular appointment so we can check your progress and your prescription.
If you are new to wearing contact lenses, we’ll go over all of this with you during your appointment. And if you need a refresher, we’ll be glad to take the time to help you.