How to Use and Care for Your Contact Lenses Correctly

June 25, 2023

contact lens care

Whether you save your contacts for special occasions or wear them every day, good hygiene procedures are crucial. Incorrect use and care of contact lenses can lead to inflammation of the eyes or eyelids, sore or red eyes, infection and pus discharge, dry eyes, allergic reactions and more. 

Here are our top tips to look after your contact lenses to avoid these things happening!

1. Use top hygiene for everyday use

Before inserting or removing your lenses, wash your hands with plain soap and water, and dry them thoroughly on a clean, non-fluffy, towel. Dry hands also give you a better grip for handling contacts. (This applies whether you wear reusable or disposable contacts). 

2. When to remove contacts

Never wear your lenses for longer than the maximum time your eye doctor recommends. Also, do not go to sleep with your contact lenses in, unless otherwise advised by your eye care professional. Sleeping with the wrong type of contacts can cut off oxygen to your corneas, in turn leading to infections and severe eye damage. Remove your lenses before removing eye make-up.  

3. Keep your contacts clean

If you wear re-useable lenses, they should be cleaned and disinfected after each use using the correct solution for their type (ask your optometrist for their advice on this and don’t change systems without advice). Store them in a fresh lot of solution after removal in the case that came with them, and make sure to replace the lid on the solution bottle. 

Do not ever rinse or soak lenses in water, as even treated tap water can carry bugs. Likewise you should not use saline solution for soaking – although it can be used for rinsing. 

4. Look after your lens case

Keep your contact lens case disinfected by throwing out any used soaking solution, cleaning it with fresh solution or hot water and drying with a clean paper towel or tissue. Make sure to close the lid afterwards. The case should be replaced every few months, many lens solutions will include a new case with each bottle. 

5. Check your own eye health

Regularly take a look at your eyes in the mirror. They should look clear and healthy. If they don’t (e.g. they are starting to look red or sore) discontinue using your contacts and make an appointment with your optometrist immediately. 

6. A few extra tips

  • If you use make-up, preferably apply it after you’ve inserted your contacts, as some of the make-up residue can remain on your fingers, and you’ll be able to see as well! 
  • When putting lenses in over a sink in the bathroom, don’t forget to put the sink plug in first. Many a lens has been lost down the drain – never to be seen again!
  • Keep a pair of back-up glasses for those occasions when wearing contacts could be problematic – such as when you have the flu or hay fever.

Finally, if your contact lenses are bothering you in any way, or you think you may need a different type, make an appointment to see your optometrist as soon as possible. 

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