What’s the Best way to Care for My Contacts?
There are many benefits to wearing contact lenses over prescription eyeglasses. They’re more comfortable (once you get used to them), they don’t interfere with your appearance or playing sports, and they provide you with more natural vision because they are fitted directly over your eye. They come in a variety of lens types -- including soft and rigid, disposable and long-wear -- so that you can be prescribed the one that best fits your vision and lifestyle needs.
But wearing contacts requires more care and cleaning than wearing eyeglasses. While smudged and dirty eyeglasses can interfere with your vision, dirty contact lenses can cause eye infections and other problems. The best way to avoid infection is to follow the care and cleaning directions that you get from your optometrist. Different lenses require different solutions and lens care guidelines. Here are some general guidelines for proper contact lens care.
1. Whats the best way to put in my contacts?
To keep your eyes infection and irritation free, always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding cleaning and care of contact lenses. Below is an example of a common care method including key steps when inserting your lenses:
- First, clean your hands with water and a mild soap that does not contain perfumes or lotions. Dry your hands carefully with a lint-free towel.
- Do not have your contacts come in contact with water. Water is a no-no for contact lenses.
- When you pick up your contact lenses to insert them into your eyes, first check that they are free of dirt, debris, nicks or small tears. If you notice a tear or nick, replace with a new one.
- If you’re using long-wear contacts that need to be replaced every two weeks, month or longer than that, you will need to clean out your lens case carefully every day after you put in your contacts. Empty the solution from your case and then rinse with fresh solution. Let the case air dry. If you wear disposables, you get a pass on cleaning your lenses and case.
2. Why do my eyes burn when wearing contact lenses?
A burning sensation is not normal. It occurs as a result of unintentional contamination of your lenses.Lenses retain substances they come into contact with, which typically includes facial lotions, soaps and cosmetics. For that reason, it’s essentially to always thoroughly clean your hands before touching your contact lenses, as well as your eyes.
3. What is the proper way to remove and clean my contacts
For longwear users who use rub and rinse solutions, practice the following steps when taking out and cleaning your lenses:
- Not surprisingly, the first thing you need to do is clean your hands again.
- Take out the first lens and squirt solution on it. Then rub it with your (clean) hands to loosen and break up debris and build-up. Rinse your lens after rubbing with more solution. Repeat.
- Store in a clean case with fresh solution.
- Replace your lens case frequently, or as directed by your optometrist.
4. Can I swim in my contacts?
No. Always remove contact lenses before entering a pool or hot tub. Swimming with your contacts can lead to eye infections, irritation and potential sight-threatening conditions. In fact, contacts shouldn’t be exposed to water of any type. Along with pools and hot tubs, that includes the ocean, lakes, and even the shower.
5. Are there other preventive measure to keep my eyes safe with contact lenses?
Always follow the directions of your brand of contact lenses and solution, and your optometrist, for specific care and cleaning guidelines. It’s also key that you:
- Get regular contact lens and eye exams.
- Remove your lenses if you feel or notice pain, discomfort, discharge, swelling, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or any other issues. Then contact your optometrist.
- Don’t wear someone else’s contact lenses.
- Carry a pair of glasses just in case you need to take out your contacts.
- If you wear contacts sporadically, consider getting disposable lenses so that care and storage are less complicated.
- Quit smoking. Smokers have higher rates of contact lens problems than non-smoker
- Replace your contact case and contact lenses per your optometrist’s directions.
- Use only the cleaning and care products recommended by your optometrist. Do not use water or saliva.