Even if you’ve worn contact lenses for years, it’s still important to review what you should ACTUALLY be doing to care for your lenses. Contact lens wearers lens care regimens evolve over the years- usually not for the better!
1. Before you handle contacts, wash and rinse your hands with a mild soap. If it’s a moisturizing or scented soap- forget it. These soaps can leave a film on your hands. If oils or perfumes get on your lenses, your eyes can get irritated or your vision may be blurry.
2. Dry your hands with a clean, lint-free towel. Fluffy towels leave lint on your fingers, which will invariably end up under your lens.
3. If you use hair spray, use it before you put in your contacts. The same chemicals that make your hair sticky will make the contact lens sticky and irritating as well.
4. Keep fingernails short and smooth so you won't damage your lenses or scratch your eye. Skip the inch long acrylics, it’s just not worth it.
5. Put on eye makeup after you put in your lenses. Mascara will always find a way to get underneath the contact lens. Also, take contacts out prior to makeup removal. The warm cloth and rubbing across the lids can move the contact out of place. It can roll up under the lid, and then you will be asking everyone you know to look in your eye to find your lens! Rather than a night of “find my lost lens”- just take them out before makeup removal.
6. Contact lenses need special care and products. Always use the disinfecting solution, drops, and cleaners your doctor recommends. Some eye products or eye drops aren’t safe for contact wearers. Certain eye drops can even build up in the plastic of the lens, causing irritation and sometimes infections.
7. Never put tap water directly on your lenses. Even distilled water can be home to nasty organisms that cause infection or vision loss. If you happen to get one of these bugs in your eye it rarely ends well. Even with treatment drastic vision loss and even blindness can occur.
8. Never put a contact lens in your mouth to rinse it. It’s funny that it even needs to be said, but just don’t do this. Your mouth is teeming with staph and strep.
9. Clean each contact this way: Rub it gently with your index finger in the palm of your other hand. Lightly rubbing your contact removes surface buildup. If your solution says “no rub”, don’t believe it. Rub it anyway.
10. Clean your lens case every time you use it. Use either sterile solution or hot tap water. Let it air dry. Replace the case every 3 months. Do not save the solution from the day before. There are chemicals in the solution that clean the lens. After your dirty lens has been in it overnight, the cleaning property of the solution has been used up. Throw it out.
If you follow a few simple guidelines contact lens wear is a safe, comfortable, effective way to have clear vision without glasses. If you have any questions about contact lens wear or if it’s been over a year since you have seen your eye doctor, call today to set up an appointment.