Contact Lens Do’s and Don’ts
Contact lenses are a very popular method of correcting vision. However, they may not be right for everyone. It’s important to remember that contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription from an eye doctor. Improper care or cleaning of contact lenses can lead to infection and, in severe cases, vision loss. Here are some important do’s and don’ts when it comes to contact lens care.
Contact Lens Care Guidelines:
- Always wear your contact lenses as prescribed by your eye doctor.Remove your contact lenses before taking a shower, using a hot tub, swimming, or doing anything where water gets into your eyes.
- Never share contact lenses with another person. This can spread harmful particles or infection.
- Follow the recommended replacement schedule. Don’t stretch your lenses longer than prescribed.
- Never sleep in your contact lenses. This can lead to lack of oxygen and serious eye infections.
- Do not rinse or store contact lenses in water (tap or sterile). Also, never use any homemade solutions.
- Never put contact lenses in your mouth to wet them.
- Do not use saline solution or rewetting drops to clean or store your lenses. These are not disinfectants.
- Make sure the bottle tip of your solution does not touch any surfaces and make sure your solution bottle is closed tightly when you are not using it.
- Keep your contact lens case clean. Rinse your contact lens case with sterile contact lens solution. Then leave the case open to air dry. Replace the case at least every 3 months or right away if it gets cracked or damaged.
- A good cleaning regimen is essential for healthy eyes and good vision.
Healthy Contact Lens Cleaning Habits:
Basic cleaning care for contact lenses consists of five easy steps.
- Wash your hands. The last thing you want to do is transfer germs from your hands to your eyes!
- Rub the lens. Using a few drops of the recommended solution, rub the lens in the palm of your hand. This will clean off any debris or protein buildup.
- Rinse. To get off any loosened debris, rinse the contacts with solution taking as long as the package directs.
- Use fresh solution to store. Never use your old solution from the day before. This solution will not properly disinfect your contact lenses and can cause infections.
- Repeat. Simply repeat these steps for your other lens!
- Following these tips and guidelines are the best way to keep your eyes healthy. As with any prescription, contact lens prescriptions do expire — typically within one year. You should see your eye care professional yearly to ensure they continue to have an accurate and appropriate prescription. These regular exams are also important opportunities for reinforcing proper lens care.