You purchase your first pack of lenses and briskly jump into a pool of solution to celebrate your new glasses-free life. After your celebratory swim, you dry off with stringent eyes only to realize you have no idea how to care for your lenses. You’re stressed.
Not to worry. Let this guide show you the tips and tricks to take care of your contacts in an easy hygienic and hassle-free practice. Proper contact lens care is crucial to avoid risk of eye infection and disease.
Single-use daily disposable contact lenses are the safest form of soft contact lens. If you’re wearing dailies, you won’t have to worry about cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting, and storing. Simply discard your lenses at the end of the day and start the morning with a fresh pair. Dailies are perfect for anyone trying to avoid the care processes below. Ask your eye doctor if daily disposable lenses are compatible with your prescription and if possible check out Acuvue contacts for an easy, delivered right to your door option for dailies.
If you’re a lens newbie, check out our 4-step easy guide for contact lens insertion and removal.
Extended Wear Lenses
Lenses that can be worn up to 14 or 30 days will require more conscientious care. However if you continue your regimen, things will gradually become second nature. Good habits are just as addictive as bad habits, so make it a foolproof daily practice.
Always wash your hands before handling your lenses with antibacterial soap and water. Verify that the soap is not scented and avoid dealing with any lotions or oils before dealing with your lenses. Make sure to use a lint-free towel to dry off your hands and minimize any contact with water to your lenses. Water can make the cleaning process less effective and increase risk of infection. A good rule of thumb is to always start with the right eye to promote muscle memory and prevent any potential mix up left or right lenses.
Never use water to clean your contacts. If you’re being stingy with solution, consider switching over to daily disposable lenses to eliminate the use of solution completely. Contact with water while swimming potentially exposes your eyes to dirt and germs in the pool.
Saline solution and rewetting drops are not appropriate disinfectants for lenses. Clean contact lens cases with fresh solution by rinsing them out with solution – not water. Empty the case and leave it open to air dry. Contact lens cases should be cleaned regularly and replaced every three months to prevent contamination and infection. Lens cases that are cracked or broken should not be used.
Just as important, contact lenses should be replaced as required from your eye doctor or contact lens manufacturer. Wearing lenses for longer lengths of times than recommended is unhealthy for eyes and can lead to blurred vision. Contact lenses do expire so be careful.
Rub & Rinse
Even if your solution is a ‘“no-rub” variety, it is highly recommended to carry out the rub and rinse method to further fortify the cleansing process. Hold the contact lens in your palm and squeeze solution onto the lens. Next, gently rub the lens back and forth with your index finger – not in a circular motion. Rinse the contact lens once more with fresh solution to wash away any debris accumulated from the rub.
Keep the tip of your contact lens solution bottle from touching any surfaces and keep the bottle squeezed closed when not in use.
Re-using old contact lens solution is a big no-no. You’ll be letting your freshly cleansed lenses sit in the filth of the previous day’s cleaning. Discard all old solution, rinse the case, and refill with fresh solution.
Place your lenses in the case with fresh solution. Storing lenses for extended lengths of time require disinfection before wear as well as changing case solution every 3 days.
If you find your eyes developing allergies or finding sensitivity with solution, invest in preservative free solutions. For a guide to solutions click here. If you’ve encountered a ripped or torn lens, throw the darn thing out. Don’t insert it into your eye or be prepared to face serious consequences. For more information about torn and ripped contacts click here.
If you come across a lens that has been shriveled and dried up, don’t try to revive it by soaking in solution. Lenses that dry out can never 100% restore their moisture. Lenses found in abnormal states lose their shape and function even if they seem repaired or functional. These lenses can no longer center on the cornea and threaten your vision.
Risking your vision is not worth it. To prevent fungal eye infections and vision threatening diseases, make sure to follow the rules and regulations of proper care.
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