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4 Things All Contact Lens Wearers Should Know

Most people do not take care of their contacts as well as they should. Keep your eyes and lenses in top shape with these tips.

contact lens

More than 30 million Americans wear contact lenses regularly. With contacts providing more natural eyesight than eyeglasses, being safer for performance sports and physical activities and having no chance of fogging up in sudden temperature changes, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.

But according to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, 90% of contact lens wearers do not take proper care of their lenses, which can lead to eye problems such as irritation, blurry vision or infections.

Follow this advice to make sure that your eyes and lenses continue to perform their best.

Keep in Contact With Your Eye Doctor

Your eye doctor is the key to your contact lens care and making sure they work with your lifestyle. Get your eyes checked regularly to keep your prescription accurate. (AAA members can get 30% off eye exams at participating LensCrafters locations.)

Be sure to follow all the guidelines set by your eye doctor and the contact lens manufacturer. This includes wearing times, replacement schedules and cleaning instructions.

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How Keep Your Contact Lens Clean

Your contact lenses help you to see the world around you, so you want them to be as clean as possible. There are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning your lenses.

Wash and dry your hands. Wash your hands with soap and water. If you’re wondering how big of a difference this simple step can make, try this experiment: Place unwashed fingers on a piece of clear tape; whatever sticks to the tape is what you would be putting on the lens – and in your eye!

Don’t clean your lenses with water. You might be tempted to throw the lenses under the faucet but tap water may contain microorganisms that can seep onto the lens and cause an eye infection. To clean your lenses, use disinfecting solution and rub the lenses with your clean fingers to get rid of any residue and surface build-up. If you have reusable lenses, you should use the solution to clean your lens case as well. And while we’re talking about water, take your lenses out before swimming in a pool or hot tub or taking a shower. Even though contact lenses do not fog up like eyeglasses do, the exposure to water can do more harm to the lenses than good.

Your lenses aren’t lollipops. If your contacts are feeling a little dry, avoid the temptation to dab them with saliva. Your mouth is full of bacteria, so doing this is not a safe idea.

Keep them fresh. The solution you use to soak your contact lens in should always be completely fresh. Make sure that you do not mix older solution with new as the mixture will lose the amount of disinfectant it needs to kill off organisms.

Change it up. If you keep using the same case for your contact lenses, dirt and other irritants will linger and build up and stick to them, causing all sorts of eye problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend changing your case about once every three months.

Put them in, then look good. Be sure you put the lenses in before putting on makeup. Not only will your mascara and eye liner look more even, but doing so will reduce the risk of makeup-based irritants sticking to the lenses.

how to keep your eyes healthy

Contact Lens First-Aid Tips

Contact lenses are a more comfortable option than glasses for many, but there are also risks. Should you run into these situations, here’s what you should do.

Contact lens stuck in your eye? First and foremost, wash your hands. Then, determine the location of the contact lens. If it’s centered on the cornea, rinse the eye with saline, contact solution or eyedrops, then close the eye and massage the lid until the contact moves. Rinse and repeat as needed. Is the lens somewhere else in your eye? Move your eye in the opposite direction and gently massage the eyelid or blink to move it to the center.

Contact lens torn? Having a torn contact lens is more than just a minor inconvenience – it is a hazard to your eyes.  A torn lens can scratch the cornea, which can lead to infections and other eye problems. If the lens is torn, remove immediately and get a fresh pair. Always have backup lenses or glasses handy.

Violent stinging or burning sensation? This could be a result of many factors, from allergens to dry eyes. Use lubricating eye drops or switch to a preservative-free contact lens cleanser until you can see your eye doctor.

Give Your Eyes and Contacts A Break

Lastly, when getting ready for bed, remember to take out your contacts. Per the CDC, at least half of all Americans who wear contact lenses sleep or nap with them in. Doing so, however, can lead to infection, redness and soreness of the eyes. You wouldn’t wear your eyeglasses or sunglasses while you sleep, so do the same with your contacts.

AAA members can save 10% off on contact lenses with LensCrafters.

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