This is sound advice for existing and new contact lens wearers. Something we have noticed is that with the considerable improvements and convenience in disposable and daily contact lenses, we see many people who have forgotten the basic “must dos” for maintaining their eye and vision health.
Remember when you first started wearing contact lenses? You may have found it a little daunting in the beginning. The process of inserting and removing the lenses, getting comfortable touching your eyeball, and then the hygiene protocols and proper lens care to follow.
Here are the Temple Eyewear Tips for contact lens care and maintenance:
1. Always wash your hands before touching your contact lenses
In the absence of hand hygiene, you risk cross-contamination by depositing microorganisms from your hands onto the lens. This increases your risk of corneal infection, which can increase the risk of permanent vision loss, and also contact lens rejection.
When washing your hands, use antibacterial soap and dry them, being careful not to transfer lint into your eyes.
2. Check that your lens isn’t inside out and is not torn
Wearing the lens the wrong way generally won’t affect your vision, but it may feel uncomfortable.
Similarly, a torn lens can cause irritation, so it is best to keep your fingernails short to help avoid accidentally ripping your lenses.
3. Avoid dry eye by keeping lubricant eye drops on hand
Healthy eyes need to stay moisturised, and contact lenses may make your eyes feel drier than usual, especially if you are in air conditioning. Your optometrist can recommend which eye drops will be best suited to your individual needs.
Dry eye is really increasing with the increase in digital eye strain, and it can be avoided in many cases with lubricating drops. It’s important to understand that if your eyes are too dry, you may experience a lot of discomfort wearing contact lenses.
4. Please, please only wear your contact lenses for the recommended time. This is a critical tip!
Follow your optometrist’s instructions regarding the length of time to wear and use your lenses. For example, if the lenses are designed to be replaced every fortnight, don’t wear them for three weeks. Your risk of serious eye infections increases if you overwear your contacts.
Do contact lenses expire?
Yes, they do. Even if they haven’t been opened, they could still have expired. Make sure to always check the packaging for the expiration date.
5. Don’t sleep in your contact lenses
The majority of contact lenses are not suitable to sleep in. Unless your optometrist has specifically advised you to do so, it’s important that you never sleep or nap in your contact lenses.
Doing so drastically increases your risk of serious eye infection. The contact lens limits your eyes from getting oxygen and hydration, which it needs to fight off any microbial invasion.
6. Care and maintenance of your contact lens case
Contact lens cases are susceptible to bacterial growth, which means if you’re not cleaning your contact lens case regularly with a cleaning solution, you are likely creating a breeding ground for germs.
Best practice suggests disposing of the old solution, rinsing the case out with a fresh solution, wiping it with a clean tissue or paper towel, and leaving it to air dry face down with the caps off.
The humid environment of bathrooms is not the ideal place for your lens case to be stored. Look for a clean, low-humidity place to store your contact lens case.
We suggest replacing your lens case every three months for optimum hygiene.
7. Consider daily disposable lenses
There are two major benefits to wearing daily disposable contact lenses. Firstly, they are super convenient, as no contact lens cleaning or maintenance is required.
You literally wear your contact lenses for the day and throw them out once they are removed. Goodbye, contact lens cases!
The other, more significant benefit is that daily contact lenses are healthier for your eyes than reusable contacts, as there’s a decreased risk of corneal infection.
8. It’s a good idea to insert your contact lenses before applying make-up
Once you’ve washed your hands, you should insert your contacts before applying moisturiser or make-up.
It’s really easy for any residue left on your fingers to make its way into your eyes or onto your contact lenses, and that is likely to cause irritation almost immediately.
Make an appointment to speak to our optometrist regarding your contact lens wear and cleaning practices if any of these contact lens tips concern you.
If you think it’s time for a change in lens type, they will advise you on what is best for your prescription and lifestyle. Visit Temple Eyewear today.