By: Jennifer Cowan
Contact lenses can be one of the safest forms of vision correction when you follow the proper care and wearing instructions provided by your eye doctor.
When misusing your contact lenses, you could potentially be damaging your eyes. Clean and safe handling of your contact lenses is one of the most important things you can do to protect your sight. Hygiene is the key to success when wearing contact lenses.
Contact lenses and the solutions used with them are medical devices and should be used as such.
Starting with the DO’S
- Always start by thoroughly washing your hands before handling your contact lenses.
- Wear your contact lens only as directed, whether that be daily disposable, biweekly, or monthly disposable. For example, Acuvue Oasys contact lenses are only intended for a two week wear schedule and to be taken out daily and cleaned.
- Hygiene isn’t just for you and your contacts; it is for your contact lens case as well. You should rinse and clean your case every single day, using fresh solution daily. Replacing your case every 3 months is also recommended.
- If you wear make-up, your contacts should be inserted before the application of any makeup.
- Last but not least, your contact lens prescription is only valid for 1 year. You should see your eye doctor annually to check the health of your eye and to update your prescription.
Now for the Don’ts
- Do not over-wear your lenses. Stretching your monthly lens to two months or sleeping in your contacts can cause significant damage to the health of your eye. Deposits can build up on your lenses and potentially cause infections.
- Never use water, rewetting drops, saliva, or saline as a replacement to your contact lens solution.
- Don’t use lotion based soaps when washing your hands, this can cause a film to build on your contacts when handling them.
- Always avoid sleeping in contact lenses after being exposed to pools, lakes, oceans, hot tubs or other sources of water that can contain bacteria.