Contact lenses make you look great and see better, as long as you wear and care for them correctly. Follow these five steps to keep your eyes happy with contacts.
WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE HANDLING
Your mornings might be a whirlwind of getting yourself and your family out the door, but it’s important to take the time to handle your contacts correctly. Always wash your hands before you touch your contacts, and don’t use oily or perfumed soaps. Dry your hands thoroughly using a lint-free towel. Since you’ll transfer anything from your hands directly to your eyes, you want to be sure that your hands are completely free of any substances or residues. Wait to apply lotions or oils until after you’ve put in your contacts.
DON'T MIX UP YOUR LENSES
Image via Flickr by ? Lee J Haywood
Many people's eyes aren’t exactly the same, which means there’s a good chance that your left eye has a different contact lens prescription than your right eye. If you're dealing with contacts day in and day out, it can be a challenge to always keep the two lenses straight. Make a habit of starting your contact lens routine with the same eye every day to lessen the chance of confusing your lenses. If you have contacts that are meant to be worn more than once, be sure to double-check that each lens is in the correct case compartment between each use.
USE THE RIGHT LENS CASE AND SOLUTION
Contact lens care isn’t something to take lightly. Never use water to clean your lenses and always use the appropriate doctor-recommended solution for your lenses. Some solutions only clean or rinse, while others serve as an all-in-one solution. When you’re not wearing your contacts, be sure to store your lenses safely in their case. Always disinfect your lens case and allow it to air dry. Resist the temptation to reuse your contact solution, since starting with new solution each time greatly reduces the risk of eye infections. Don’t forget to replace your contact lens case every few months.
REPLACE YOUR LENSES AS RECOMMENDED
Your eye doctor knows best when it comes to how often to replace your contact lenses. Some contacts are made to work only once, while some can be stored and worn again. Always throw away single-use contacts after you’ve worn them, and properly clean and store multiple-use contacts between uses. You risk damage to your eyes when you wear contacts longer than recommended, so take your doctor’s advice seriously.
DON’T SLEEP IN YOUR CONTACTS
Some contact lenses are specially made so that you can wear them while you sleep but many regular contacts are not. If you leave regular contacts in while sleeping, you greatly risk your chance of eye infection. In fact, depending on the type of contact lenses you wear, you’re up to 20 times more likely to get microbial keratitis, which is an infection of the cornea. This can start out with pain and inflammation, which can get much worse over time. Particularly bad keratitis infections can cause scarring, poor vision, and even blindness. Wearing contacts can be a great solution for improving your vision. Care for them properly, and keep your eyes healthy for years to come.