Contacts lenses are a great invention and come with a variety of advantages over glasses. They also come with additional responsibility. When using contact lenses, it is important to follow the directions of your eye doctor and contact lens manufacturer.
So, what SHOULD and SHOULDN’T you do while wearing contact lenses?
What You Should Do While Wearing Contact Lenses
Do Clean & Dry Your Hands: Before you even think about putting your contact lenses in, make sure to properly wash your hands. Avoid applying makeup before putting your contacts in to keep particles from entering your eyes. Also, be sure your hands are dried with a clean towel that doesn’t leave any fibers or residue.
Do Use Fresh Solution: Contacts lenses sit in your eyes for hours, or even days at a time. In order to maintain healthy eyes, it is important to clean your lenses properly with fresh, sterile solutions. Reusing old solution can expose your contacts to bacteria or particulates from the day before and might lead to infection.
Do Replace Contacts According to the Prescription: Contacts lenses come with different lifespans. Most common are daily, fortnightly and monthly. Whichever type you choose, make sure that you dispose of your contact lenses when the proper duration has passed. Leaving them in longer than recommended can lead to serious negative side effects.
Do Prepare Properly for Travel: When you’re travelling it is important to continue hygienic care of your contact lenses. Be sure to pack fresh solution and make sure to slip a few extra pairs of lenses into your bag in case you lose one.
Do Visit Your Eye Doctor Annually: In order to properly care for your eyes when wearing contact lenses, it is important to see your eye doctor on an annual basis. This enables them to update your prescription as necessary and check for certain conditions, like overgrowth of blood vessels.
What You Shouldn’t Do While Wearing Contact Lenses
Don’t Sleep in Contacts: Unless you have certain contact lenses that are specifically for overnight use, you should never sleep in your contacts. This deprives your eyes of oxygen and can lead to dryness, redness, and irritation.
Don’t Expose Contacts to Tap Water: When you are cleaning your contact lenses, never expose them to tap water, saliva or other liquids not specifically recommended for contacts. Tap water, your saliva and other liquids can contain bacteria and microorganisms that might lead to eye infections.
Don’t Mix Up Left and Right: Most people have different prescriptions for each eye. Be sure to use a case that clearly distinguishes between the left and right lenses so you don’t mix them up and strain your eyes.
Don’t Use Expired Lenses: Contact lenses deteriorate over time. If you use a contact lens that is expired, you risk irritating your eye, or worse, ripping completely. Be sure to check expiration dates and order new contact lenses if yours expired.
Don’t Share Lenses or Cases: Contact lenses are prescribed for you and you alone. The same goes for your friends’ contact lenses. Just like medicines, they should not be used by anyone other than the person they are prescribed to.
By following these simple rules, you can keep your eyes healthy and continue wearing your contacts happily, without irritation, infections or worse.