10 Rules for Contact Lens Care
Contact lenses are medical devices which can only be dispensed by prescription. They must be regarded with the same caution as prescription drugs, necessitating prescription expiration dates and follow-up visits with your eye doctor once a year for contact lens evaluation. When you wear contact lenses, your eyes go through gradual changes which can affect the fit of your contact lenses and the health of your eyes. Please contact our office if you experience any signs of complications including pain, redness, or loss of vision. Here are some pointers to keep your eyes safe while wearing contact lenses.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before touching your contacts or eyes.
- Don’t wear your contacts while swimming underwater in a pool or hot tub.
- Water (tap or sterile) should not be used to rinse your contacts.
- Do not put your lenses in your mouth to wet them. Saliva is full of germs that belong in your mouth, not your eyes!
- Do not use saline solution or re-wetting drops to disinfect lenses. Neither is an effective or approved disinfectant.
- Wear and replace contact lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your doctor. If you wear your contacts too long, it will show! Eyes will look red and tired, and may be damaged by overwear. Do you find yourself forgetting to switch to a new pair? Try setting an alarm on your calendar or phone to remind you!
- Clean the lenses regularly – things like dust, pollen, and protein can gunk up the lens making them uncomfortable and unsafe for use. Follow the specific contact lens cleaning and storage guidelines from your eye care professional and the solution manufacturer.
- During cleaning, rub your contact lenses with your fingers, then rinse the lenses with solution before soaking them.
- Rinse the contact lens case with fresh solution — not water. Let the case air dry to avoid getting lint from your towels on your contacts.
- Clean your case and replace it regularly, at least every three months or more often. Lens cases can be a source of contamination and infection. Do not use cracked or damaged lens cases.
There are rules for properly using your contact lens solution as well:
- Do not re-use old solution. Each time you take your contacts out of the case, rinse and put in new solution.
- Transferring contact lens solution into other containers can affect the sterility of the solution, which can lead to an eye infection.
- Protect the tip of the solution bottle and keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
- If you store your lenses for an extended period of time, re-disinfect the lenses before you wear them. If you go more than 30 days between wear, clean again before using.
If you wear contact lenses sporadically, talk to your doctor about using single-use daily disposable lenses.