There are millions of people seeing the world through contact lenses, and you may be one of them.
The condition of your eyes depends on how well you care for your prescribed contact lenses and/or eyeglasses. While contacts are convenient for people with vision problems, improperly cleaned and stored lenses can cause eye infections.
To keep your eyes healthy and your contact lenses in great shape, follow our directions below for correct contact care.
What to Use When Cleaning
Before you start a morning and night cleaning routine for your prescribed lenses, you need the proper cleaning tools. If you don’t already have these materials, add them to your shopping list:
- Non-scented soap – Scented soaps have chemicals that can cause eye irritation.
- Lint-free towel – Residue on your lenses can scratch and irritate the surface of the eye.
- Contact lens solution – This helps disinfect, clean, and lubricate your lenses.
It's also important to check with your eye doctor to make sure he/she approves of the disinfecting solution and other contact lens products you plan to use.
How to Clean Contacts
Now that you have the materials you need to clean your lenses, you can begin the cleaning process. Follow these steps to ensure your contacts are kept in their best possible condition:
- Wet hands under clean, running water and lather with non-scented soap.
- Dry hands with lint-free towel.
- Check hands for cleanliness.
- In the palm of your hand, massage each lens with contact solution to remove any remaining debris.
- Place contact lens on the tip of your pointer finger (use the hand you write with).
- Insert contact.
Follow these steps in the morning and at night.
Note: Make sure to put on any face products (makeup and moisturizer) after inserting your lenses, and take your lenses out before removing your makeup.
How Often Should Contact Lenses Be Replaced?
The length of time you can continue to use a set of lenses will depend on their type. The most common lenses you'll find are:
- Daily lenses
- Two-week lenses
- Monthly lenses
Keep track of how long you have worn a specific pair of contacts, and when they are “expired” replace them with a new pack.
Note: Your ophthalmologist will tell you how long you can wear your brand of contacts.
Best Practice for Storing Contact Lenses
Before taking your contacts out, make sure your hands are clean. After you safely remove your contacts, you'll need to store them in a properly maintained contact case.
To ensure proper hygiene when storing your contacts:
- Dump old solution (do this every morning).
- Rinse case with solution, not water.
- Set case aside to air dry.
- Don’t reuse lens solution (this can increase the risk of an eye infection).
- Replace lens case every 2-3 months.
Don’t sleep with your contacts in, as this can dry out the eyes and cause irritation.
To learn more about how to care for your contact lenses or to schedule an eye exam with one of the caring doctors of Nationwide Optometry, give us a call at 1-800-EYE-CARE or schedule an appointment.