How to Look After Your Contact Lenses

 By: Samer Hamada
Wearing Your Contact Lenses

You should change or replace your contact lenses as often as your eye doctor or optician advises, even if you don’t wear lenses every day. For example, if you wear one day disposable lenses you must make sure you throw them out after you have worn them for one day even if they feel fresh. If you wear contacts longer that you are supposed to or overnight, if they are not made for sleeping in, you can make the chance of getting an infection much higher.

When You Handle Your Contact Lenses

Before you touch your lenses, either to put them in or take them out, you should wash your hands using a mild soap, ideally fragrance and oil free. You should make sure you dry your hands thoroughly with a lint free towel to avoid any small debris getting it your eyes.

How to Put in and Take Out Your Contact Lenses

Wash your hands as advised above. Try to start with the same eye every time you insert or remove your lenses, this should minimise the risk of you putting the wrong lens in the wrong eye. Slide the lens of out the packet or case onto the palm of your hand using your finger. If you have been advised to rinse your lenses with solution by your eye doctor or eye clinic do this now, then place the lens on the tip of your index finger. While holding your lower lid down, with the same hand the lens is on, and using the other hand to hold up the upper lid, gently place the lens on the surface of your eye. Let go of your lids carefully and blink a few times.

When it comes to removing soft contacts, you should hold down your lower lid and look to the side or up, then carefully move the lens to the white part of your eye. Then use your thumb and index finger to pinch the lens and lift it off of the eye. If you wear gas permeable contact lenses you should remove them by opening your eyes wide and pull the skin which is near the corner of your eye nearest to your ear, then bend over the palm of your hand and take a blink, the lens should pop out and land in the palm of your hand.

Remember that your eye clinic should show you how to insert and remove contact lenses and let you practice before you leave the clinic.

How to Clean and Store Your Lenses

There are lots of ways you can clean your lenses. Remember to always follow the advice of your eye clinic or optician and never reuse daily disposable contacts. You can get a multipurpose solution which enables you to clean, rinse, disinfect, and store your lenses all with only one solution. You can also get separate solutions for cleaning and rinsing. Another option is with hydrogen peroxide solution, you leave your lenses in a basket which submerges them in the solution, but you should never use this solution to rinse your lenses in. You should also clean your lens case with a disinfectant solution every night and dry carefully and replace your case at least every 3 months.

Never use water to rinse or clean your contact lenses. Water contains many microbes which can cause serious infections to your eyes.

If you are thinking of starting to use contact lenses or are having a problem with your current ones you should always visit your eye clinic, eye doctor or optician to ask for advice. Never purchase contact lenses online if you have not seen a specialist first or used contact lenses before, misuse of lenses can lead to serious eye problems and infections.
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