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Tips for Contact Lens Success

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Tips for Contact Lens Success

Tips for Contact Lens Success

Congratulations on successfully wearing contact lenses!  Here is some advice designed to keep you on a path of success:

Wash Your Hands!

Wash, rinse and dry your hands each time you put in or take out your lenses.  Avoid oily or heavily scented soaps.  If you need a moisturizer, use it after you handle your lenses.  The residue from lotions can stick to them.

Cleaning and Storage

Multipurpose solutions let you clean, rinse, disinfect and store your lenses.  Once you’ve put the lenses in your eyes, it is best to empty the case and let it sit dry through the day.  “No rub” solutions claim that rinsing alone will clean the lens, but rubbing cleans better.  Saline solutions can rinse lenses, but are not a substitute for a multipurpose solution. Hydrogen peroxide systems use a case with a basket for holding the lenses.  These solutions have a red cap to remind you not to put the solution directly in your eye.  The lenses must sit in the case for 4-6 hours before putting the lenses back in your eyes.

Water and Lenses Don’t Mix!

If you are out of lens solution, you might be tempted to use tap water.  Don’t do it!  Soft contact lenses act like little sponges and can absorb microbes in the tap water, increasing your risk of infection.  Also, never put your lenses in your mouth or use saliva to wet them.

Clean Your Case

Clean your case as carefully as you clean your lenses.  Periodically wipe the case with a tissue and always let it air dry to prevent growth of bacteria.  Most packages of solution include a new case, so take advantage and replace the case every time you open a new bottle of solution.   It is best to replace the case every 1-3 months.

Properly Dispose of Your Lenses

Discard your lenses in the trash, never in the sink or toilet!  For recycling, the outer paperboard cartons are recyclable paper.  The individual plastic blisters are classified as a #5/PP plastic, a designation similar to yogurt cups.  The foil blister covers can be removed, bundled together in a ball, and recycled as aluminum.

If Your Lenses Hurt

Remove the lens immediately if it becomes uncomfortable.  Check to see if your lens is inside-out or torn.  Rinse the lens with a rewetting drop or non-peroxide solution.  Don’t keep wearing the lenses if they continue to be uncomfortable.  If discomfort continues after removing the lens, please call our office.

Teens and Lenses

Mature teenagers can wear lenses as long as they learn to care for them and can be trusted to follow all of the care instructions exactly.  Single use lenses are a good choice because there are no cases or cleaning involved.  Work with your doctor to find the best lenses for you.  Never try on a friends lens.  An eye doctor needs to fit a lens perfectly to your eyes.  The doctor can provide samples to be sure the chosen lenses fit well.

Makeup Tips for Lens Wearers

Lenses first! Put your contacts in before applying makeup.  Remove the lenses before taking off your makeup.  Non-allergenic makeup is often best.  Avoid glittery or metallic eye shadows and liners, waterproof and lash-lengthening mascara.  These can irritate or stain your lenses.  Don’t apply eyeliner to your inner rims, between the lashes and your eye.

Contact Lenses and Sports

You can wear your contacts for most sports and activities.  They rarely move out of place and provide better peripheral vision than glasses.  For swimming and watersports, try to avoid getting water in your eyes, and wear a single use lens that you can throw away at the end of the day to reduce the risk of infection.

Keep Your Glasses!

You will still want a good pair of up-to-date eyeglasses to wear when your eyes need a break from contacts and to have in an emergency.  Having sunglasses is good advice too.

Decorative Contact Lenses

It can be fun to have lenses that change your eye color, or to have cat’s eyes for a Halloween party.  Be sure to get the lenses from your doctor.  It is illegal to buy them without a prescription, and ill fitting lenses can scratch the eyes or cause infections.

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