Caring for your Contact Lenses
Contact lenses come in soft and hard lens types and are prescribed to treat a variety of vision issues—including astigmatism (or blurry vision), age-associated vision decline (or presbyopia), myopia (or nearsightedness), hyperopia (or farsightedness), and astigmatism. As implied, hard contact lenses are made of inflexible plastic while soft contact lenses are made with flexible plastic that allows the free flow of oxygen to pass through the contact lens and cornea, increasing comfort and decreasing slippage of the lenses. Today, optometrists or ophthalmologists most likely prescribe soft contact lenses in disposable monthly, or weekly disposables, or daily soft contact lens options.
Care of your contact lenses will depend on the type (i.e., hard vs. soft lenses) and expiry date (i.e., monthly, weekly, or daily lenses). Obviously, disposable daily extended-wear soft lenses require the least upkeep as you only use them a day at a time before discarding them. This means there’s no need for storage and cleaning between wear. However, consistent contact lens car should be used…
- Always handle your contact lenses with freshly washed and rinsed hands. Avoid soaps and hand lotions with fragrance or oils to avoid irritating your eyes.
- Keep your fingernails trimmed and rounded to prevent scratching the surface of your eye.
- Apply any hair products prior to inserting contact lenses as chemicals can get trapped under the soft lenses and cause irritation.
- When using contact lens solutions, keep the tip of the bottle clean and don’t let it touch other surfaces (i.e., your eyes) to prevent contaminating the clean contact lens solution.
- Avoid using tap water to clean your contact lens case or soft contact lenses. Tap water can contain microbial germs that can irritate and infect your eyes.
- Always remove your contact lenses and clean and store them in a contact lens case before you go to sleep. During sleep, your tears tend to dry out and lenses may dry out, and damage or irritate the surface of your eye.
- Always apply contact lens drops and solutions, as prescribed by your optometrist. Keep a close eye that the disinfecting contact lens solution, natural tears eye drops, and enzymatic cleaners that you purchase are specific to contact lens wearers.
- Never share or lend someone else your soft contacts. If previously worn, contact lenses can spread dirt and infection.
- If you have issues with your soft contact lenses or suffer blurred vision, eye irritation, redness, swelling, or eye pain, see your eye doctor immediately.