The do’s and don’ts of contact lenses
Wearing contact lenses opens up a whole new world of flexibility and convenience. Inserting any object into your eye – including contact lenses – does however increase the risk of infection. By taking proper care and practicing good hygiene, this risk is very small. Here are some tips to keep your eyes healthy and minimise the chance of infection occurring:
- Practice good hygiene. Wash, rinse and dry your hands carefully before handling your contact lenses or eyes. Always!
- Minimize contact with water. Be careful wearing your contact lenses in water. It is better to remove your lenses while swimming or using a spa bath or hot tub. Single use lenses are the best option for people who participate in water sports.
- Remove your contacts before you go to sleep. Continuous wear significantly increases the risk of eye infections and it is vital that you only sleep in your contact lenses if the contact lens has been carefully fitted and overnight wear evaluated by your optometrist.
- Take care with contact lens solutions. Only use proprietary sterile products designed specifically for the type of contact lenses you wear. Follow the manufacturer’s directions and your optometrists instructions carefully. The various products are not interchangeable, so always make sure you use the solution intended for your lenses. Ask one of our team if you are not sure.
- Follow specific instructions from your optometrist. Don’t put your lenses in your mouth to wet them, for example, and do gently rub your lenses while you’re cleaning them — even if you use ‘no rub’ solutions.
- Replace your contact lenses on schedule or before if necessary. If one or both lenses bother you before they’re due for replacement, ask your eye care specialist to check them or try a new set, but never wear irritable lenses.
- Replace your contact lens case regularly. Discard the solution in the contact lens case every time you disinfect the lenses. Don’t ‘top up’ old solution that is already in the case, it works best when it is fresh from the bottle.
- Know where your lenses come from. Internet purchases have been linked to eye infections in several studies. The one-eye performance of your lenses depends on how they have been transported and stored as well as what they are. They may be the same lens, they may not.
- Don’t wear your lenses when your eyes are red. If your eyes are itchy or red, remove your contact lenses immediately and use lubricating eye drops. If your vision goes blurry or your eyes are sore and light sensitive, remove your contact lenses and contact us immediately. Prompt care can make all the difference.