Contact lenses are a miracle product for people who need glasses, but don’t want to wear them. Small, customisable and versatile, they are a popular vision correction option for millions of people around the world, offering convenience, comfort, and freedom from the hassle of wearing glasses.
However, proper contact lens care is crucial to ensuring that your eyes stay healthy and your lenses are able to do their job. We’ve put together the best contact lenses wearing tips, as well as how to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable when wearing them.
Why Proper Contact Lens Care
Proper contact lens care is essential for maintaining good eye health. Contact lenses are delicate, and the surface of contact lenses can easily accumulate dirt, debris, and bacteria. This can lead to a number of issues ranging from discomfort, dryness, and redness, all the way to a contact lens eye infection, corneal ulcers, and other serious complications. Whether you’re an experienced contact lens user or a novice, it is important to follow a proper care routine to ensure your eyes stay healthy and your lenses provide optimal vision correction.
Selecting the Right Contact Lens Care Products
The best contact lens care solution will not only help to protect your eyes, but extend the longevity of your lenses. There are several types of contact solutions available, and the one you select depends on various factors, including the type of contact lenses you wear, and your individual needs and preferences.
The most common type of contact lens solution is a multipurpose solution, which is an all-in-one solution that can act as a contact lens cleaner, rinser, and disinfectant. Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions disinfect contact lenses, and require a specific type of contact lens case, making them best for people with sensitive eyes or allergies.
Saline solutions are used for rinsing and storing contact lenses, however, they do not contain any disinfecting agents beyond salt, so they are not ideally used for cleaning or disinfecting. Finally, enzymatic cleaners are used to remove protein deposits from contact lenses. Protein deposits can accumulate over time and can cause eye discomfort and reduced lens performance if not cleaned.
The type of contact lens solution you use may also vary depending on factors such as the type of contact lenses you wear, your eye health, and your lifestyle. Your eye care practitioner will advise which type of contact lens cleaning regime is most appropriate for your contact lens and eye health.
Guide to Contact Lens Cleaning and Disinfection.
Understanding Contact Lens Storage and Replacement
Contact lenses should always be stored in a clean lens case and filled with fresh solution each time they are removed from the eyes. The lens case should be sterilised regularly and replaced every three months, or as recommended by your optometrist. You might be wondering: do contact lenses expire? Like most other products, contact lenses do have an expiration date. Whether your lenses are daily disposables, monthly disposables, or extended wear lenses, it is important to follow proper contact lens hygiene, as using lenses beyond their recommended replacement schedule can increase the risk of eye infections.
Tips for Safe Contact Lens Handling and Application
It is important to handle contact lenses with care to avoid eye irritation and infections. The biggest tip is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your contact lenses, and avoid using any soaps or lotions containing perfumes or oils that can transfer to the lenses and cause discomfort. The instructions for how to put on contact lenses and how to easily remove contact lenses differ by brand, so it’s important to be familiar with the specific instructions for your lenses and ask your optometrist for advice if you are unsure. However, you should only use the recommended tools, such as clean fingertips or a lens insertion and removal device, to handle your lenses.
Avoiding Common Contact Lens Care Mistakes
There is often a lot of focus put on the application of contact lenses, rather than the wearing of them, which can lead to people making a number of mistakes. The first of these is sleeping with contact lenses in. Unless prescribed by your eye care professional, avoid sleeping in your contact lenses, as this can increase the risk of eye infections and deprive your eyes of the oxygen they need, leading to discomfort and other complications such as a contact lenses dry eyes condition. It’s also important to remember that contact lenses are not meant to be shared with others. Sharing lenses or solutions can transfer bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms, increasing the risk of eye infections.
Optometrists are often asked: can you swim with contact lenses? Although some people do swim with their contact lenses in, it’s best to avoid exposing your lenses to water, including tap water, swimming pools, hot tubs, and showers. Water can introduce harmful microorganisms to your lenses, increasing the risk of eye infections, not to mention the risk of losing them in the pool.
Dealing with Contact Lens Discomfort or Irritation
Even with proper care, contact lens wearers may experience discomfort or irritation at times. If you are dealing with contact lens discomfort or irritation, remove your lenses and inspect them for any signs of damage, debris, or protein deposits. If you notice anything unusual, clean and disinfect your lenses as per the recommended guidelines, and consult your eye care professional if the discomfort persists.
Additionally, if you are regularly experiencing discomfort or irritation, it’s important to give your eyes a break from contact lens wear. Switch to your backup glasses if available, and allow your eyes to rest and recover. Avoid wearing lenses for extended periods, especially if your eyes feel dry or irritated. Dryness or irritation can be alleviated with lubricating eye drops specifically designed for contact lens wearers, however, it’s important to use only the eye drops recommended by your optometrist.
Keeping Your Eyes Healthy with Proper Contact Lens Care
When it comes to prescription contact lenses, it’s important to properly maintain and care for them in order to keep your eyes healthy. The team at Bayside Eyecare have many years of experience helping people enjoy the benefit of clear vision with contact lens wear t. Melbourne contact lens wearers seek our professionals for treatment and advice to help you wear your contact lenses properly and comfortably.
To book an appointment, fill out our online contact form or call (03) 9909 5329 to chat with one of our friendly professional eye specialists today.