Contact Lens Care Made Easy
Few things affect the quality of your life more than your eyes; never put them at risk. Contact lenses are prescription medical devices. To make sure your eyes and vision stay healthy while wearing contact lenses, please follow these few guidelines or the instructions recommended by your doctor.
Warning: Ocular complications and/or long-term corneal damage are the consequences of contact lenses that are worn longer than recommended. Oftentimes, your lenses will still feel good even when you are over-wearing them. Do not wear your lenses overnight unless they are approved for extended wear and your doctor has discussed this with you. Overnight wear increases the risk of infection and other complications.
It will take at least a few days for your eyes to get used to wearing contact lenses. The best way to insure maximum visual comfort and keep your eyes healthy is to patiently and faithfully adhere to this wearing schedule. For a review how to insert and remove your contact lens refer to our patient education video library.
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Oftentimes, your lenses will still feel good even when you are over-wearing them. Following are some basic Do’s and Dont’s of Contact Lens Care:
- DON’T wear your lenses overnight unless they are approved for extended wear and your doctor has discussed this with you. Overnight wear increases the risk of infection and other complications.
- DON’T wear your lenses longer than 12 hours a day until your first follow-up visit with your doctor, unless the doctor has specifically told you otherwise.
- DON’T continue use of contact lenses if your eyes become red, irritated, painful, or if your vision gets worse while wearing lenses. Immediately take out the lenses and clean them. Let your eyes get back to normal and if the problem persists, contact our office.
- DON’T exceed the wearing times suggested, even if your lenses still feel comfortable. Studies have proven that the eye needs time to adapt to contact lenses, and your wearing schedule is based on those studies.
- DO always remove your contact lenses at least one hour before going to bed to allow for proper oxygen nourishment to the cornea.
- DO wear your contact lenses for at least 3 hours before your follow-up appointment unless you are experiencing discomfort.
- DO schedule and keep follow-up appointments with your eye doctor.
Caring For Your Contacts
Deposits and infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, etc., can build up on the surface of all contact lenses. For this reason, it is very important to keep them clean and disinfected.
There are three steps in contact lens care; follow the care prescribed for your lenses:
- Cleaning removes dirt, mucous, and other debris that gets on the lenses during wear.
- Disinfecting kills bacteria (germs) on the lenses. Disinfecting is essential to prevent serious eye infections.
- Rinsing removes the other solutions from the lenses and prepares the lenses for wear.
The best way to properly care for your lenses is to develop a care routine, then stick to that routine! Remember to:
- Follow the directions outlined by your eye doctor. Oftentimes instructions are also listed on the packaging or the package insert for the contact lens solutions prescribed for you.
- Multi-purpose solutions can be used for more than one step in contact lens care. Read the label to see which functions the solutions can be used for.
- Many solutions can not be used together, and not all solutions are appropriate for all types of lenses. Only use solutions recommended by your eye doctor, and check with your eye doctor if you want to switch brands.
- When you remove your lenses, they must be cleaned, rinsed, and disinfected before they are worn again.
- Enzyming and cleaning are not a substitute for disinfecting.
- Lenses that have been stored for more than 12 hours may need to be cleaned, disinfected, and rinsed again.
- Make sure solution containers are kept closed tightly, stored upright, and kept in a clean, dry, cool place when you are not using them. Keep your case clean and replace it every 2-3 months to prevent bacterial growth.
- Don’t touch container bottle tips to any surface to prevent them from becoming contaminated.
- Throw away expired solutions. (Look on the bottle for the expiration date!)
- Use new solution in your contact lenses case every day.
- Discuss with your eye doctor the care for your lenses if you wear them while swimming in a pool or hot tub.
- Only use approved rewetting drops for lubricating or wetting your lenses. Never place the lenses in your mouth.
- Do not use tap water to rinse soft contact lenses.
- Be careful with makeup, lotions, creams and sprays. Consider putting on lenses before makeup and remove them before removing makeup. Also, water-based makeup is less likely to damage lenses than oil-based makeup.
Here’s what you need to watch for: Redness, blurriness, light sensitivity. Remove your lenses if you are experiencing any of these 3 things. If your eyes have not returned to normal after 24 hours, please contact our office. If you have any change in vision, comfort, or irritation, immediately remove your lenses. If there is no improvement within a couple of hours, please contact our office.