How to Care for Contact Lenses as a Beginner: A Step-by-Step Guide

Starting out with contact lenses? No sweat! Caring for them is just a new little habit you'll pick up, like tying your shoes or checking your phone in the morning. We've got all the tips and tricks to make it super easy for you. It's about keeping things clean and clear – for your circle lenses and your eyes. Stick with us, and you'll be a contact lens whiz in no time. Let's jump right in and get those contacts feeling like a natural part of your day!

What to Know Before Handling Your Contacts

Getting Your Prescription Right

A contact lens prescription is more than just numbers-it's a customized blueprint for your eyes. It details not only the power needed to correct your vision but also indicates the curvature and size that matches your eye's surface. This precision ensures that your lenses fit comfortably without causing irritation or affecting your eye health. Always use the exact lenses prescribed and replace them on schedule. Wearing lenses with outdated or incorrect prescriptions can strain your eyes, leading to headaches or visual distortion.

Picking Your Contact Lenses: One Day or One Month?

Picking Your Contacts: One Day or One Month?

Selecting the type of contact lens that fits your lifestyle is crucial. Daily disposable lenses are perfect for those who prioritize convenience and low maintenance-simply wear them once and then throw them away. They're also a good choice if you have allergies or if you're concerned about the build-up of deposits on your lenses because they're less likely to accumulate irritants. Bi-weekly lenses strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and fresh-lens comfort. They require regular cleaning but offer the advantage of fewer lens purchases over time. Monthly lenses are the go-to for seasoned contact lens users comfortable with a cleansing routine and looking for an economical option. Remember, all reusable lenses need proper care, including regular cleaning and storing in fresh solutions to ensure your eyes stay healthy.

Why Washing Up Matters

Before even thinking about popping in your contacts, make sure your hands are immaculate. Proper hand hygiene is a simple yet vital practice to prevent introducing bacteria or other contaminants to your lenses and eyes. Use a mild, fragrance-free soap and be thorough-scrub for at least 20 seconds, paying attention to the areas between your fingers, under your nails, and the backs of your hands. Rinse thoroughly to wash away all traces of soap, which could stick to your lenses and cause irritation. Dry your hands with a lint-free towel to avoid transferring any residue or fibers onto your contacts. Starting with a clean base each time you handle your lenses is one of the best ways to protect against infections and ensure comfortable lens wear.

Step-by-Step Guide to Contact Lens Care

1. Daily Cleaning Routine

Every day, your contact lenses need a little TLC to keep them clear and comfortable. Start by washing your hands with soap and water, then drying them thoroughly with a clean, lint-free towel to avoid transferring any germs or tiny fibers to your lenses. Once your hands are prepped, place the lens in the palm of your hand and apply a few drops of the recommended contact lens cleaning solution. Gently rub the lens with your index finger in a circular motion against your palm-this action helps remove buildup and bacteria. Then rinse the lens with more solution to wash away any loosened debris. Remember, being gentle is key; too much pressure can damage the lens.

2. Storing Your Contacts

After your lenses are squeaky clean, they need a safe place to rest. Use a proper contact lens case-a clean, damage-free one is vital. Fill each slot with fresh contact lens solution; never top off old solution, as that can harbor contaminants. Place each lens into its designated slot and make sure it's fully submerged in the solution. Seal the case tightly to prevent leaks and contamination. As for maintenance, give your contact lens case a good rinse with a sterile solution regularly, and let it air dry. Replace your lens case at least every three months to prevent bacterial growth.

3. Handling Contact Lenses

Whether you're putting them in first thing in the morning or taking them out at night, handle your contacts with care. Always use clean, dry hands to minimize the transfer of harmful substances. When removing or inserting your lenses, do so over a clean surface to reduce the chance of contamination if they're dropped. Speaking of which, if a lens does fall, don't pop it back in your eye without cleaning it thoroughly with solution again. And definitely don't use water or saliva-only the intended cleaning solution.

4. Using Contact Lens Solution

Choosing the right solution is crucial-it's not just about cleaning, but also disinfecting your lenses. There are multipurpose solutions for convenience, hydrogen peroxide-based solutions for a deeper clean, and saline solutions for rinsing. Always use the type recommended by your optometrist and the one best suited for your lens type. Multipurpose solutions are great for cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting, and storing lenses, whereas saline solutions are primarily for rinsing. Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions deeply clean and disinfect but must be neutralized before placing the lens back in your eye. Never mix solutions and avoid reusing or topping off to ensure your lenses are in a hygienic environment until the next use.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Contact Lens Care

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Contact Lens Care

1. Sleeping in Contacts: Catching Z's in your lenses (unless they're specifically designed for overnight wear) is a no-go. It can reduce oxygen to your eyes, leading to irritation, dryness, or worse-eye infections.

2. Using Expired Products: Just like food, contact lenses and solutions have expiration dates for a reason. Using them past these dates can compromise their effectiveness and safety, exposing your eyes to potential harm.

3. Makeup Mishaps: If makeup is part of your routine, put your contacts in before applying it. This avoids trapping particles between your lens and eye. Also, be cautious with spray products; close your eyes tightly or apply them before inserting your lenses.

4. Skipping Eye Appointments: Regular check-ins with your eye doctor are essential. They're not just for updating prescriptions, but also for catching any early signs of problems caused by lens wear.

Final Thoughts

Just like brushing your teeth or scrolling through your morning news feed, caring for your contacts will become just another part of your day. Keep it simple: clean lenses equal happy eyes. Stick with these tips and you'll be a pro at contact care in no time. So let's roll up our sleeves and make those contacts feel like they're barely there – easy and breezy!

Frequently Asked Questions About Contact Lenses Care

Q1: Can you store contacts in saline solution?
No, saline solution is not suitable for storing contact lenses. It does not disinfect the lenses. Always use proper contact lens disinfecting solution for storage.
Q2: Can you reuse daily contacts if you put them in solution?
No, daily contacts are designed for a single use only and should not be reused. Reusing daily disposables can increase the risk of eye infections and discomfort.
Q3: Can I rehydrate a dried out contact lens?
No, it's not recommended to rehydrate and use a contact lens that has completely dried out. The lens material may have been irreversibly altered, making it unsafe for the eye. If your contacts do dry out, dispose of them and open a new pair. If you experience discomfort with any contact lens use, remove the lenses immediately and consult with your eye care provider.
Q4: Are contacts ruined if they dry out?
Yes, once contact lenses have dried out, they are typically no longer usable. The structural integrity of the lens is likely damaged, which means they won't perform as intended and could harm your eyes.
Q5: How long can you keep contacts in solution without wearing them?
This can vary based on the manufacturer's recommendations, but generally, contacts should not be stored in solution for more than 30 days without changing the solution.
Q6: Can I put my contacts in the water for a few hours?
No, you should never put your contacts in water. Water can contain bacteria and microorganisms that can lead to serious eye infections. Always use sterile saline or disinfecting solution specifically designed for contact lenses.

Read More