How to Wear Contact Lenses: 8 Contact Care Tips You Never Knew
Have you ever attempted to wear contacts? The optometrist's instructions can't completely prepare you for it. That first harrowing moment of attempting to stick a foreign object in your own eye — brutal!
Contacts are essential for many vision-impaired people. But, it's not always simple to figure out how to wear them. Some tricks are only learned through experience and trial-and-error.
We've compiled a list of all the lesser-known tips to help you figure out the best way to get the most out of your prescription lenses.
Tips for Avoiding Inside-Out Lenses
While an inside-out lens can be uncomfortable, it can't harm your eye. In the beginning, you might put your lenses in the wrong way. These tricks can help you avoid most issues.
Check the Shape
Balancing the lens on your index finger, bring the contact level to your eye and look at it from the side. A lens that sits the right way up will have a half-sphere, tapered shape. An inside-out lens will curve out slightly at the sides, like a bowl or "U" shape.
Some lenses have a feature called a "handling tint." This special feature only shows when looking straight down into the contact. You will see a blue or greenish tint around the rim. If the contact is flipped inside-out, these bright-colored edges won't be visible.
Check the Tag
Certain brands may also contain a small brand name marking along the rim. If your contacts are well positioned, this logo should be legible. If not, it would appear inside out.
Keep Those Hands Clean and Product Free
You know to wash your hands before applying your contacts, but the kind of soap you use also matters. Avoid any scented or oily soaps that might contain substances such as mineral oil or lanolin. The fragrance or oil can transfer to your lenses and cause eye irritation.
Also important is to avoid using moisturizers, lotion, or even towels that tend to be linty.
Keep Your Case Clean With Contact Lens Solution
Always rinse your contacts with a contact-appropriate solution. Never use solutions designed for the naked eye. They can cause irritation and damage to your lenses.
Washing and replacing your contacts case is as important as keeping your contacts clean. After putting in your contacts, always clean out your case with solution and leave it open to air dry.
If you wear makeup, remember to put your contacts in before you apply cosmetics. Never put eyeliner or other eye products directly on your waterline. And, use very small amounts of glittery makeup, or avoid altogether. To remove makeup, take contacts out first before washing your face.
Removing Your Contact Lenses
You should wash your hands to make sure they are clean before removing your lenses. A helpful tip is to lay a paper towel over the drain of the sink to prevent accidentally losing a contact lens down the drain.
If you're having trouble grabbing your lens to remove it, try this technique. Slide the contact into the white of your eye, then gently pinch between thumb and forefinger to dislodge. Gas-permeable contacts should fall right out of the eye into the open palm. You will need to bend forward while holding your lids apart with the opposite hand.
If you’re having trouble removing your contacts, don't panic. Take a break, take a few deep breaths, and go back to it after a rest. Pushing yourself only increases the chance you might scratch your eye or cause irritation.
Extra Safety Tips
- Rub your contacts in a circular motion with the pad of your clean finger to wash them. Even "no rub" solution can be more effective with manual cleaning.
- Never add more solution to the old stuff in your contact case. Drain the solution and thoroughly clean your case before adding new solution. Replace your contact case every few months. This will keep bacteria or fungus from developing.
- Try keeping your fingernails short. This will help prevent abrasions on your eye during contact placement and removal.
- Always keep glasses with an accurate prescription on hand. If your eyes become irritated from contact use or they need a break, having a pair of glasses handy can be a lifesaver.
- Some contacts have extra UV protection. But, this is not a substitute for UV protective eyewear. Make sure to safeguard your eyes when out in the bright sun. This is especially important to do around reflective surfaces like snow or water. At best, UV contacts are only supplementary to UV sunglasses.
- Replace eye makeup every few months to help prevent the transfer of bacteria to the eye. Non-allergenic eye makeup is available from many big name brands. Never share solution, cases, or makeup with other people.
- If you're interested in colorful contacts, make sure to get them from a legitimate source. Costume contacts can fit the prescription of the wearer. But, not all costume contacts are safe for your eyes. If ordering online, always make sure the seller is a reputable lens supplier with high quality, prescription only lenses.
How to Wear Contact Lenses? Safety First
The most important aspect of wearing contacts is to always place the safety of your eyes first. If your eyes feel uncomfortable, choose your glasses. Next, seek advice from your eye care professional. You can replace your contacts, but not your eyes.
Don't wait too long to replace your contacts and cases. The most important advice about how to wear contact lenses? Keep your lenses clean and fresh at all times!
If you need help choosing the right kind of contact lenses for your needs, contact us. We'll get you seeing clearer in no time.