Wise Eyes Optical

Contact Lens Care: The Do’s And Don’ts

Getting contact lenses can be exciting. Finally! You are thrilled to have another option to correct your vision in addition to the glasses you’ve been wearing since childhood. But while it seems simple on the surface, you may wonder, what’s the best way to take care of your new lenses?

When worn and cared for properly, contact lenses can provide an effective way to correct your vision. Taking care of your contact lenses is key. Failure to wear, clean, and store your lenses as directed by your eye care professional increases the chance of getting germs in your eyes and causing complications.

There are two types of soft contact lenses.

• Daily-wear lenses are made to be worn for one day, then thrown away. You use fresh lenses each day, so you don’t need to clean them. Although you may be tempted to save money by wearing disposables longer than intended, it’s a bad idea.
• Extended-wear lenses are made to last longer. You clean them every day you wear them. The label may say they can be worn day and night, but wearing your lenses while sleeping can cause infection and eye damage. To protect your eyes, it’s usually best to take your lenses out before sleeping.

If you wear contacts, it’s a good idea to also have a pair of glasses. You can wear the glasses if your contacts are irritating your eyes.

The decision about what type of contact lens to wear is up to you and your eye doctor. No matter which type you choose, it’s important to get a thorough eye exam and fitting from an eye care specialist, follow all directions, and schedule regular exams as recommended. At Wise Eyes Optical, we provide contact lens exams for first time wearers and seasoned wearers alike. Contact us for an appointment!

Basic Cleaning Care for Contact Lenses in Five Easy Steps.

1. Wash your hands – Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a lint-free towel before touching your contact lenses.
2. Rub the lens – Use a “rub and rinse” cleaning method no matter what type of lens cleaning solution you buy. Using a few drops of the recommended solution, rub your contact lenses with clean fingers. This will clean off any debris or protein buildup. Use this method even if the solution you are using is a “no-rub” type.
3. Rinse – To get off any loosened debris, rinse the contacts with solution taking as long as the package directs.
4. Use fresh solution to store – Never use your old solution from the day before. This solution will not properly disinfect your contact lenses and can cause infections.
5. Repeat – Repeat these steps for your other lens.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Contact Care

Do: Keep the schedule your eye doctor gives you for wearing and replacing your lenses.
Do: Follow directions from your doctor, from the contact lens manufacturer, and from the lens cleaning solution manufacturer to clean and store your lenses.
Do: Use new solution each time you clean and disinfect your contact lenses. Never reuse or top off old solution.
Do: Make sure the tip of the solution bottle does not touch any surface. Keep the bottle tightly closed when you are not using it.
Do: Keep your contact lens case clean. Rinse it with sterile contact lens solution (not tap water) then leave the empty case open to air dry.
Do: Replace the case at least every 3 months, or right away if it gets cracked or damaged.
Do: Wear your lenses only as long as directed. Your doctor may give you special instructions.
Do: Take out your daily-wear lenses or extended-wear lenses before sleeping. This helps prevent serious eye problems.
Do: Use hair spray before you put in your contacts. It’s also a good idea to keep your fingernails short and smooth so you won’t damage your lenses or scratch your eye.
Do: Put in your contacts before you put on eye makeup. Get new eye makeup every 3 to 6 months. This will help prevent infections.
Do: Carry an extra contact storage case and storage solution with you. Then you will be ready if you need to take out your contacts at any time.
Do: Wear sunglasses with total UV protection or a wide-brim hat when you’re in the sun.
Do: Use a rewetting solution or plain saline solution — whatever your doctor recommends — to keep your eyes moist.

Don’t: Wear your contact lenses if they have been stored for 30 days or longer without re-disinfecting. If you store your lenses in the case for a long time, read your instructions to see if you should re-disinfect them before wearing them.
Don’t: Shower, swim, use a hot tub or doing anything where water gets in your eyes when wearing contacts. There’s a chance you could get a serious infection if you wear contacts in a pool, or worse, in a lake.
Don’t: Sleep in daily wear lenses.
Don’t: Put contacts in your mouth to wet them. Saliva (spit) is not a sterile solution.
Don’t: Rinse or store contacts in water (tap or sterile water). Even distilled water can contain bacteria that can cause an infection or hurt your vision.
Don’t: Use a homemade saline solution.
Don’t: Use saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect your lenses. They are not disinfectants.
Don’t: Pour contact lens solution into a different bottle. The solution will no longer be sterile.
Don’t: Let the tip of solution bottles touch other surfaces, like your fingers, eyes, or contacts. Any of them can contaminate the solution.
Don’t: Wear someone else’s contacts, especially if they’ve already been worn. Using other people’s contact lenses can spread infections or particles from their eyes to yours.
Don’t: Wear torn contact lenses.

Call Your Doctor or Seek Immediate Medical Care if:

• You have signs of an eye infection, including:
  o Pus or thick discharge coming from the eye.
  o Redness or swelling around the eye.
  o A fever.
• You have new or worsening eye pain.
• You have vision changes.
• It feels like there is something in your eye.
• Light hurts your eye.

Following these basic guidelines from our optometrists is the single best way to avoid eye infections. At Wise Eyes Optical, your health is our priority. Your local Wise Eyes Optical hometown vision center is here to help you achieve the best possible vision for life. We offer expert eye and vision care including eye-related medical care, custom fitting of eyeglasses and contacts, eyeglass repair, and much more. If you have questions or would like to learn more, reach out to your nearest Central Pennsylvania Wise Eyes Optical office. For assistance, call (717) 242-1915.

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