How to Look After Contact Lenses

Your eyes are extremely important, so you want to make sure you’re caring for them in the best way possible, especially when you’re a contact lens wearer. However, if you’re new to contact lenses, care can seem a daunting prospect – you want to get it right. Equally, if you’ve been wearing contact lenses for a while now, your care routine may have slipped without you realising. This is why it’s important to refresh your memory and make sure you’re taking care of your lenses and your eyes.

However, as every type of contact lens is different, there will be different recommendations for their cleaning and care. So as always, we recommend you speak to your local contact lens specialist if you have any questions regarding wear and care.

1. Make sure you wear them for the allocated time

With soft contact lenses, whether you’re wearing dailies, two weekly or monthly contact lenses, it is important you don’t over-wear them. Make note of when you start wearing your contact lenses so you don’t lose track of how much longer you should keep wearing them for. As soon as you’ve worn your lenses for their allocated time, dispose of them and start a new pack.

2. Never skip washing your hands

It goes without saying that you should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before inserting or removing your contact lenses. It can be tempting to skip this step, especially as a long term wearer, but it is worth considering the germs and dirt you could potentially transfer to your eyes – not nice!

3. Clean your contact lenses thoroughly

If you wear 2 weekly+ contact lenses, you need to make sure you are cleaning your contact lenses correctly and thoroughly. Putting them in fresh solution isn’t enough! Your contact lenses need to be cleaned well with your recommended solution. Place your contact lens on the palm of your hand and rinse with solution, gently rubbing the lens to remove any debris. Rinse again and place in your clean contact lens case. Repeat for other contact lens.

4. Don’t wear them overnight*

(*Unless you have been advised you can do this, for specialist lenses such as Ortho-K)
You should never wear your contact lenses overnight while you sleep. This is because it prevents oxygen from entering your cornea. Your eyes already have to work with closed eyelids all night, so when you add contact lenses into that equation, your eyes are starved of the oxygen they need. Doing this means the surface of your eye is more sensitive to germs and can lead to keratitis.

5. Don’t ignore discomfort

If you experience any discomfort or irritation when wearing your contact lenses, remove them immediately – don’t put up with it! If you experience persistent discomfort with your contact lenses, visit your optician. They may be able to recommend a better type of contact lens for your eyes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t wear them.

6. Avoid wearing them in water

Always remove your contact lenses before swimming in pools or the ocean, as your eyes are at risk from the harmful bacteria in the water. You can purchase prescription goggles which work perfectly well as an alternative, without the risk of infection.

Contact Lens FAQs

How long is it safe to wear contact lenses?

This will generally depend on your individual circumstances and the type of contact lenses you wear. But as a general rule, you should wear your daily/two-weekly/monthly contact lenses for a maximum of 10-12 hours a day. Extended wear contact lenses can be worn continuously for longer periods of time, however it is always best to check with your optician on what’s best for your eyes.

Do contact lenses damage your eyes?

The risk of damage to your eyes due to contact lenses is very low if the proper care has been adhered to and you are wearing contact lenses that fit and are suitable for your own eyes. If contact lenses do not fit and are not properly cared for, problems can potentially arise, such as corneal abrasions and infections.

How do you clean your contact lenses’ case?

Your optician will be able to advise on the best way to do this, however there are some things to bear in mind. One is to never use water to clean your case, you should use your recommended multi-purpose contact solution to rinse and clean your case. Secondly, replace your case frequently according to your optician’s recommendation. Never top up your solution! Always rinse and replace.

Ready to give contact lenses a go?

If you’re a glasses wearer and are keen to try out contact lenses, book a free contact lens experience at your local Eyesite branch! We’ll be there to advise you on the best contact lenses for your lifestyle, as well as give you all the knowledge you need to take good care of your contact lenses.