We’ve all heard or come across interesting contact lens stories in the media – from the lady wearing 27 soft contact lenses in one eye, to teenagers wearing poor quality Halloween contact lenses not fitted by an optometrist. These cases are examples of not following healthy contact lens habits, which unfortunately can sometimes lead to serious vision threatening problems.
As passionate contact-lens fitting experts at GJO, we ensure your contact lenses are fit safely and provide the best vision for you. In addition to following your optometrist’s recommendations, below are some general tips to keep your soft contact lens wear safe.
- Hand hygiene: wash your hands well with soap and water and dry with a clean, lint-free towel before and after touching your contact lenses and eyes.
- Keep your fingernails short
- Ensure your soap is free from oils, perfumes or lotions.
- Lens wear: generally 10-12 h/day, however this may differ depending on the contact lens and your eye health.
- Take care of make-up application (see make-up tips blog)
- Use hair spray prior to contact lens application
- Rewetting eye drops: preservative-free, contact lens friendly lubricants (eg Cellufresh, Theratears, Refresh, Blink, Hylofresh) - use prior to contact lens application, on the inside ‘bowl’ of the contact lens for extra comfort.
- Lens cleaning: for reusable contact lenses, clean your contact lenses with the ‘rub, rinse and store’ method using the cleaning solutions your optometrist recommended.
- Gently rub the contact lens in a circular motion for 15 seconds with your index finger on both sides
- Rinse with cleaning solution
- Store fully immsersed in cleaning solution
- Lens replacement: as per your optometrist’s recommendations– this will depend on the type of contact lens (daily, fortnightly, monthly/other).
- Contact Lens Case: clean daily with cleaning solution, wipe out with a tissue and air dry upside down, replace every 3 months.
- Remove contact lenses immediately at the first sign of redness, discomfort or change in vision and see an optometrist. “Look good, feel good, see well” and if in doubt, take them out.
- Regular eye checks with your optometrist (Every 6 to 12 months).
- Use water (tap/boiled/other), saliva, unpreserved saline, random solutions not prescribed for cleaning your contact lenses
- Change your cleaning solution/eye drops or cleaning regime without talking to your optometrist
- Change your contact lens wearing habits without talking to your optometrist
- Share your contact lenses with others
- Swim or shower in your contact lenses, unless advised otherwise
- Wear contact lenses when you are feeling sick
- Sleep in your contact lenses, unless advised otherwise
- Skip your regular eye checks with your optometrist
Natalie Buckman is a clinical optometrist, educator, professional leader and ophthalmic medicines prescriber, who enjoys exploring the world and hitting the dance floor in her spare time.