The Ins and Outs of Contact Lens Use

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the large number of rules and strict routines that come with wearing contact lenses, but as with all things, once you’ve been doing it for a while, it will get easier.

It may seem odd to be slipping a piece of plastic in your eyes on a daily basis, but the science behind contact lenses emphasises their superiority to glasses. Contact lenses are much more natural to see through than glasses: they follow the eyes natural movements, and don’t obstruct vision with frames, and blurry gaps.

A contact lens sits on the cornea of the eye, aiming to fix refraction errors, like myopia and hyperopia. Both near and far-sightedness occurs because the eye cannot refract light properly, so the role of the contact lens is to bend the light correctly, resulting in clear vision.

The lens sticks to a layer of tear fluid on the eye, moving slightly, and floating on the surface. With every blink, tear fluid washes away any specs of dirt or dust that has stuck to the lens.

We’ve compiled the ultimate dos and don’ts list to make the transition between glasses and lenses that bit easier.

Dos:

>Keep them clean! As contact lenses sit right on your eyeball, infections are more easily transmitted, so always follow the correct cleaning procedure.

Always wash your hands before touching your lenses or your eyes. It’s best to use a paper towel to dry your hands, as normal towels can leave bits of fluff on your fingers that could end up irritating your eye.

Go for regular check-ups with your optician, especially in the beginning. If you aren’t happy with comfort or vision, don’t hesitate to book an appointment.

Follow replacement instructions. Regardless of whether you have daily, two-weekly, or monthly lenses, change them accordingly. Even if you haven’t worn them much, throw them away after their time-period is up, and get a new pair out.

Ensure you have an up-to-date pair of glasses, in case you can’t wear your lenses.

Try to swap between contact lenses and glasses, so you aren’t wearing them all day, every day.

Check the lens hasn’t turned inside out before putting it in.

If you wear make-up, put your contact lenses in first, and then apply it. Similarly, take your contact lenses out first, and then remove it.

Make sure your eyes are healthy if you wear contact lenses regularly: if they are sore, itchy or red, take a break and wear glasses for a while.

Keep them wet! It’s easy to ensure they’re kept in solution while out of your eye, but when you wear them, your comfort will rely on them not drying out. There are special eye-drops you can purchase to keep your eye and the lens moisturised.

Get into a routine – always put in and take out the same lens first, to prevent confusing them.

Change your storage pots regularly.

Don’ts:

Use any other liquid than proper contact lens solution – this includes tap water.

Put a contact lens back in if it falls on the floor, or another surface, without cleaning it first.

Sleep in your lenses, unless you have ones that allow you to do so.

Put eye-drops in that haven’t been authorised by your optician.

Share lenses with anyone, or use ones that haven’t been prescribed or fitted by an optician.

Put in contact lenses that are ripped or damaged.

Use lenses if your eyes are sore, irritated or red.

Wear your lenses if your vision isn’t accurate or as good as it should be.