Psssst. Hey, you, it’s your contact lenses. We need to talk. No, we’re not breaking up with you but we want to make sure we’re on the same page here. We’re pretty low maintenance, especially the dailies among us, so sometimes you might forget we’re even here. We don’t hold that against you. In fact, it’s a sign we’re doing a stellar job. However, every now and then, we need a little attention. Not sure how to make us happy? We’ll just spell it out for you. Here are some of the sweet nothings we’ve been trying to whisper in your ear:
The key to having a great relationship with your contact lenses and protecting your vision is keeping them clean. That means using a multipurpose solution that cleans and disinfects. Don’t just pick up regular saline solution and assume it will do the trick.
It may wash away debris but it won’t zap harmful bacteria. It’s meant for rinsing and storing contacts when you’re using another method of disinfecting, like a heat or UV system. Anyway, before popping your lenses in, wash your hands with oil- and fragrance-free soap and dry them with a lint-free cloth.
Then, place one of your contacts in your palm, drop some multipurpose solution on it, gently rub it for a few seconds and rinse it thoroughly with more solution. When it’s in your eye, move on to the next one.
Experts suggest rubbing and rinsing lenses, even when using a no-rub solution, for maximum cleanliness. For those who use hydrogen peroxide solution, don’t put your contacts directly into your eye without neutralizing them first.
At the end of the day, wash your hands again and fill up your clean, dry contact lens case with multipurpose solution. Then, remove each contact and clean them one at a time the same way you did when putting them in. Cleaning before storing them cuts down on protein buildup and oily residue.
Pro tip: Always put in and take out the same contact lens first to avoid mixing up left and right.
Let your lenses disinfect overnight or at least for as long as suggested by the manufacturer, which is typically a minimum of four hours and as much as eight hours. If all of this sounds like a lot of work, you can skip the rigmarole by wearing daily contact lenses. You get to toss them at night and start with a fresh pair in the morning.
If you lose a contact lens during the day or get something in your eye and need to clean it off, never, ever, ever put it in your mouth or use spit or water to rinse it.
Your mouth and spit are full of bacteria and you could give yourself an infection and water, well, we’ll get to that shortly. Carrying a travel-sized bottle of multipurpose solution, a case and back-up contacts is always a good idea.
Contact lenses are a little like toddlers. Go off schedule and they wreak havoc. Well, maybe not so much havoc, but discomfort and a decrease in visual acuity for sure. Your contact lens replacement schedule (typically monthly, weekly, bi-weekly or daily) will depend on the type of lenses you use and their materials.
However, your eye care professional may suggest a certain schedule as well to suit your lifestyle and the health of your eyes. Don’t try to save a buck by extending their wear past what’s recommended.
If it’s a matter of not having the time or energy to go to your eye doctor and get a new box, order them online and have them shipped to your door (we know just the online store for you). A multipurpose solution can only fend off protein deposits and residue for so long. Eventually, your contacts will get dry, irritate your eyes and you won’t be able to see clearly with them.
The shorter the wear schedule, the fresher they stay. So, when possible, try weekly or daily contacts and change them as directed for improved comfort and crisper vision.
Your eyes need to breathe and your contacts need to relax and unwind in their nightly bath of solution to disinfect. No matter how tired you are, take a second to remove your contact lenses before nodding off.
When you sleep in contacts, you wake up with eyes that are drier than the Sahara, you have diminished vision and you’re at a higher risk for developing a corneal infection. There are extended-wear contact lenses that are FDA approved for up to 30 days of continuous use.
Obviously, not having to take them out at night makes them extremely convenient. However, they’re not for everyone and their safety is still up for debate. The FDA recommends removing them at least once a week throughout the wear cycle and disinfecting them.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that sleeping in these soft, hydrogel, extended-wear lenses, even when taking them out weekly, still increases the likelihood of developing a damaging infection, such as ulcerative keratitis.
While they are a much better option than regular, old contacts for overnight use, it’s still advisable to give your eyes a break when you can and follow usage instructions exactly.
You fill up your contact lens case with multipurpose solution every night, empty it in the morning and then shut the case until it’s time to put your lenses in it again. That means it’s staying perpetually wet and to make matters worse, most people keep their case in their bathroom.
Moisture on moisture on moisture. You know who’s a big fan of damp places? Bacteria. Just as you care for your lenses, care for your case. Opt for a smooth contact lens case, which doesn’t have grooves for germs to nestle into, and replace it every three months. When you put in your contacts, dump out the old solution and use fresh solution to rinse out your case.
Wash and dry your hands and wipe the inside of it with a clean finger. Rinse it out one more time with solution and then wipe it with a clean tissue. Let the case air dry face down on another clean tissue. When it’s completely dry, screw the caps back on and tuck it away.
Considering contacts are either soaked in tears and eyeball juices or solution, you’d think they’d love water. However, water and contact lenses are a dangerous combination. Water isn’t sterile (not even bottled or distilled water) and it can contain microorganisms that may lead to irritation, serious infection, corneal ulcers and other issues.
You shouldn’t just avoid storing or cleaning lenses in water, you should also be careful about it getting into your eyes when swimming, doing watersports, while in hot tubs or even when showering. Contacts are porous and soak up the moisture, including any bacteria and nasties that are in it.Exposing contacts to water is associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that occurs when amoebae get into the cornea. There’s no cure or treatment and it can result in blindness.
While taking a quick dip in a chlorinated pool or the ocean with contacts in is slightly safer than freshwater, at a minimum, you’ll end up with dry, red, uncomfortable eyes.
Your best bet? Don’t wear your contact lenses when swimming and, if you do, remove them right away and let them disinfect for 24 hours or throw them out and replace them with a new pair.
Read More: WEARING CONTACT LENSES AND ALLERGIES
Once your contact lenses are in your eyes, let them be. It can be hard when you have allergies or you’ve been staring at a computer screen all day but rubbing your eyes will make matters worse. You run the risk of losing or damaging a contact and spreading bacteria, germs and allergens, leading to an infection, an illness or a worsening of allergy symptoms.
Additionally, if you have even a tiny speck of dust or debris in your eye, rubbing can cause a corneal abrasion, which is extremely painful and sometimes results in damage to your vision. If you absolutely have to touch your eye for some reason or when you’re putting your contacts in and taking them out, wash your hands with a fragrance-free, oil-free soap, rinse them really well and dry them with a lint-free cloth.
Getting checked out by an eye care professional on a regular basis is essential for healthy vision. Aim for a yearly visit. An optometrist or ophthalmologist will conduct an exam to assess your vision and the condition of your eyes.
If they spot any issues, they can step in early, making treatment easier and less invasive. They’ll also fit you for contact lenses and provide you with a prescription so you know when you order lenses, they’ll be comfy, suit your eyeballs and perfect your eyesight.
Sometimes, finding the perfect contact lenses takes a bit of trial and error. Your doctor can help you with that. If things just aren’t working out, it doesn’t mean you have to settle or give up lenses altogether. Talk it over and see if a different brand or type is better for you.
Contact lenses are miraculous little vision correctors. However, if they’re covered in a film of aerosol, lotion, makeup or whatever else you’re exposing them to willy nilly, they can’t do their thing. They also have a hard time reaching their full potential when your eyes are insanely dry or fatigued. We all need a little help from our buddies sometimes and contact lenses are no exception.
In this instance, you’re the buddy, so do your part by following these tips:
If you play sports where fingers and elbows are flying, you might want to consider protective eyewear (e.g., sports goggles, helmets, etc.). A contact lens falling out in the middle of a game isn’t going to help you win.
If goggles aren’t in the cards, try daily contacts and carry an extra pair with you. For activities that involve debris zooming through the air, such as skiing, carpentry, working on your truck or anything of the sort, it’s extremely important to use goggles, safety glasses or whatever the situation requires.
Yet, it’s not just threats you can see and feel that you need to be wary of. You should also protect your eyes from UV exposure. Certain contact lenses have built-in UV protection but they only cover your cornea and the technology hasn’t been perfected to the point where they block 100% of UV rays.
Pair your lenses with sunglasses when you’re outside or driving, even on cloudy days. As a bonus, sunglasses are also a good and super cool looking way to deflect dust or things that are whipping around in the wind.
Your perfect contacts await. Check out our huge selection of Canadian contact lenses online and browse all of the best brands without leaving your living room. They may not really whisper sweet nothings but if you give your contacts the care they deserve, you can bask in awesome vision and keep your eyes happy and healthy.
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