Contact lenses are medical devices and when used properly are very safe. However, when misused, contact lenses can pose a threat to both vision and eye health. It is vital for contact lens wearers to take proper precautions when using contact lenses.
The main components of safe contact lens wear include wear schedule, lens hygiene, and precautions.
This contact lens guide will walk you through wear schedules, how to clean/store your contact lenses, and general precautions to maximize your success wearing contact lenses and minimize your risk.
Limit wear time.
Limit wear time to no more than 12 hours per day and no more than 6 days a week
Always remove your contact lenses before sleep unless specifically approved by your eye doctor
Different lenses have different wear schedules: 1 day (daily lenses), 2 week, 1 month.
Daily lenses are designed to be worn for one day only. At the end of the day, daily lenses should be disposed.
2 week lenses are designed to be worn daily over a 14 day time period. 14 days from the open date, the lens should be disposed.
1 month lenses are designed to be worn daily over a 30 day time period. After 30 days from the open date, the lens should be disposed.
Your contact lenses’ life begins the day it is opened, every day counts whether the lens is worn or not
The wear schedule of a given lens will dictate when it is time to dispose of your contact lens and start wearing a fresh, new set of lenses. These replacement schedules are based on oxygen delivery to the eye.
Over wearing lenses past their scheduled replacement results in decreased oxygen getting to the eye. Over time, decreased oxygen levels to the eye can wreak havoc and cause new blood vessels to grow. With new blood vessels comes scar tissue and the potential for permanent vision loss.
Lens Hygiene & Storage
Always wash your hands with soap and warm water, and then dry with a clean lint free towel before touching your eyes or contact lenses.
Cleaning Your Lenses
Use only the prescribed contact lens cleaning solution. Never use tap water or saliva.
After removing your contact lenses off the eyes, rinse both sides of each lens with fresh contact lens solution. Physically rub the lens on the both sides in an “x” pattern (do not rub the lens in a circle pattern) with the pad of your finger for 30 seconds each side. This is the most important step in cleaning your lenses!
Once the lens has been physically rubbed on both sides, place each lens into a contact lens solution filled case and cap the case.
Lens Storage/Case Care
For lenses that are not daily disposable contact lenses, the lenses are to be stored in contact lens solution in a contact lens case when not being worn.
Always use clean, fresh solution whenever placing your lenses in the case. DO NOT “top off” or add more solution to solution already in the case.
After removing your lenses from the case to reinsert into the eyes, dump the remaining solution out. Place the contact lens case face down on a clean, lint free towel to air dry. Once you are ready to remove your lenses and store them in your case, refill the dry case with fresh contact lens solution.
Replace or sterilize your contact lens case every 3 months
Always thoroughly wash, rinse and dry your hands before handling your contact lenses.
Always have a pair of eyeglasses with you. Contact lenses can fall out or rip, or the eye can become irritated or injured. Contact lenses do not replace glasses and you may not expect when you’ll need to switch from contact lenses to glasses.
Never put contact lenses on if your eyes are irritated or red. If the eyes become red, irritated or painful, discontinue contact lens wear and call your eye doctor.
Do not use eye drops to reduce irritation, dryness or redness unless recommended or prescribed by your eye doctor.
Never swim, shower or use a hot tub or sauna with your contact lenses
Never use saliva or tap water to rewet the eyes or contact lenses
Avoid contact lens wear in chemical or dusty environments
Do not share you contact lenses with others and never use a contact lens that has not be prescribed for you by an eye doctor.
Contact lenses require wearers to take an active role in maintaining their eye health. Misuse of lenses can cause eye infection, inflammation, dryness, and development of new blood vessels, all of which can be hazardous to the eye. These complications can result in potentially permanent vision loss. It is extremely important for contact lenses wearers to be serious about contact lens hygiene, follow lens replacement schedules, and use proper cleaning techniques to continue successfully and safely wearing contact lenses.
When wearing contact lenses, your eyes should feel good (no discomfort or pain), look good (no redness of the white sclera) and see good (clear vision). If during contact lens wear the eyes become red, irritated or painful, or if the vision becomes poor, discontinue contact lens wear and contact your eye doctor.
If you have any questions or concerns about your eyes or contact lenses, give us a call at 718-273-5000 or stop in to see us here at Williams Eye Works at 1884 Victory Blvd, Staten Island NY.