CONTACT LENS WEARING GUIDE
TOP SAFETY TIPS
• Take out your contacts if they are bothering you. In emergency cases, go to hospital to seek professional help. Don’t neglect any discomfort caused by contact lenses. See your eye care professional immediately as there might be ulceration which may lead to infection if left unattended. Infections if serious and not treated in time may lead to permanent impairment of vision.
• Don’t wear contact lenses overnight.
• Don’t wear your contact lenses in the shower or while swimming.
• Don’t reuse contact lens solution.
• Don’t use saline solution for contact lens cleaning or disinfection.
• Never use saliva as a wetting agent.
• Do take into account factors other than the price when choosing a contact lens.
• Don’t use the lenses beyond the recommended period in the case of disposable contact lenses.
• Do use contact lenses when necessary even if you use glasses regularly.
• Don’t try to modify the contact lenses in any manner. It may lead to infections. Contact lenses are best left as they come.
• Don’t share your contact lenses with anyone. Contact lenses are meant to be used by a single person and are not meant to be shared in any case even for a short while.
• Do allow your teenagers to use contact lenses if they want to. There is no harm in using them if proper care is taken. At their age teens have the tendency to perceive glasses as less fashionable than contact lenses. Denying teens the use of contact lens will cause unnecessary resentment as they perceive their parents as being unreasonable.
• Do read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly and take proper care of your contact lenses.
• Do not wear lenses while using ordinary eye drops or ointment (wait one hour for drops and four hours or overnight for ointment).
• Avoid environments containing fumes, chemicals or sprays.
• If lenses have been left in their case without being worn for more than about 10 days, resterilise them before use.
• If your lenses become greasy, never use cleaners such as washing-up liquid because they may damage the surface.
• Never lick your lenses before putting them in because of the risk of eye infection.
• Contact lens should be worn before makeup, and should be removed before cleansing. Avoid powder based eye make-up and always remove lenses before using make-up remover.
• Solutions can not be used as eye drop.
• Do not use long finger nails to wear your contact lens. As your finger nails may damage the lens.
• Keep to your recommended wearing schedule.
• If possible, you should be wearing your lenses 8-10 hours a day by the time of your first aftercare check-up.
• But remember, you can progress as steadily as you like. The wearing schedule is a maximum and not a target.
• Please do not change solutions for one pair of contact lens without consulting your practitioner first. Be very careful with ‘own-label’ and supermarket varieties because the names are sometimes very confusing.
HANDLING YOUR LENSES
• Always wash your hands before inserting and removing lenses, especially if they have been in contact with any chemicals.
• Handle lenses in a well lit area with a mirror and have your spectacles nearby.
• Follow a routine and always deal with the same lens first. Handle only one lens at a time to avoid mixing them up.
• Be careful to avoid putting two lenses in the same side of the case. If lenses stick together they are often impossible to separate.
• If lenses dry out they are not necessarily spoiled – but be careful because they will be very brittle, highly recommend to dispose them. In emergency cases, carefully soak and sterilise them in your usual solutions.
CLEANING AND STERILISING YOUR LENSES
• Remember, cleaning and sterilising are not the same and to be safe you must carry out both procedures.
• Cleaning is usually by gentle rubbing with the fingers to remove deposits. Sterilising ensures the lenses are safe to wear the next day and avoids the risk of eye infection.
• The only lenses which do not require cleaning and sterilising are daily disposables.
• Clean and store the lenses with your recommended solutions and follow the procedures advised.
• Clean your lenses daily after removal from the eye. This is much more efficient than before insertion.
• You must always use fresh solutions each time.
• Clean the lens case once a week with boiled water and dry with a clean tissue. Do not use detergents.
• Replace the lens case at regular intervals. Many solutions now come with a new case included.
• Always carry your lens case with fresh solution.
• Always be quite sure of the of the solutions you are using. Jot the names down in your diary to avoid any chance of mistake.
• Do NOT change solutions without first checking with your practitioner.
NEVER USE TAP WATER WITH LENSES IF YOUR EYES FEEL DRY
• Don’t forget that anything that makes the eyes dry may make the lenses temporarily less comfortable e.g. air conditioning, central heating, using VDU screens and some drugs (like antihistamines, HRT and alcohol). Highly recommend you to remove the lens when feel uncomfortable in certain evironments.
• During lens wear ‘comfort drops’ may be used to lubricate dry eyes but they must be specially formulated for your type of lens. Do not use ordinary eye drops because they contain the wrong type of preservative chemicals.
• When travelling or sunbathing be careful not to fall asleep with lenses in.
• In very dry atmospheres or if you fall asleep, you may find a lens sticks to the eye. Apply one or two drops of saline, massage the lens through the closed lids and it should become easier to remove. In emergency cases, go to hospital to seek professional help.
• Try to avoid wearing lenses on long flights because of the dry atmosphere on aircraft.