Contact lenses are constantly growing in popularity, and for good reason! Comfortable and convenient, they offer crystal-clear vision that doesn’t get in the way of your natural beauty. You want to maintain that clear vision and avoid common eye problems that can happen with contacts. Most have to do with the care and storage of contacts. Use these tips for proper contact care so you keep your eyes healthy!
If you have made the decision to get contacts, congratulations! Contact lenses are an amazing way to see better while not having to wear glasses. They go directly in the eyes and you don’t have to worry about misplacing your glasses. To get contacts, you actually need to get a prescription, as contact lenses are considered a medical device. This is something that many people don’t realize, as contact lenses are sold many places, especially around Halloween. However, you never want to buy contacts from anyone other than an eye professional such as an ophthalmologist. Always know this as a first-time contact user so that you avoid poor products that can damage your eyes.
You will get a prescription from an ophthalmologist to receive contact lenses. With that prescription, you can choose clear contacts or colored contacts depending on your personal preference. Putting in your contacts for the first time can be nerve-wracking. It often looks much easier than it is, and there is definitely a learning curve that comes with putting in contacts. After a few times, you’ll get the hang of it.
Make sure your hands are newly washed before putting in your contacts to prevent getting bacteria in your eye. To avoid getting dust in your eyes those first few times, you may way to air dry your hands after washing. Holding open your top lid with one hand and your bottom lid with the other hand (that has the contact) is easier than putting in contacts without holding your eyelids open. Every patient has a different strategy for putting in contacts. Just know that it may seem difficult at first, but it soon becomes second-nature.
Not all contacts are the same. Many think of clear lenses when they picture contact lenses, but they come in many different colors to change your natural eye color. Soft contact lenses are the most common type of contact. There are also hard contacts, ones that are only for changing eye color and ones with varying levels of breathability for your eyes. You can even get costume-type contacts from a professional eye doctor for special occasions.
Soft contacts are more comfortable for many patients. They are made from flexible material that conforms well to your eyeball and are available in disposable, daily wear and extended-wear versions. That means you can have reusable contact lenses that you change out every 2-4 weeks with a new pair, or you use a disposable type that you change out each day.
Hard contact lenses are better for some patients depending on their vision conditions. Older patients may have hard contacts, as they existed before soft contacts. Those excel at providing crisp vision for many challenging eye conditions, and their high oxygen permeability lowers the risk for eye infections. In the past, contact lenses only came in a hard, rigid version. The difference between hard and soft (besides the texture) is that you can keep hard contact lenses for years, whereas you will have to switch out soft contacts. You can also get contacts that are specific to a vision problem such as astigmatism or keratoconus.
Part of keeping your eyes healthy is keeping your contact lenses clean on a day-to-day basis. If not, the bacteria that collects on the contacts, the solution or the case can lead to an infection. Contact solution is meant to gently disinfect your contact lenses as they clean away the buildup of proteins from your eye. The FDA also recommends that contact users rub their contacts gently with sterile solution as well to help remove debris and buildup on the lens. Then, you can place it in your clean contact case with new solution.
Never reuse solution from the day before, as you are placing your contact lenses in solution that already has bacteria and microorganisms from the previous day. Your lenses can’t get clean if you leave them in dirty solution, and you’re more prone to eye infections. Make sure you are using the right type of solution that will work with your eyes and that you follow solution instructions carefully. Every brand will be made differently. Some solutions are meant to disinfect, but they must be rinsed with more gentle solution before they go in your eyes. Other solutions may burn your eyes on contact if they don’t work with your body. Your eye doctor will know what solution is likely best for you so you avoid eye issues.
Contact care is fairly easy as long as you stick to the basic rules of care and switching out your contacts as directed. For all your questions about preparing for or caring for contacts, contact Peeper’s Optical at (303) 333-2800!