It is essential to take good care of your contact lenses every day to keep them clean, comfortable and safe.
Contact lenses: a popular option
Many people choose to wear contact lenses (also known as contacts) instead of glasses. Contact lenses offer several benefits over glasses: they don’t steam up in winter, slip off your nose, move up and down when you run, and many people prefer how they look wearing contacts to how they look when they wear glasses.
When used properly, contact lenses represent a safe and effective way to correct vision
There are different types of contact lenses, each of which have advantages and inconveniences:
- soft lenses
- rigid lenses
- disposable lenses
- extended wear
- cosmetic lenses
Your eye care professional can help you to determine which contact lenses are best-suited to you, by taking into account the following factors: your age, health, lifestyle, and personal preferences.
The importance of care
As is the case with many synthetic materials, contact lenses have a tendency to accumulate deposits and germs. The accumulation and the absorption of substances and particles can lessen the comfort of lenses and increase the risk of eye infections. This is why taking care of your lenses is so important.
In addition, adhering to a rigorous care routine can reduce the risk of the most frequent problems associated with contact lenses, e.g. redness, itching, dryness, teary eyes and allergic reactions.
The two most common types of “all-in-one” contact lens care systems are multipurpose solutions (MPS) and hydrogen peroxide-based solutions. They offer contact lens wearers one solution that disinfects, cleans, and rinses contact lenses, and which you can store them in.
Multipurpose solutions contain disinfecting ingredients to kill germs and other ingredients to help keep lenses clean and wet. Most multipurpose solutions require several steps for to fully disinfect and clean the lenses. These steps vary by manufacturer.
The second main type of lens care solution is hydrogen peroxide-based. The lenses must be steeped in the solution for at least six hours, in the lens case, which allows the bubbling action to clean the lenses thoroughly and the disinfectant to become neutralized.
Always seek advice from a competent eye care provider before using any product associated with contact lenses.
If you wear contact lenses, here are a few tips on how to use them properly and safely:
- Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
- Always use commercial solutions that are approved by your eye care provider to clean and store your lenses. Avoid using tap water or homemade solutions.
- Always read the manufacturer’s directions for use that come with the contact lens care products.
- Never wet your lenses with your saliva.
- Never wear your lenses longer than the recommended period.
- Remove your lenses when swimming in a pool, a lake or the sea, or using a hot tub.
- Avoid wearing your contact lenses at night when you are sleeping, especially if they are not meant to be used in this manner. This can increase the risk of a serious eye infection.
- If your vision becomes blurred or fuzzy while you are wearing your lenses, remove them immediately and see your doctor or eye care provider as soon as possible.
- If you show signs of an eye irritation, do not change the brand of eye lens care product that you use without first checking with your eye care provider.
- Always have “artificial tears” or glasses on-hand in case of dryness or eye irritations. If you use a lubricant, make sure that it is suited to your lenses.
- If you remove your lenses due to discomfort, irritation or blurred vision and these symptoms persist even after you have removed your lenses, contact your eye care provider or go to the nearest emergency clinic or hospital.
- If you wear lenses for cosmetic purposes (e.g. as part of a costume), always seek the advice of an eye care provider first. Some lenses can harm your eyes.
For advice on how to properly use and care for your contact lenses, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or eye care provider.