Contact Lens Guide
Contact lenses are a wonderful alternative to spectacles and allow you to enjoy clear uncompromised vision. This guide is designed to help you wear contact lenses successfully.
PLEASE NOTE: THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF CONTACT LENS WEAR IS TO HAVE GOOD HYGIENE AND TO FOLLOW THE WEARING SCHEDULE AND INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO YOU BY YOUR OPTOMETRIST.
Listed below are some tips when wearing your contact lenses:
- When inserting and removing your contact lenses always wash your hands and do not use lotions or hand creams.
- Keep your fingernails short and clean. Handle your contact lenses with your fingertips and not your fingernails.
- Insert the same lens first to avoid confusing the right and left lenses.
- Always store your contact lenses in fresh solution.
- When putting solution into the lens case make sure the nozzle of the bottle is not submerged. This will prevent backwash and contamination of your solution.
- If you have not worn your contact lenses for a few days, replace the old solution the night before you start wearing your lenses again.
- Do not mix your cleaning solutions. Finish one product and then start with another.
- If you run out of solution do not substitute this with tap water - get more solution!
- There are different cleaning solutions - always read the instructions.
- Periodically clean your lens case and air dry to ensure it is sterile.
- When you buy more solution discard the old case and start with a new one.
- Check the expiry date of your solutions and contact lenses.
- If you wear makeup, insert your contact lenses first and then apply makeup.
- If you have an eye infection, stop wearing your lenses immediately and consult your optometrist. You can only wear your lenses again once the eye infection is completely cleared. When you wear lenses again start with a new set and lens case.
- If a contact lens is damaged, discard it and replace with a new one.
- Do not sleep with your contact lenses unless they are designed for this - sleeping with your lenses starves your eyes of oxygen and reduces tear flow. This can make you more prone to eye infections and may lead to long term eye complications.
- Do not over wear your contact lenses. Replace them as indicated by your eye care provider.
- Living in dry climates and the use of computers can lead contact lenses drying out. You may use a lubricating eye drop which should be preservative free.
- Always order your contact lenses at least a month in advance to avoid any problems with stock shortage and delivery problems.
- Ensure you have regular appointments with your eye care provider.
Inserting a contact lens
Before you insert a contact lens inspect it for damage and ensure it is clean and lint free. Make sure that it is not inside out by placing it on your index finger and look carefully at the edges. These need to be upright and follow a gentle curve resembling a bowl. (Fig A). If the edges point outwards and the lens looks flatter this is incorrect. (Fig B) If the lens is inserted incorrectly it will feel uncomfortable, not settle and vision may be blurred. In this case, remove the lens, invert it and re-insert.
Fig A Fig B
Use the middle finger of the same hand that holds the contact lens to pull down the lower lid. This finger needs to be close to the eyelid margin to ensure your eye is open as wide as possible. With the middle finger of the other hand lift the upper lid. While looking into a mirror, centre the contact lens and gently place it onto the eye. Look downwards, carefully release your lids and gently blink a few times. Repeat this step for the other eye. (Fig C)
Removing a contact lens
Use the middle finger of the hand that would normally hold the contact lens and pull down the lower lid. Look upwards and with your index finger slide the contact lens downwards onto the lower part of the eye. Gently hold the contact lens between your index finger and thumb to remove the lens. Do not use your nails but the padded part of your fingertips. (Fig D)
IF YOU HAVE ANY DIFFICULTIES OR CONCERNS CONSULT YOUR OPTOMETRIST