Follow the Rules of Contact Lens Care

When you get your first contact lens prescription, it comes with a long list of instructions from your eye doctor. As a contacts wearer, this list tells you how to clean and maintain both your lenses and your eyes. But how many of these steps do you skip, forget, or ignore?

Follow Your Replacement Schedule

Most people wear soft disposable contact lenses. Every brand of these contacts comes with replacement timeframes. The lens manufacturer will recommend you switch out your contacts anywhere from every day to every month.

While the manufacturer gives good guidelines, your doctor will tell you exactly how long you can safely wear your lenses before you need to throw them out.

The Reason for the Rule

Many contact wearers feel tempted to extend the life of their lenses days or weeks past their expiration dates. While this might save you some money, you’ll endanger your eyes.

Bacteria and deposits build up on your lenses over time. At a certain point, these deposits encourage infections and irritate your eyelids. If you develop an infection or inflamed eyelids, you’ll have to stop wearing contacts altogether for an indefinite period of time.

Change Your Case Regularly
You should change out your contact lens case at least every three months. Even if you clean the case every day, you still need to switch it out for a new one.

The Reason for the Rule

Tiny bacteria flourish in contact lens cases, no matter how often you clean them. Over time, they build up a substance called biofilm. This film protects bacteria from the disinfectant in your contact lens solution so they can keep multiplying.

Protect your eyes from these small intruders and get a new case when you should.

Remove Your Lenses Daily
How many times have you heard you shouldn’t sleep with your contact lenses in? Many contact wearers end up breaking this rule at some point. However, unless you have extended-wear lenses approved for overnight use, you should remove your contacts before bed. Take them out even for short naps.

The Reason for the Rule

When you wear contact lenses, your eyes don’t have easy access to oxygen. Your lenses will let some air pass through, but only extended-wear contacts let enough oxygen in to satisfy your eyes while you sleep.

Sleeping with daily-wear contact lenses in can increase your risk for a rare condition called corneal neovascularization. This happens when your eyes try to compensate for oxygen deprivation by growing extra blood vessels in your cornea. These vessels can endanger your eyesight.

Take your contact lenses out at night to give your eyes a good supply of steady oxygen.

Buy From Reliable Distributors
It seems tedious to keep your contact lens prescription up to date and on hand for when you want to order more lenses. However, when you buy contacts, you should always look for reliable retailers that require a valid prescription.

The Reason for the Rule

The law considers contact lenses medical devices that require a prescription. Domestic contact lens distributors, including online companies, cannot legally sell you lenses without verifying your prescription.

If you buy lenses from a distributor that does not require your prescription, or accepts an expired prescription, you should not trust the product they send you.

Keep Your Lenses to Yourself
Sharing is not always caring. No matter how close you are to your friends, don’t put anything in your eye that was once in theirs – not even if you wear colored lenses with no prescription for cosmetic effect.

The Reason for the Rule

Even if you clean them in between uses, sharing contact lenses with friends also involves sharing all the bacteria in their eyes. These bacteria can cause infections that then spread among multiple people. No one wants to schedule a group visit to the eye doctor.

Schedule Annual Eye Exams
If you don’t think your eyes have changed, you might not think you need a new prescription. However, you still need an annual eye exam.

The Reason for the Rule

At your exam, your doctor inspects your eyes for problems and ensures they look healthy. You can have various issues with your eyes and not know it. You want the doctor to help you catch these issues early so you can treat them effectively.

Keep Backup Glasses
When you dislike wearing glasses, contact lenses seem like a godsend. However, you don’t want to rely on contacts exclusively. Most eye doctors recommend you have a pair of backup glasses.

The Reason for the Rule

If your eyes get tired or irritated from your contacts, glasses give your eyes a break. Putting contact lenses in an already-irritated eye can cause bigger problems.

You will also need glasses if you ever forget to reorder your contacts on time. This helps prevent you from wearing your contacts longer than you should.

Contact lenses correct your vision so you can enjoy a glasses-free look. Follow all your eye doctor’s contact lens rules for a safe and healthy wearing experience. Contact The Eyewear Place today.


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