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How to Safely Store and Handle Your Contact Lenses, QA

Updated: 3 days ago

For many, contact lenses offer the freedom and flexibility that traditional eyeglasses cannot. However, with this freedom comes a responsibility to properly care for and maintain your lenses. Improper handling and storage can lead to eye infections, discomfort, and potentially serious vision issues. Below, we address some of the most common questions regarding safe practices for contact lens care.

Contact Lenses
How to Safely Store and Handle Your Contact Lenses, QA

Q1: What is the first step I should take before handling contact lenses?

The first and most crucial step is thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water. Ensure you dry your hands with a lint-free towel to avoid transferring any debris onto the lenses. This reduces the risk of introducing bacteria to your eyes, which can lead to infections.

Q2: Is tap water safe for rinsing or storing my contact lenses?

It's paramount to understand that tap water, while safe for drinking, is not suitable for contact lens care. Tap water contains microorganisms, like Acanthamoeba, which can adhere to the lenses and cause severe eye infections. Always use sterile saline solution or multipurpose contact lens solution for rinsing and storing your lenses.

Q3: How should I properly clean my contact lenses?

After removing a lens, place it in the palm of your hand and apply several drops of the recommended contact lens solution. Gently rub the lens with your index finger in a back-and-forth motion, then rinse it with the solution before storing it. This process removes surface buildup and microorganisms.

Q4: What is the correct way to store my contact lenses?

Contact lenses should be stored in a clean lens case filled with fresh contact lens solution. Do not "top off" old solution with new solution, as this can lead to contamination. Instead, empty the case, rinse it with fresh solution, and allow it to air dry each time you store your lenses.

Q5: How often should I replace my contact lens case?

Even with regular cleaning, lens cases can become a breeding ground for bacteria. It is recommended to replace your lens case at least every three months, or as directed by your eye care professional. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the best care practices.

Q6: Can I sleep in my contact lenses?

Unless you are using specific extended-wear lenses designed for overnight use, you should never sleep in your contact lenses. Doing so significantly increases the risk of eye infections and oxygen deprivation to the cornea, leading to potentially serious complications, Generally if you can avoid wearing contact lenses during your sleep it is best to do so.

Q7: How long can I wear my contact lenses each day?

The wearing time can vary depending on the type of contact lens and your eye health. It's essential to follow the recommended wearing schedule provided by your eye care professional and never exceed this limit to avoid eye strain and increase the risk of infection.

Q8: What should I do if my contact lenses cause discomfort or irritation?

If you experience any discomfort, irritation, or redness while wearing lenses, remove them immediately. Rinse the lenses with fresh solution to remove any debris. If the discomfort persists, give your eyes a break from lenses and consult your eye care professional as soon as possible.

Q9: Are there any special considerations for makeup wearers with contact lenses?

Yes, if you wear makeup, always insert your contact lenses before applying makeup to avoid contaminating the lens. Choose non-allergenic makeup and avoid applying eyeliner inside the lash line, as particles can enter the eye and attach to the lens, causing irritation. Remember to remove your lenses before removing makeup.

Q10: How should I handle travel with contact lenses?

When traveling, always carry a spare pair of lenses, your prescription, and sufficient lens care supplies. Consider using daily disposable lenses to avoid the need for carrying additional cleaning and storage solutions. Always adhere to the liquid restrictions for carry-on luggage if flying.

Q11: Are there any diet or lifestyle factors that can affect my contact lens experience?

Hydration plays a key role in healthy contact lens wear. A well-hydrated body ensures that your eyes are moist, which can enhance comfort. Additionally, avoid smoking as it can lead to dry eyes and increase the risk of contact lens discomfort and eye health complications.

Q12: Can contact lenses get permanently lost behind my eye?

It's a common myth, but no, contact lenses cannot get "lost" behind your eye due to the anatomy of the eye. A contact lens can slip under the eyelid or become dislodged, but it can usually be repositioned or removed easily. If you have trouble, seek assistance from an eye care professional.

Q13: How do I know if my contact lens is inside out?

An inside-out lens will typically have a flared edge rather than a smooth, bowl-like shape. Some lenses have a marker to indicate the correct orientation. Before applying, place the lens on the tip of your finger and examine its shape to ensure it is correctly oriented.

Q14: What daily activities should I avoid while wearing contact lenses?

Avoid water-related activities like swimming or using hot tubs while wearing contacts, as exposure to water can lead to infections regardless of the water source. Also, avoid wearing contacts in very smoky or dusty environments to prevent particles from adhering to the lenses and causing irritation.

Conclusion, Contact lenses are a convenient alternative to eyeglasses, offering users a sense of freedom and flexibility. However, this convenience comes with the responsibility of proper lens care and hygiene practices. Following the guidelines discussed can help minimize the risk of infection, ensure lasting comfort, and maintain optimal eye health. Always consult with your eye care professional for personalized advice and recommendations tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle.


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