Caring for your contacts
More in Contact lenses
Up close and personal
Contact lenses are an incredibly convenient way to correct your vision, but they do require some extra care and attention in handling and keeping them clean. Here you’ll find tips and techniques to ensure your contact lenses look after your eyes as well as you look after them.
Things you should always do
- Follow the wear advice and wearing schedule recommended by your OPSM optometrist and the contact lens manufacturer
- If your eyes are red or sore, or your vision is blurry, ask your optometrist for advice
- Before handling your contact lenses, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry with a lint-free towel
- Check that the contact lens has not turned inside out before inserting it
- Start with your preferred contact lens so that they don’t get mixed up
- Fit contact lenses before applying makeup and take them out before removing makeup
- Keep your contact lens well lubricated at all times, either with artificial tears in your eyes, or stored in solution in your contact lens case
- Clean and disinfect your contact lenses using fresh solution after removing
- Keep a back-up pair of glasses handy, just in case
- Have an eye test every 12 months or as recommended by your OPSM optometrist
Leonardo da Vinci is frequently credited with introducing the idea of contact lenses in his 1508 Codex of the eye, Manual D.
Things you should never do
- Wear contact lenses if your eyes are red or sore, or your vision is blurry (talk to your OPSM optometrist if you get these symptoms)
- Insert contact lenses if they are damaged
- Keep disposable contact lenses longer than instructed by your optometrist
- Use contact lens solution after its expiry date
- Change contact lens solution types or disinfection procedures without consulting your optometrist
- Use medicated drops on contact lenses without your optometrist's approval
- Use tap water or saliva on your contact lenses
- Rub your eyes when wearing contact lenses
- Sleep with daily wear contact lenses in, or wear them more than once
- Wear contact lenses when swimming, unless you’re wearing goggles
- Wear another person’s contact lenses
- Place contact lenses on top of a television or any warm or hot appliance
Storing and cleaning your contact lenses
Various drops and solutions are available, including contact lens multi-purpose solutions that clean, disinfect and store contact lenses. Disposable and soft conventional (non-disposable) contact lenses should be cleaned and disinfected according the directions of your optometrist and supplier.
Most cleaning solutions are recommended for conventional (non-disposable) contact lenses but can be used with disposable contact lenses too. They remove any build-up of unwanted deposits, such as oils and proteins. If these deposits are left on your lenses, you may feel discomfort or eye irritation and your contacts may not last as long as they should.
Some wearers choose to use contact lens comfort drops. They lubricate the lenses making them more comfortable to wear in dry and air-conditioned environments. For the best eye comfort, it’s a good idea to use drops or gels to moisten your eyes before insertion and after removal.