Tips for contact lens wearers
Once a day ask yourself three simple questions:
How do my lenses/eyes feel? How well can I see? How do my eyes look?
If you’re unhappy with the answer to any of these questions contact us as soon as possible.
And finally, always remember the golden rule: if in doubt, take them out.
Cleaning contact lenses
It’s important to clean and take care of your lenses, so that the risk of eye infections is kept to a minimum. If you wear reusable lenses, you’ll need to stick to a cleaning routine to make sure your eyes stay in tip-top condition.
- After taking out your lenses, rub them gently with a few drops of solution for about 20 seconds.
- To store your lenses, place them carefully in your contact lens case. The case should be clean and filled with fresh solution.
- If you’re unsure about the best way to keep your lenses and case clean, check the instructions on your solution to make sure you’re doing everything exactly as you should.
- Don’t forget: never use tap water to clean your lenses or contact lens case as this can lead to eye infections.
Some handy tips to remember when cleaning your lenses:
Make sure you keep your case clean. Clean and rinse your case each week with your contact lens disinfecting solution. Never use tap water.
Replace your lens case at the regular intervals advised by your optician or as specified in your solution instruction leaflet.
Always keep the caps on your solution bottles.
Always store your lenses in fresh solution.
Dispose of your solution bottles as advised in the instructions for use. If you have any more questions about cleaning your contact lenses, get in touch with your optician.
If you drop a daily disposable contact lens on the floor – just bin it and start again with a fresh lens. Twice monthly or monthly disposable lenses should go through a complete cleaning cycle – as if you’re cleaning them at the end of the day – before you can wear them again.
You should never wear a torn or a damaged contact lens as they can damage the surface of your eye, and increase the risk of you getting an eye infection. Just dispose of the damaged lens and get a new one. Contact your store if you need a replacement lens.
It might be tempting to just give your contact lens a rinse in water, but it’s very important that you only clean your lenses with solutions and never use water. Water (including tap water) often contains microorganisms that can bind to the surface of a contact lens and could potentially cause a serious eye infection.
If your contact lens case breaks, don’t use it. Get in touch with your local store for advice. We’d recommend that you replace your contact lens case regularly to avoid these instances. If you buy multipurpose lens care solutions through our Lensmail scheme, we’ll provide three cases, one for each month.
Wearing contact lenses comfortably
Contact lens technology has changed quite a lot over the last few years. If you’ve tried contacts before and found them too difficult to get on with, you’ll notice quite a change.
Most of our contact lenses are made from silicone hydrogel, a soft and flexible material that allows more oxygen into the eye – so your eyes will stay hydrated and comfortable all day. In fact, contact lenses are now so comfortable you wouldn’t even know you’re wearing them.
Things to have to hand before you start:
- A clean, empty contact lens case, if necessary
- All your cleaning solutions, if necessary
- Unperfumed tissues
- Your glasses
- Make sure your hands are clean and dry before handling your contact lenses.
- Using your fingertips, remove a lens from its packaging or container.
- Put it on your index finger and check the lens is okay – it should be a bowl shape. If it’s got a lip, it’s probably inside out, just add a few drops of solution and gently turn in the right way round.
- If you’re unsure if it’s the right way round here’s a handy tip: put your lens in the crease on the palm of your hand and fold your hand up a little. If the lens comes together easily, it’s the right way round. If it resists, it isn’t.
- If you see any dust, bits of debris, or hairs give it a rinse with your solution – never use tap water. If you see any tears, just throw it away.
- Once that’s done, you can put your lenses in. Look straight into the mirror and hold the upper lid eyelashes firmly against the brow with the index finger of your free hand.
- Using the middle finger of your other hand, pull your lower lid down.
- Watching in the mirror, bring the lens towards your eye and place it gently over the iris so that all the edges of the lens are in contact with the eye.
- Close your eyes and look from side to side – this will get rid of any air bubbles trapped under the lens.
- Now just repeat on the other side – and you’re done.
- If the lens is uncomfortable, just slide it off-centre and allow it to slide back into place.
- If it’s still uncomfortable, remove the lens and rinse it with saline or a solution recommended by your optician. If you use peroxide solution this should not be used to rinse you lenses.
- If you insert a lens that is inside out it may feel uncomfortable. Remove the lens and check the shape.
- If you can’t see clearly, it might mean that your lens wasn’t properly in place and has fallen out. Rinse the lens thoroughly with saline or a solution recommended by your optician, as soon as you’ve found it.
- Always carry your lens case filled with fresh soaking solution or saline unless you wear daily disposable lenses. Keep you glasses with you at all times.
It’s unlikely a lens will slip during normal wear. But if it does:
- Hold your eyelid open as if you were putting a lens in, put your finger on the lens and slide it towards the iris.
- If it has become folded, the lens will come out of your eye very easily.
- Don’t worry about the lens slipping behind your eye – this is impossible.
Before you remove your lenses, check:
- That your hands are clean and dry
- That your contact lens case, if you use one, is clean and contains fresh solution
- Always make sure you wash and dry your hands before taking out your lenses.
- Look straight into the mirror, tilt your head down slightly, and pull your lower eyelid down.
- Using your finger move the lens down to the white of your eye and then pinch it out.
- If you have long nails, you’ll want to be especially careful with your contact lenses.
- Then follow the cleaning regime recommended by your optician.
Tips for comfortable wearing
- Check that the prescription on the lens packaging is correct
- Check your contact lens solution instructions before use
- Wash and dry your hands before handling your lenses or touching your eye
- Insert your lenses before applying eye make-up
- Return for all the aftercare visits recommended by your optician
- Contact us if you have any concerns or queries, however trivial they may seem
- Stop wearing your lenses if your eyes become red or sore – contact us for advice
- Throw away your lenses after the recommended period
- Clean your lens case regularly and allow it to air dry
- Replace your lens case regularly
- Replace the tops of solution bottles after use
- Use fresh solution to store your lenses
- Dispose of solution bottles after the recommended period
- Wear your lenses longer than advised
- Ignore problems or discomfort with your lenses
- Hesitate to contact us if you have a problem
- Handle your lenses with sharp nails as they can easily tear
- Use tap water to store, clean or rinse your contact lenses or case
- Use your lenses for swimming, hot tubs or water sports, unless wearing goggles
- Wear your lenses when showering unless you keep your eyes firmly closed
- Lick your lenses
- Sleep in your lenses (unless advised by your optician, as this can increase the risk of infection)
- Wear your lenses if you are using eye drops prescribed by your doctor
- Change your cleaning regime without contacting us for professional advice
- Reuse the solutions of saline in your lens case
Can I wear contact lenses if I have hay fever?
Itchy, red, and watery eyes are common symptoms of hay fever – it’s annoying for anyone who suffers with it, but it can be particularly problematic for contact lens wearers.
Putting contacts on your eye can cause further irritation, making them uncomfortable to wear throughout the day. It can also make vision through your lenses seem blurred, or not as sharp.
Things you can do to help
If your eyes are struggling with the symptoms, there are a few things you can do to make your eyes feel more comfortable.
- Take your lenses out. It may be that the pollen has accumulated on the lens surface, so continuing to wear them could aggravate your eyes further.
- Eye drops are also a good way to calm down your symptoms. Just make sure they’re safe to use with contact lenses.
- Consider using daily disposable lenses. Unlike reusable lenses, starting each day with a fresh pair reduces the risk of allergens building up on the surface of your lens from previous wears.
- Wear your glasses on particularly bad days to reduce irritation. They can also act as an extra barrier against pollen in the air.
- Over-the-counter antihistamines might provide some relief, or your GP might be able to prescribe you some preventative medication. These can be very effective and could mean that you can continue to wear your contacts comfortably.
- Keep an eye on the pollen count during hay fever season so you can be prepared if you get a flare-up of symptoms.
Eyes don’t feel right?
If you’re ever concerned about any symptoms you experience, you’ll find information and advice about common eye conditions on our Eye Health section. But if you’re ever really worried, come and see us in store.