Top 10 Vision Care Tips
The process of owning and maintaining contacts can seem deceptively simple. You get your eyes checked out, receive a prescription, buy the contacts, then pop them in your eyes. Easy enough, right? The reality is that contacts are delicate items which, by virtue of being placed directly on your eye, need to be taken care of and treated with proper maintenance to ensure your own vision care, and eye health. If you’re concerned about best practices, and worst practices, as a contacts-wearer, there are a variety of tips to keep in mind so your eyes can stay happy and healthy for the long term.
1. Regular visits to the eye doctor
We all know trips to the doctor can be an inconvenience, and, as a result, people often put off and avoid them. But, an eye doctor has particular relevance in that eyesight can change over time—and, an eye doctor is well-positioned to note changes, or address issues that might arise from your contacts wearing. There is also the practical consideration of seeing as best as you possibly can; if your contact lens needs have changed, your eye doctor will be able to find the most suitable lenses fitting your vision requirements at this exact moment. Follow their recommendations for when a check-up appointment is appropriate, whether at the year mark or a more specific interval they suggest.1
2. Make sure your contacts are up to date
Believe it or not, contact lenses expire. No: they are not made of a material that will last eternally, discovered after a nuclear blast in someone’s lead-lined medicine cabinet. And, unlike eating a stale piece of bread, using expired contact lenses isn't just uncomfortable, or momentarily nauseating—it can be dangerous. If you’re nearing the end of a batch, think ahead and purchase a fresh set. Pay attention also, for that matter, to expiration and discard dates on your eye solution, as well.2
3. Avoid contact between lenses and water
Speaking of solution, when you store your lenses, make absolutely sure you’re using the proper solution. And, part of this is never using water to store your lenses. Microorganisms in tap water can get in your eye, leading to vision problems, including potential vision loss.3 As water and contacts are best kept apart, it is also not advisable to wear contacts in the tub or shower.4
4. Let the dropped lenses stay where they are
We’ve been there—you’re bleary eyed in the morning, trying to extract your lens, and the tiny disc takes an epic tumble to the floor. You might be tempted to consider dusting it off, giving it a good old dose of the contact solution, and popping that sucker back in your eye. Terrible idea. Consider the microorganisms potentially attached to your lens—especially on your bathroom floor or sink—and do yourself the favor of finding a new lens to replace it with.5 (If you’re worried about this happening frequently, perhaps you might be a solid customer for dailies, where losing a lens or two isn’t a big deal.)
5. Follow proper lens case practices
Keeping your lens case clean is one thing. But, regardless of regular hygiene practices, lens cases still need to be disposed of, and replaced, every three months. (Or, if you get a bottle of solution in the meantime, go ahead and swap out the case earlier, anyway.)6
6. Ensure you are handling the lenses with clean hands
Any time you are handling your lenses, you want to have thoroughly cleaned your hands, and dried on a similarly clean material.7 You don’t want to accidentally introduce outside materials that will irritate your eyes, or contaminate them.
7. Keep a back-up at the ready
What can lead people into poor contact-handling and storage is, in part, getting into a situation where they feel they have to extend their contact use beyond what is safe or advisable. Stuck out camping on a windy hill with only one pair of trusty lenses? On your last pair of lenses, when you drop one tragically on the floor? These situations often can tempt you into doing something with potentially harmful side effects. Having a pair of glasses at the ready, with a current, and usable, prescription, will ensure that you can toggle back to glasses should you need to take out your contacts in an emergency, or if you don’t have a replacement pair of contacts on hand.8
8. Think ahead
That being said, having a bit of foresight can also be helpful in avoiding running out of contacts, and having to extend your pair beyond what is safe. If you’re able, try buying in bulk, so that you can have a cache at the ready, and won’t feel pressured to keep using the same pair when they become compromised or extended beyond their useful window. Also, buying early means you won’t be in a position where you feel you must either keep wearing old lenses, or go without lenses at all. Make it easy on yourself to switch quickly between clean, fresh lenses. (Plus, doesn’t that sound much better overall?) If you need an affordable place to select, and compare, lenses, try ContactsCart.com.
9. Stay alert, and attuned, to your eye health
If you’re feeling irritation with your lenses, don’t simply try and wait it out. Issues like redness, blurriness of vision, or just a persistent unpleasant sensation can be evidence of deeper problems. Take out the contacts immediately, and call your eye doctor to get a sense of what is going on. It is better to act as quickly as possible than try to ignore what appears as simple irritation or discomfort, yet may be symptomatic of deeper problems.
10. Rub your lenses
Simply storing your lenses in the proper solution, and dousing them in solution before using, is not enough. Lenses can accumulate material that requires direct contact with (clean!) fingers to remove. Gently rubbing the lens with solution, for somewhere between two and twenty seconds (look at what your solution recommends), can help prevent complications and brush away a variety of annoying and potentially uncomfortable, and unhealthy, micro-organisms and material.9