Across the UK, millions of people rely on contact lenses to help them see during the day. A contact lens is a thin, curved lens that is placed on the film of tears that covers the surface of the eye. The lenses are naturally clear; however, they are tinged with a slight colour to make them easier for users to handle. Contact lenses can be worn to correct vision or for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons.
Today, contact lenses are either hard or soft, and the type you require will depend on your needs and whether you have any eye conditions. Soft contact lenses mould to the shape of the eye, ensuring they remain comfortable, breathable and flexible for wear. Hard lenses (also known as rigid gas permeable - RGP - lenses) do not mould to the shape of your eye, but are generally more durable and easier to look after than soft lenses, and can be used to help correct astigmatism.
When it comes to your contact lenses, it’s important to take care of them properly. There are a few things you should do to ensure they remain in top condition and your eyes stay safe and healthy. Below, we share our top tips for using and caring for your contact lenses.
Cleanliness is extremely important when handling your contact lenses; old or unclean lenses can cause a serious eye infection. Follow our tips below for safely and correctly putting in contact lenses.
- Wash, rinse and dry your hands using a mild soap before you handle the contact lenses. Make sure the towel you use to dry your hands is clean. ‘Strong’ soaps or ones that contain perfumes or oils can get on your lenses and irritate your eyes.
- Open the foil (for daily disposables) or case lid (for reusable lenses) and scoop your lens out with your index finger. Keeping your fingernails short and smooth will ensure you do not damage or scratch the lens.
- Rinse your lens with the appropriate contact lens solution prescribed by your eye care professional. Never use a homemade saline solution, tap water or your saliva to lubricate the lens; only use the recommended solutions.
- Place the lens on the tip of your index finger. Using your free hand, pull your top eyelid up (this will stop you from blinking). Pull your bottom eyelid down and position the lens on your eye while looking upward or forward.
- Once the lens is on, close your eyes, move them from side to side or round in circles to get rid of any air bubbles and to centre the lens.
- If you have applied the lens correctly, it should feel comfortable, breathable and your vision should be clear.
Taking your contact lenses out safely and correctly is just as important as the way you put them in. Before anything else, make sure you wash and dry your hands, again with a mild soap. To take your contact lenses out, simply:
- Put a clean paper towel over the drain where the contact lens might accidentally fall.
- Look upwards or sideways while pulling down your lower eyelid. Using your finger, gently move the lens down onto the white of your eye. Then, gently pinch the lens together with your index finger and thumb to lift it off the eye.
- RGP contact lenses can be removed by holding out the palm of your hand, bending forward and opening your eye wide. Using your free hand, gently pull the skin between your upper and lower eyelid outward toward your eye and blink. The lens should pop out and into your palm.
Once you’ve mastered how to put in and take out contact lenses, it’s important to make sure that you’re caring for them correctly. Taking care of your lenses correctly will ensure they remain in top condition and do not irritate, infect or cause blurriness. Below, our team of experts have put together their top tips for caring for your contact lenses.
As previously discussed, it’s important to only use recommended solutions to clean and store your contact lenses. Your eye care professional will be able to advise and guide you on the best solution to use. You should rinse and clean your contact lens case every day. It’s important to pay attention to sell-by dates too; always throw away solutions that are past their sell by or discard by date.
Follow directions from your eye care professional and from the lens cleaning solution manufacturer to clean and store your lenses. Clean one lens first, carefully rinsing the lens thoroughly with the recommended disinfecting solution. This will remove any mucus, film or cleaning solution from the lens surface. Follow the cleaning instructions and then put the lens into the correct chamber of the lens storage case. Cleaning the same lens first each time can help you to avoid any mix ups.
To store your lenses, you should disinfect them and leave them in the closed case until you’re ready to use them. Once you’ve removed your lenses from the case, empty and rinse the storage case with the correct solution and leave it to air dry. When you need to use the case again, refill it with fresh storage solution.
If you’re putting on makeup, always put your contact lenses in first. Remember to wash your hands to avoid transferring any perfumes, oils or lotions onto the lens. We recommend only using non-allergenic makeup to ensure your eyes don’t become dry or irritated. Cream eyeshadows are generally better to use when wearing contacts as powder eyeshadows can fall into your eye. Avoid applying eyeliner between your lashes and eye and only apply eyeliner on the portion of your lashes that is away from the surface of your eye.
Don’t use old eye makeup; over time, bacteria can get into the product and transfer onto the surface of your eye, leading to irritation and infection. As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your eye makeup at least every three months.
If you’re looking for an alternative to your spectacles, you can enjoy complete freedom and comfort with our range of contact lenses. At David Paul Opticians, we stock the very latest contact lenses, ensuring you can choose the right product that meets your needs and suits your lifestyle. We offer daily and monthly disposable lenses even for the most complex prescriptions.
We’re proud to offer a complete contact lens service which includes a detailed consultation with our experts and dedicated aftercare. If you don’t have time to visit us, our dedicated team can send your contact lenses to you. We offer a home delivery service in Berkhamsted and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire.
At David Paul Opticians, we tailor our services to meet your eye care needs. We offer eye tests , advanced eye examinations and retinal imaging and provide spectacle lenses, sunglasses, contact lenses and frames. Whether you need personalised eye care services or daily and monthly disposable contact lenses, we’re the experts to choose.
For more information, visit our website.