Whether you are considering switching from glasses to contact lenses, or you are a novice contact lens wearer looking to perfect your skills, this guide will provide invaluable insights. The process may seem intimidating, but fear not; mastering the art of inserting, removing, and handling contact lenses can be easily achieved with proper guidance, patience, and practice. An easier life is just around the corner.
Choosing the Right Contact Lenses for Your Needs
Selecting the right contacts involves multiple factors. Your eye health, lifestyle, comfort, and budget all play an essential role in determining the best type of lens for you. Your eye care professional will examine your eyes, assess your vision needs, and recommend the best options. Of course, there are also colored contacts people wear for style and fashion reasons.
If you lead an active lifestyle or have dry eyes, soft lenses might be a good choice due to their comfort and oxygen permeability. Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses, on the other hand, offer sharper vision and are more resistant to deposit buildup, making them suitable for individuals with high prescriptions or those prone to eye allergies.
Preparing Your Hands and Environment
Before handling contact lenses, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. It’s important to avoid soaps containing moisturizers, fragrances, or oils, which can stick to the lens surface and cause eye irritation. Dry your hands completely with a lint-free towel to avoid getting any debris on your contacts.
Ensure you are in a clean environment, ideally in front of a well-lit mirror. Positioning yourself over a flat, uncarpeted surface will make it easier to find your lens should it fall. It’s also a good idea to keep a bottle of artificial tears nearby to moisten your lenses or your eyes if needed.
In your case, always fill with fresh contact lens solution and never reuse or top off old solution. This reduces the risk of eye infections. Also, remember to replace your lens case every three months or sooner if it becomes damaged or dirty.
Inserting Contact Lenses Step-by-Step
Always start with the same eye when you insert your lenses to avoid mixing them up. Take the lens out of its case or packaging, rinse it with the recommended solution, and place it on the tip of your index finger. Make sure the lens is correctly oriented – it should look like a perfect bowl, not a soup plate.
Pull your upper eyelid up with one finger, and your lower eyelid down with another. Looking straight at the lens, gently place it on your eye. Then, release your eyelids and blink a few times to help center the lens. If it feels comfortable and your vision is clear, the lens is correctly inserted.
If they feel uncomfortable, it could be inside out, dirty, or damaged. In that case, remove it, clean and inspect for damage, then try again. If discomfort persists, remove the lens and consult your eye care professional.
Removing the Contacts Step-by-Step
Just like with inserting, establish a routine and always remove the same lens first. Start by washing and drying your hands thoroughly. Look up and pull down your lower eyelid. Touch the lower edge of the lens with your index finger, and slide it down to the lower white part of your eye.
Gently squeeze the lens between your thumb and index finger to remove it from your eye. It may take a few tries when you’re starting, but with practice, it becomes a quick and easy process.
Remember never to pull at the lens if it seems stuck. Instead, moisten it with some rewetting drops and try again after a few moments. If it still won’t come out, consult your eye care professional immediately.
Proper Hygiene and Cleaning
Cleaning your contact lenses is vital to maintaining good eye health. Whenever you remove your lenses, rub and rinse them using the prescribed lens solution. Avoid using tap water, as it can contain harmful microorganisms.
Use a “rub and rinse” cleaning method, regardless of what type of solution you use. Rub your contact lenses with clean fingers, then rinse the lenses with solution before soaking them. This method has been proven to effectively remove microorganisms and deposits, promoting healthy lens wear.
After cleaning your lenses, empty and rinse the lens case with solution, then allow it to air dry. This helps to prevent any microbial contamination that can cause eye infections.
Dealing with Common Issues and Discomfort
Contact lenses can sometimes cause discomfort. You might experience dry eyes, itching, burning, or a feeling that something is in your eye. Often, these symptoms can be addressed with simple solutions, like using rehydrating eye drops or improving your lens hygiene routine.
If discomfort persists despite these measures, it’s important to consult your eye care professional. They may recommend switching to a different type of lens or adjusting your wearing schedule.
Remember, never wear your contact lenses if your eyes are red, irritated, or hurting. Doing so can lead to more serious problems, including potentially vision-threatening infections.
Care and Maintenance
Routine eye exams are crucial for maintaining eye health while wearing contact lenses. Your eye care professional can detect and address any potential issues before they become serious.
Follow your lens replacement schedule faithfully. Wearing lenses longer than recommended can lead to complications, including infections or corneal ulcers. The longer a lens is worn, the greater the buildup of deposits, which can affect lens comfort and eye health.
Additionally, always have an up-to-date pair of eyeglasses with your current prescription. This will give your eyes a break and provide a backup if you can’t wear your lenses for any reason.
Mastering the art of inserting, removing, and handling contact lenses is essential for those who rely on them for vision correction. Through practice, patience, and adherence to proper hygiene and technique, individuals can achieve comfort and confidence in their contact lens wearing experience. With the right amount of diligence and showing care, contact lens wearers can enjoy clear vision and a seamless integration of these corrective devices into their daily lives.