Our recent research revealed that more than three quarters (82%) of contact lens wearers in the UK practice bad contact lens hygiene, admitting to at least one dangerous habit, such as swimming in contact lenses.
Improper contact lens use can cause different types of problems, from discomfort to serious infections. These can typically be prevented with regular cleaning and proper contact lens care. Here are our expert top tips for making sure you are being as safe and clean as possible with your contact lenses to prevent any nasty infections.
- Never re-insert a contact lens after dropping it without cleaning it properly
- You should not swim, play water sports, shower or enter a hot tub while wearing contact lenses.
- Never wear someone else’s contact lens or share yours with anyone else and do not reuse a disposable lens.
- Don’t wear your lenses for longer than the time suggested by your optician. It should also state a length of time on the packaging, however you should always consult your optician as well.
- Never sleep in contact lenses, unless your contact lenses are designed for this purpose.
- Always wash your hands with mild soap and water before inserting, removing or handling your contact lenses and then dry your hands with a lint free towel or tissue paper.
- After use, clean your contact lenses thoroughly in the palm of your hand with the solution provided or recommended by your optician. Then store them correctly in the lens case filled with fresh solution. You should replace your lens case at least once a month. Never clean your contact lenses or the case with saliva or water, always use the correct solution.
- Give your eyes a rest from lenses, and have a pair of up to date prescription glasses handy for when you take your lenses out to give your eyes a rest. It is recommended to have at least one or two days in a week where you do not use your contact lenses.
- Examine your contact lenses in the palm of your hand before inserting them. Check for any damage or tears and throw them away if you find any.
- Replace your contact lenses as recommended by your optician. For example monthly lenses should not be used for longer than a month, 2 weekly lenses should not be used for more than 2 weeks, etc.
If you experience discomfort, redness, itchiness or irritation, remove the contact lenses immediately and consult your optician. Make sure you have regular contact lens check ups with your optician even if everything seems normal. You can also consider lens replacement surgery to permanently remove the need for physical contact lenses.