Wearing contacts isn’t for everyone. Some people swear by how easy they are to use and the way contacts change their appearance for the better. Others prefer to stick to the traditional solution for bad vision and wear glasses instead.
If you’re finally ready to give contacts a try, though, you have to know what you’re getting yourself into. Wearing contact lens require specific care on a daily basis. Failing to take good care of them can result in lost or broken contacts, irritated eyes, and a waste of money, too.
To make sure contacts are the right eyewear for you, you have to do a bit of research about them before you order your first set. Here are 9 things you’re going to have to start doing when you switch over to contacts.
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Prioritize Good Contact Lens Care
The basics of contact care are pretty simple. The main rules are:
- Clean your contact lens every day
- Put them in and take them out with care
- Use proper solution for your contact lens
- Don’t wear them more than the doctor recommends
- Follow all the doctor’s orders
Sounds easy enough, right? It is! The process only gets complicated when you don’t put in the work or if you don’t know what you’re doing in the first place. Learning everything you need to know about wearing contacts and taking care of them sets you up for success.
Always Work on the Same Eye First
Pro tip: try to get in the habit of working on your contacts in the same order. For instance, always put in the right contact lens first and take it out first, and clean it before you clean the left eye.
This will help you keep track of which contact goes in which eye. It will also ensure you do everything you need to on each contact, instead of cleaning one and not the other.
Never Fall Asleep with Your Contacts In
This is one of the most important rules to follow when wearing contacts. Just because you’ve switched over from glasses doesn’t mean you can walk around with eyewear 24/7. In the same way that you’d take glasses off before going to bed, you have to take your contacts out, too.
If you don’t, you can end up damaging the contact lens and/or drying out your eyes! Neither of these consequences is fun to deal with. They each require an unexpected visit to the eye doctor and more money out of your pocket to pay for new contacts or treatment for your irritated eye.
Change the Contact Lens Case Every 3 Months
Most rules about contact lens care apply to every single day of the week. Then, there are care tips like this one that you have to stay on top of every few months or so.
Here’s the thing: contact lens cases get dirty, too. It’s good to wash your case at least once a week, but over time, that becomes less and less effective. The best solution is thus to change out your old case for a new one.
It’s not something to stress over if you end up changing your case after 4 months instead of 3. But, if you find yourself going on 5 or 6 months with the same case, it’s time to get a new one ASAP!
Take Your Case with You Everywhere
Another issue many people with contacts have is that they forget their case somewhere. This is very common for those who interchange between glasses and contact lens.
It’s easier to grab your glasses and head out the door than it is to take the time to put contacts in. When you’re checking out of a hotel room or showering at the gym, you can’t afford to leave your contact case behind.
This should be something you check for as often as you make sure you have your keys and your phone. Of course, it’s easy to remember your contacts when you’re wearing them. Still, you have to double check they’re where they need to be when you opt for glasses instead.
Don’t Use Tap Water to Clean Your Contact Lens
Speaking of having your contacts (and case!) when you’re on the go, never ever clean your contact lens with tap water. In fact, they shouldn’t come into contact with regular water at all.
You don’t know what kind of hidden bacteria is swimming around in tap water. When it touches your contact lens, the bacteria can transfer onto the lens and then affect your eye. There’s no telling the kind of damage this makes you vulnerable to, as the water around the country – and the world – varies in safety.
So, the best thing to do is not take the risk at all. Always keep your contact solution handy, and if you don’t have it, wait until you can access it instead of “cleaning” your contacts with tap water.
Say Something If Your Contact Lenses Start to Hurt
Contact lenses can get dry or hard if they’re not cleaned on a regular basis, which can result in pain when you go to put contacts in. It’s also possible for you to feel pain if you’re a first-time contact user and the prescription isn’t just right.
If your lenses ever bother you or cause you pain, talk to your doctor. Even if you do everything right, there might be something off about your prescription worth looking into. There are contacts that can be cut thinner than others for more comfort or made for especially sensitive eyes. Research these if the standard model doesn’t work for you.
Update Your Prescription on a Regular Basis
Keep in mind your contact lens prescription may change. Even if you find the perfect fit right off the bat, you may end up wearing different contacts over time. This is due to the progression in how bad your vision becomes or how sensitive your eyes get.
Your prescription should be checked annually, or every 6 months if you can. This allows doctors to catch any change in your needs and find the right solution for them before matters get worse. Whenever your prescription changes and you need new contacts, use this site to order your new set.
Wash Your Hands!
The final tip to keep in mind is to wash your hands whenever you’re going to do something involving your contact lenses. Wash them before you put them in and take them out, and especially before you clean your contacts. Try to use sensitive soap if you have it in the house and make sure you dry your hands thoroughly, too.
Wearing Contacts vs. Using Glasses
At the end of the day, the decision to wear a contact lens or use glasses is up to you. Keep in mind some people don’t meet the requirements for wearing contacts, so talk to your doctor about this possibility before you get your hopes up.
For more personal health tips and tricks regarding everything from eyewear to skincare and exercise, click here.