Contact Lens 411
Contact lenses are a great alternative to your standard specs. They’re the perfect way to correct your vision without having to search for those elusive perfect frames. But with great eyes come great responsibility. Contacts take time and a very particular cleaning regimen. We get it — you’re busy and contacts are needy. And of course you’re not alone: in a recent survey conducted by Wakefield for Alcon, 66% of contact lens wearers admitted to keeping their contact lenses longer than recommended1. But if you don’t take the time to properly take care of them, you could be doing your eyes more harm than good. Here are our top pro tips for wearing contacts while keeping your eyes shining bright.
- When it comes to putting in our contacts it’s usually something we do just before bolting out the door. A good rule of thumb to streamline your routine is to always apply the same lens first to avoid mixing them up (For example always start with the right contact, unless you want to always start with your left. We believe in freedom of choice.)
- Your beauty routine may make you feel fab but it can leave your contacts feeling drab. Be sure to remove your contact lenses before removing your makeup2. This is especially important when it comes to eye makeup. Also, keep your peepers closed when using hairspray or other aerosols on your hair. Your strands might need the hair support, but your eyes do not!
- Be sure you have an up-to-date pair of glasses for when you need to remove or replace your contact lenses. While contacts may be super convenient, sometimes it’s good to give your baby blues a rest and go back to being your super sexy four-eyes self.
- When it comes to your contacts you should pay as much attention to their schedule as you do your social schedule. Stick to the recommended wearing schedule and replacement dates to ensure your eyes stay in tiptop shape3. In a recent survey, 84% of contact lens wearers believe their lenses can be worn for more days than the manufacturer recommends before throwing them away1. Ick.
- You ditch your milk the minute it expires and those same rules apply to your contact lenses and lens solution3. Toss your contact lenses and solution as soon as they reach their expiration date. Actually the same rule also applies to ex-boyfriends.
- Never use tap water in any area of lens care, including rinsing the your contact lenses and lens case. Tap water sometimes contains germs that can irritate your eyes4. (Another crazy statistic — 13% of contact lens wearers say they clean or store their contacts in tap water all the time1. Whoa!) When wearers use lenses longer than recommended or don’t follow proper handling and storage practices, there is a greater likelihood of deposit buildup that may lead to chronic eye redness or irritation, said our friend and eye expert Dr. Chris Sindt.
- This may be a no-brainer, but be sure to check your lenses before popping them in. You never want to apply a lens if it is dirty, dusty, or damaged. It’s worth wearing alternate specs for a day to avoid the chances of getting an ick-tastic eye infection.
- Unless advised by your good ol’ eye doctor, don’t change your recommended solution5. This may lead to a serious case of red eyes — and not the fun kind that gets you to Vegas by morning.
- We love being topped off when it comes to cocktails but when it comes to our contacts, that’s a different story. Don’t reuse or top off solution with additional solution. Always use fresh contact lens solution.
For more great do’s and don’ts, go to PourThatOut.com!
xx, The FabFitFun Team
- Based on an online survey of 1,000 contact lens wearers in the U.S. (excluding dailies wearers); Alcon data on file, 2013
- American Optometric Association. Contact Lenses and Cosmetics. http://www.aoa.org/x5236.xml. Accessed May 3, 2013
- American Optometric Association, Do’s and Don’ts. http://www.aoa.org/x5235.xml. Accessed on June 7, 2013
- Food & Drug Administration. Ensuring Safe Use of Contact Lens Solution.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm166549.pdf. Accessed June 13, 2013
- AllAboutVision.com. Which Contact Solution is Best? http://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/faq/which-solution.htm. Accessed on April 4, 2013