Whether you're a new contact lens wearer or a seasoned pro - it's easy to forget these crucial contact lens tips! Keep reading for a review of our contact lens Do's and Don'ts!
Do make sure you are using an updated contact lens prescription.
If you are renewing your contact lens orders without having updated eye exam results, you may not be seeing quite as clearly as you should be, or possibly straining your eyes unnecessarily. Small changes can be difficult to detect without routine check-ups!
Do give your eyes a break from contact lens wear.
Ideally, we recommend a maximum of 12 to 14 hours of constant contact lens wear per day in order to let your eyes have a chance to breathe and provide adequate oxygen to your corneas. It's also recommended to hold off on contact lens use if you are sick; or if your eyes are feeling dry, itchy, or irritated (often during allergy season).
Do ask your doctor about new contact lens options.
Contact lens materials are constantly being updated with healthier, and more comfortable options. Your optometrist will be able to recommend better ones for you as they become available, so don't be afraid to ask!
Do check the expiration dates on your contact lenses and contact lens cleaning solution.
Using expired contact lenses and/or cleaning solution can increase the risk of an eye infection or other lens-related irritation! If the thought of expired milk scares you, you should treat your contact lenses and solution the same way!
Do clean your contact lenses thoroughly.
If you are cleaning your lenses with a multi-purpose solution, remember to rub them in your palm or between your fingers for at least 30 seconds during cleaning to get rid of any gunk that can build up on the lens! Alternatively, you can also use a peroxide-based cleaning solution that does not require rubbing (although you will need to wait at least 5 hours for the peroxide to be neutralized in a special contact lens case).
Don't sleep with your contact lenses on.
Sleeping with your contact lenses on reduces the amount of oxygen that can get to your corneas. With a reduced amount of oxygen, there is a higher likelihood of developing a corneal ulcer, or abnormal corneal blood vessels that can adversely affect your vision.
Don't swim while wearing contact lenses.
Whether you're doing laps in a pool, or jumping in the lake at the cottage, these waters are unlikely to be 100% free of bacteria, viruses, or fungi. These micro-organisms can get trapped underneath your contact lenses and increase your risk of a painful eye infection. In a pool environment, the chemicals used to clean the pool can also break down your contact lenses, so it's best to avoid contact lens wear if you're planning on going for a swim!
Don't wear your contact lenses when you are sick.
A cold virus can easily spread from your respiratory system to your eye, and wearing contact lenses when you are sick can increase the likelihood of that transmission. Pay attention to this detail if you want to avoid pink eye!
Don't wear your contact lenses past their replacement schedule.
It can be tempting to continue wearing your monthly replacement contacts for an extra few weeks, especially if you are running out of supply. But as the contact lens material starts to break down over time, it will become less comfortable, less permeable to oxygen, and more likely to give you a contact lens associated red eye. (Luckily if you're running out of lenses, you can visit our online contact lens store, we offer super fast and often free shipping!)
If you are having issues with your contact lenses or if you'd like to schedule a contact lens fitting, feel free to reach out to our doctors via email, text, or phone for advice!
By Dr. Peter Chan, OD.
Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and answers to your frequently answered questions! In the meantime, if you haven’t had your eyes checked in a while, why not use our handy exam request form and make an appointment with one of our friendly optometrists?
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