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Contact lenses are a stylish way to change your eye colour or manage your vision problems without the stress of having eyeglasses hanging off your ears and nose. But to fully enjoy them, you need to know how to carefully use them. Poor care of your contact lenses can lead to eye infections, damage or even blindness. August 20-24 is Contact Lens Health Week, so here are things to know about handling your contacts in a healthy and safe way.

Wearing them

  • Don’t sleep with your contact lenses still in your eyes unless your eye doctor expressly tells you that you can. Studies have shown that sleeping with contact lenses increases the chance of an eye infection by 6 to 8 times.
  • Use your contact lenses as recommended by your doctor.
  • Do not use daily disposable lenses for more than a day.
  • Your doctor can give you the optimal length of time to wear your contact lenses, but ideally, do not wear then for longer than 10-12 hours a day.
  • Use lubricating/rewetting drops with your contact lenses regularly to prevent dryness and irritation.
  • Try to take them out an hour or two before bedtime so your eyes can get a rest before bedtime.

Cleaning them

  • Do not mix your old or used solution with a new one. Mixing can lower the germ-killing power of the solution. Use only the solution recommended by your doctor.
  • Don’t let water touch your contact lenses. The germs in water can be passed to the lenses. Don’t wear your contacts when you shower, take a bath, swim or use a hot tub.

Keeping them

  • Wash your hands with water and soap and dry them properly before handling your case or contacts
  • Rinse out your contact lenses case with the contact lenses solution, not water. Pour in fresh solution to store the lenses, and then take them out of your eyes, rinse and rub them in solution (NEVER use water or saliva) then place them carefully into the solution case.

Living with them

  • Always carry around a pair of glasses with your current prescription in case you have a need to take out your contacts.
  • See your eye doctor as often as instructed and at least once a year.
  • Take out your lenses and see your doctor immediately if you experience pain, discomfort, redness or blurry vision.

Contact lenses are safe, comfortable and healthy when used properly. If you find them hard to use, contact us for options and alternatives.