The following tips can help you keep your contacts clean and safe, which will reduce the risk of an eye infection and preserve your vision. Carefully follow the cleaning instructions for your lenses:
- Keep your lenses and all supplies very clean.
- Always wash and rinse your hands thoroughly before inserting or removing your contact lenses. Do not apply hand lotion before handling your contacts.
- Use the recommended contact lens solution for disinfection that your eye specialist recommends.
- Never use homemade saline solutions. (They can be easily contaminated with bacteria.) Do not reuse the same solution for multiple uses.
- Never use tap water or distilled water to rinse or store your lenses.
- Never wet your lenses with saliva or place lenses in your mouth. The bacteria that are naturally present in your mouth may cause an eye infection.
- Always rinse the lens storage case. Let it air-dry to avoid contamination.
- Remember to recap all your solution bottles to avoid contamination.
- Replace your contact lens case every 3 months.
- Do not nap or sleep in your contact lenses.
- Insert your lenses before applying makeup. Take care not to get makeup on the lenses. Replace eye makeup (especially mascara) every 3 to 6 months to reduce the risk of contamination. Do not apply makeup to the inner rim of the eyelid.
- Be sure to follow the directions for cleaning and wearing decorative color lenses. These lenses can cause eye problems, such as damage to the cornea or eye infections, just as easily as contact lenses worn for vision correction.
- Do not wear contact lenses when you swim or shower as tap water contains many infectious microbes
- Get routine eye exams to check the condition of your lenses and the health of your eyes.
- If you experience any redness, pain, light sensitivity, or discomfort, please discontinue wearing your lenses and consult with your eye care specialist right away.
To avoid eye problems, be sure to follow the directions for cleaning and wearing contact lenses. Contact lens wearers have an increased risk for serious eye infections and injury to the cornea. Small objects that get into the eye may become trapped under a lens and scratch the cornea. Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) or other minor eye infections are likely to irritate your eyes and make wearing contacts uncomfortable and unsafe.
Symptoms of possible problems with contacts include redness, pain or burning in the eye, drainage, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light (photophobia). If you are having problems, remove your lenses and disinfect them. If you have symptoms longer than 2 to 3 hours after removing and cleaning your contacts, please call Baylor Medicine Eye Care.