How to keep your contact lenses clean

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The number of people who wear contact lenses has grown over the past 20 years. Taking the plunge into the world of contact lenses has many advantages over wearing glasses. However, there is one aspect of contact lens wearing that does not feature as predominantly in glasses care – hygiene. If your glasses become dirty, it is a simple matter of wiping them clean. But with contact lenses, there is a small increased risk of developing an eye infection. The risk of developing an infection varies depending on the type of contact lenses that you have. Here are some common mistakes to avoid, if you want to protect your eyes and to prolong the life of your contact lenses.


Contact lens cleaning routine

Every time you remove your lenses, clean them. If you drop one of your eye contact lenses, clean thoroughly before placing it back into your eye. 


Contact lens cleaning products

Never, ever use tap water to clean your contact lenses. Only use the recommended, clinically sterile eye contact lens cleaning solutions and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. When you store your lenses, always use fresh eye contact lens solution – don’t just top up what is already there. Don’t forget about your contact lenses case – keep it clean, store it upside down with the cap off and replace it regularly to reduce the risk of infection. Do not continue to use it if it is cracked or damaged. Do not decant your cleaning solutions into smaller bottles for travelling as you cannot be sure that they will remain sterile.


Exposing your contact lenses to water

Do not wear your contact lenses while showering, swimming or relaxing in a jacuzzi or hot tub. Like washing your eye contact lenses with water, these activities expose your eyes to the risk of infection from micro-organisms which live in the water. While water from your household tap is safe to drink, it is not sterile so keep your lenses water-free!


Swapping and sharing contact lenses

You should never share contact lenses with anybody else. Apart from the ‘ick’ factor, you run a real risk of sharing an eye infection along with your eye contact lens.


Misuse of contact lenses

Only wear your contact lenses for as long as they are designed to be worn. Do not keep them in overnight, or wear them while you have a quick nap, unless they are designed for that purpose.  If your vision becomes blurring or your lenses do not feel comfortable, do not keep wearing them. Instead, make an appointment to see your optician.

Finally, as with any prescription, your contact lens prescription could become out-dated. To make sure that you continue to have the correct lenses, see your optician annually. This will also be an opportunity to check your eye health as well as your vision.


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