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Caring for Your Contact Lenses and Your Eyes

Following these steps will extend the life of your contact lenses and protect the safety and health of your eyes.

Keep Lenses Clean

The type of lens you have determines how you care for it. Disposable extended-wear soft lenses need the least care, and conventional soft lenses need extensive care. To avoid vision-threatening complications, you must carefully follow directions for lens care. If you have a hard time following the cleaning steps, tell your eye care professional. You may be able to simplify the steps, or you may want to switch to disposable lenses.

  1. Before handling contact lenses, wash and rinse hands. Use a mild non-cosmetic soap. Soaps with perfumes, oils, or lotions leave a film on the hands, which you may transfer to your lenses and cause eye irritation or blurred vision.
  2. Dry hands with a clean, lint-free towel.
  3. If you use hair spray, use it before you put in your contacts. It’s also a good idea to keep your fingernails short and smooth to avoid damaging your lenses or scratching the eye.
  4. After your contacts are in your eyes, put on makeup so you don’t get any on your lenses. Take out contact lenses before you remove makeup for the same reason.
  5. Different types of contact lenses require special care and certain types of products. Always use the disinfecting solution, eye drops, and enzymatic cleaners your eye care professional recommended. Some eye products or eye drops are not safe for contact lens wearers.
  6. Never use tap water directly on lenses, and never put contact lenses in your mouth to "rinse" them. Microorganisms can live in even distilled water, causing infection or sight damage.
  7. Clean each contact by rubbing it gently with your index finger in the palm of your other hand. Most multipurpose solutions don’t have “No Rub” on their labels anymore. Lightly rubbing your contact removes surface buildup.
  8. Clean your contact lens case every time you use it with either sterile solution or hot tap water. Let it air dry. Replace the contact lens storage case every three months.

WebMD Medical Reference

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