Staying safe with your contact lenses (3)

Contact lenses are great! They help you see clearly without disturbing your natural looks. Expressions and communication are the other important reasons why eyes are precious, and they also add to your persona. Guess what- contact lenses help you retain those aspects of your personality.

However, as these lenses are worn on the front part of the eye and are always in contact with the human body, one needs to take certain precautions. Remember that contact lenses will take care of your eyes if you take care of them.

Wash your hands every time before touching your contact lenses

If I have to pick one positive thing coming out of this dreaded COVID 19 outbreak, it would be the reinforcement of hand washing. It made all of us conscious about washing our hands regularly. It is important to wash hands with soap and dry them (with the towel that sheds minimum lint) before touching your contact lenses.

Staying safe with your contact lenses (2)

The much recommended ‘20 seconds hands scrub

We have heard this a lot during the pandemic- scrub your hands with soap for 20 seconds. Now, how do we count 20 seconds? Here’s an easy trick. While cleaning your hands, say the following line four times: “I am blessed with the wonderful gift of sight, and I will take good care of my eyes.”

Rub and rinse your lenses after removal

Every time you remove the lens from your eye, place it on your palm and rub it with your finger with few drops of contact lens care solution. Later rinse it off with fresh solution. Repeat this procedure with the other lens.

Take care of your lens case

Once you have removed contact lenses from the case to apply them to your eyes, discard the used solution. It may be tempting to save some solution by reusing it- but refrain from it. The solution loses its ability to disinfect or clean the lenses after it has been used once. Rinse your contact lens case with fresh solution. Wipe the empty case with tissue paper and place it upside down on another tissue paper. Use fresh solution for your contact lenses each time you store them in the lens case.

Check your lenses before applying

Before putting your contacts on, check if they are not chipped, torn, and there’s no obvious contamination like lint, dust particles etc. To ensure that you place the lens correctly, place the lens on your fingertip and observe its shape. If it looks like a saucer with flared edges, it’s inside out. If it looks like a cup without any flared edges, it’s in the correct position.

Some don’ts that you need to remember

  • Never use tap water or any other liquid except the prescribed contact lens care solution.
  • Never clean your lens case with water and not leave them in the bathroom.
  • Do not touch the tip of the solution bottle; it will contaminate the solution.
  • Ensure that your solution bottle is capped tightly.
  • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses unless recommended by your optometrist- Sleeping with contacts makes your eyes vulnerable to infection. A specific type of lenses is recommended for this purpose, and your optometrist is the best person to decide and suggest those.
  • Remove your contacts while swimming or showering- The water in swimming pools or your shower may contain bugs (micro-organisms called acanthamoeba). These can be harmful once they infect your eyes.

Few additional tips

  • Are they bothering you? Take them out
  • If your contact lenses seem to bother you, take them out. Even a small irritation can indicate an eye problem. Any signs of redness and symptoms of pain, sensitivity to light, excessive watering should make you cautious. It is safer to remove the lenses and contact your optometrist.
  • Eye makeup and contacts
  • Particles of eye makeup can get lodged between your contacts and eyes. This is why you should always wear your lenses first and then wear eye makeup and remove your lenses before removing eye makeup. In a nutshell, deal with lenses first.
  • Replace your lenses regularly, as recommended by your optometrist
  • For the health & safety of your eyes, follow your optometrist’s instructions about replacing your lenses. Overusing your lenses may cause eye problems.

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