Optometrist & Eyewear

8 Tips for First-Time Contact Lens Wearers

Not everyone can wear glasses all day or wants to wear glasses all day. Luckily, contact lenses are the perfect alternative and come in a wide variety to suit individual needs.

These small plastic discs rest directly on the cornea to correct a multitude of ocular issues. 

While contact lenses are convenient, they require a high level of care. As a first-time contact lens wearer, the process of wearing and caring for contact lenses may seem confusing.

At The Eye Clinic, we will provide you with training and proper lens maintenance instructions. However, we also have some great tips for first-time contact wearers:

1. Relax

You may be nervous at first when it comes to applying and removing your lenses but there’s no reason to be afraid to touch your eye as long as your hands are clean. The chances of you scratching your eye are very slim.

Plus, you will not lose a contact lens behind your eye. The inside of your eyelids are connected to the back of your eye, so your contact lens cannot travel any further than you can reach it.

2. Put the Contact Lenses In Properly

Your optometrist will teach you how to put in your contact lenses but it’s important to remember the proper steps:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Place the contact on your fingertip and check to make sure the lens is not flipped inside-out (the edges should curve slightly like a little cup).
  • With the other hand, pull your upper eyelid up and your bottom eyelid down so you don’t blink. 
  • Move the lens on your finger toward your eye and look upward (not directly at the contact).
  • Place the lens on your eye and let go of your eyelids.
  • Close your eye so the contact settles.
  • Repeat with your other eye.

As a first-time contact lens wearer, you are definitely going to need a mirror each and every time. 

To remove your contacts, hold your eye open with one hand and gently pinch the lens with the other, pulling it carefully away from your eye.

If ever you run into difficulty properly inserting and removing your contact lens, do not hesitate to contact an optometrist who can walk you through the process.

3. Clean Your Contact Lenses

Bottle with lens solution and case on table

As tempting as it may be, don’t take shortcuts when it comes to cleaning your contact lenses – especially if you use monthly/2-week products. Even those these lenses are discarded on a regular basis, they still need to be properly cleaned.

Your eye doctor will let you know what cleaning regime you should follow based on the product you are using. For example, they may tell you to use a multipurpose solution every time you remove your contact lenses, rubbing and rinsing them before placing them into fresh solution.

Avoid simply topping up the solution that’s already in your contact case. Every time you put your contacts in, empty the case and rinse it with fresh solution. Leave it to dry upside down on a clean cloth or paper towel, refilling it each time you remove your lenses.

Your contact case should be replaced every three months.

Proper cleaning of your lenses will ensure that no bacteria forms on the lenses or case and will prevent any issues with your eyes.

4. Keep Your Contact Lenses Hydrated

To keep your contact lenses comfortable, you have to keep them moist. When they are not hydrated, contacts can irritate and scratch your eyes.

Contact lenses can dry out, especially when you wear them for long periods of time or stare at a screen such as a TV or a computer.

Keep contact solution and eye drops on hand to keep them hydrated. If they feel especially dry, remove them and rewet them before putting them back in.

5. Don’t Overwear Your Contact Lenses

It’s important to follow the instructions that come with the specific brand of contact lenses you are using. If they are only to be worn for 30 days, replace them after 30 days, etc.

Replacing your lenses according to schedule will ensure that they don’t negatively impact the health of your eyes.

Follow your optometrist’s advice as well. They will let you know how long you should wear the lenses and how often they need to be replaced. And, unless you use a brand specifically designed for overnight wear, don’t sleep with your contacts in.

6. Do a Self-Check

As a first-time contact lens wearer, you should always do a self-check once a day after you insert both lenses. Take a moment to see how the contacts feel and if there is any discomfort while wearing them.

Also, take a look at your eyes to see if the contacts are sitting properly or causing redness. Pay attention to your vision as well – if you’re not seeing better with the contacts in, they may be the wrong prescription or something may be out of place.

If you run into any issues while performing your self-checks, talk to an optometrist right away.

7. Address Any Issues

Speaking of issues, here are some common ones you should address immediately:

  • Irritation or dryness: If you are experiencing irritation and dryness, even when you hydrate your lenses regularly, your contacts may not be fitting properly or there could be a problem with your eyes.
  • Your contacts are visible: You should only be able to see your contacts if you look closely in the mirror. If they are obviously visible, they may not be inserted correctly. Take them out and reinsert them.
  • Blurry vision: If your vision is still blurry while you’re wearing your contact, remove them, rinse them, and try again. If that doesn’t help, visit your optometrist.

8. Listen to Your Optometrist

Because wearing contact lenses involves having a piece of plastic inserted directly onto your eyeball, it’s important to only use products recommended by your eye doctor.

You should never substitute lens care products without speaking with your optometrist. The solution and product were specifically chosen for your eyes so don’t be tempted to purchase cheaper off-brands unless you talk to your optometrist first.

If you’re ready to give contact lenses a try or have questions about the contacts you are currently wearing, feel free to book an appointment with The Eye Clinic today!

Dr. Harpal Grewal

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