5 Tips for New Contact Lens Wearers

5 Tips for New Contact Lens Wearers

Congrats! You’ve joined the roughly 45 million people in the US who wear contact lenses. Although contacts are commonplace, according to the CDC, around 40%-90% of contact wearers don’t properly care for their lenses. As a new contact wearer, however, you have a chance to start off on the right foot.

Dr. West and his team at West Vision provide full-service optical care and know how important the right contact lenses – and the right care – are to the health of your eyes. If you follow just 5 easy tips, you’ll be set up for a lifetime of healthy contact use.

1. Keep it clean

Cleanliness goes a long way when it comes to keeping your eyes happy and healthy in contacts. Always wash your hands before both putting in and taking out your lenses. You can potentially add bacteria to your eye during either process, and you’ll also be touching your eyelids and eyelashes. Make sure everything is clean.

Always use contact solution unless it is totally unavailable. While tap water may seem like a worthy replacement, it may contain bacteria that are harmful for your eyes. The same is true of wetting your contacts with your tongue. The bacteria that are right for your mouth could well cause problems if they get into your eyes.

2. Use your supplies as scheduled

When it comes to equipment, use supplies as directed. Contact lens solution is only meant for one use, so dump out your case every morning after you put in your contacts. Solution bottles are designed to keep out bacteria, so don’t be tempted to top off one bottle with another. Adding more solution is instead likely to add unwanted contaminants.

Contacts, whether you use dailies or long-term, should only be used for their specific periods. Contacts begin to break down and may harm your eyes if not replaced at the proper time.

Finally, your contact case needs regular replacement too. The American Optometric Association recommends replacing your replacing your case every three months, even if it looks clean.  

3. Find the right placement and removal techniques

With so many different people using contacts, there are bound to be many techniques for placing and removing your contacts. Some people prefer to use their thumb and pointer fingers while pulling down their lower eyelid; others get both hands involved to get their eye really open.

Your optometrist or optometric assistant should show you a couple of popular ways to insert and remove your contacts, but don’t be afraid to try your own way. As long as it’s clean and comfortable, do what works for you.

4. Take your time

Eventually, putting in your contacts will be a natural part of your routine. For the first few weeks, though, plan on adding about five minutes extra time into your morning. Contacts can be complicated to put in at first, and like many tasks, it only gets harder the more rushed you become. Stay calm and remember that practice makes perfect – the more you do it, the easier it will become.

5. Talk to your optometrist

Contacts are not one-size-fits-all. If it’s been weeks and your lenses are still uncomfortable or you’re having difficult getting them in or out, make sure to tell your optometrist. The same goes if your lenses make your eyes feel exceptionally dry or worryingly bloodshot. Astigmatisms get all of the press, but there are many other factors that make your eyes unique. There is bound to be a type of contacts that work well for you.

As always, it’s important to make your yearly trip to the optometrist. This is not only a chance to evaluate your eye health and your prescription, but also to have a face-to-face conversation about any of your concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to vent frustration. Your eye health is very important to us, and we value your feedback.

Are you ready to start life with contacts or want to change to something different? At West Vision Care, Dr. West and the rest of our team are ready and happy to help. Whether you’ve been a glasses wearer for decades or you’ve just realized your eyes could use a little help, we can work with you to find the contacts and prescription that works for you. Give us a call at 903-243-9978 or make an appointment online today!

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