The following tips can help you keep your contacts clean and
safe, which will help keep your eyes healthy and your vision as clear as
Carefully follow the cleaning instructions for your lenses.
Keep your lenses and all supplies very clean. Always wash and rinse your hands
thoroughly before inserting or removing lenses. Do not apply hand lotion before
handling your contacts.
lens care system your eye specialist recommends. Do not mix products, because
they may not be compatible. Never use homemade saline solutions. (They can be
easily contaminated with bacteria.) Do not reuse solution.
Never wet your lenses with
saliva or place lenses in your mouth. The bacteria that are naturally present
in your mouth may cause an eye infection.
Always rinse the lens
storage case and let it air-dry to avoid contamination. Never use tap water or distilled water to
rinse or store your lenses.
Get routine eye exams to check the condition of your lenses
and the health of your eyes.
Contact lenses, especially soft
lenses, may absorb eyedrops, which can cause problems. Take your contacts out before you put eye medicine in your eye. You can put your contacts back in 15 minutes after using the eyedrops.
Insert your lenses before applying makeup. Take care not to get
makeup on the lenses. Replace eye makeup (especially mascara) every 3 to 6
months to reduce the risk of contamination. Do not apply makeup to the inner
rim of the eyelid.
Decorative color lenses can cause eye
problems, such as damage to the cornea or eye infections, just as easily as
contact lenses worn for vision correction. To avoid eye problems, be sure to follow the directions for cleaning and wearing these
Do not wear contact lenses when you swim.
To avoid eye problems, be sure to follow the directions for cleaning and wearing
contact lenses. Contact lens wearers have an increased
risk for serious eye infections and injury to the
cornea. Contact lenses can cause eye problems, such as
damage to the cornea or eye infections. Small objects that get into the eye may
become trapped under a lens and scratch the cornea. Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) or other minor eye infections are
likely to irritate your eyes and make wearing contacts uncomfortable and
Symptoms of possible problems with contacts
include redness, pain or burning in the eye, drainage, blurred vision, or
sensitivity to light (photophobia).
If you are having problems, remove your lenses and disinfect them. If you have symptoms
longer than 2 to 3 hours after removing and cleaning your contacts,
call your eye doctor.
Other Places To Get Help
American Optometric Association
243 North Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63141
The American Optometric Association (AOA), which is a
national organization of optometrists, can provide information on eye health
and eye problems.
P.O. Box 429098
San Francisco, CA 94142-9098
EyeCare America is a public service program of the
Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This site aims to raise awareness about
eye diseases and eye care. It has information about eye conditions, treatments, and general eye health. You can check to see if you qualify for a free eye exam.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Contact Lenses
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.