Caring for your contact lenses


Read on for our guide on how to make the most out of your contact lenses by looking after them properly
Contact lenses offer users vision-correcting benefits without the drawbacks glasses can sometimes present. If you’ve ever had your glasses steam up when you’ve come in from the cold, knocked out of place when being playing sport or had to keep switching between prescription glasses and sunglasses on holiday then you’ll know what we’re talking about. It’s a fact of bespectacled life – sometimes glasses can be a pain.
The advantages of contact lenses certainly haven’t gone un-noticed by Brits and there are more than 3.7 million contact lens users in the UK all enjoying ever-improving products. If you’re a contact lens wearer, or are thinking about starting to use them, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you make sure you get the most out of them.
The Basics
There are different types of contact lens out there but whatever you go for there are a few tips that you should keep in mind when you’re looking after them:
  • Check your guidelines: The most important part of taking care of your contact lenses comes from understanding the type of lenses you’ve got. Your optician will give you information on your particular type of lens, including any special requirements they have. Make sure you understand what will be required of you in looking after them.
  • Keep your hands clean: Before you handle your contact lenses for any reason, wash your hands and ensure that they are dry before you touch your lenses. To lift and hold your lenses use the tip of the index finger on the hand that you write with to ensure you have complete control over them.
  • Clean lenses: Make sure that your contact lenses are clean and dirt free before you put them in. This may seem pretty obvious but if you have had a lens fall out and are too quick to put it back in you may face irritation further down the road.
  • Keep your lenses to yourself: Never let anyone else wear your lenses, and likewise don’t wear anyone else’s. Infection and particles can be spread from eye to eye as a result of sharing.
  • Remember your check-ups: Keep in regular contact with your optician. Should anything happen to your eyes or lenses, get in touch with your optician and let them know. And remember to go for a regular eye test to ensure that your prescription is up-to-date.
The different types of contact lens
As I mentioned before, there are few different types of contact lens and each has its own individual care requirements. Here’s the lowdown on the four main varieties:
Daily disposable soft lenses
These lenses offer a simple and convenient way of correcting your vision. As their name suggests daily lenses are worn for a day then thrown away offering a trouble free option for users. However, this does come at a cost and daily lenses can be more expensive than other options.
  • Maintenance level: Very low
  • Care considerations: These are a hassle free option requiring almost no upkeep at all. You pop them in, take them out and bin them – it doesn’t get simpler than that.
Re-usable soft lenses
These lenses have longer lifespans but must be taken out each night and cleaned in a suitable solution. They are a more cost effective form of contact lens and the most popular in the UK. Contact lenses of this type come in different materials and typically have a life span of two-weeks or a month.
  • Maintenance level: Medium
  • Care considerations: It doesn’t take long to get into a nightly routine so looking after these lenses is simple when you know how. The key is to ensure that you have all the appropriate solutions. And remember how long the term is for your lenses and have replacements for when they expire.
Extended/Continuous use soft lenses
You can wear these lenses for up to a month without having to take them out which makes this style of lens ideal for people who have a flexible schedule. You can also sleep in this type of lens – meaning they are very convenient for people constantly on the go. However, this will slightly increase the chances of getting an eye infection.
  • Maintenance level: Zero
  • Care considerations: Depending on the characteristics of your eye, you might have very little to do when wearing these lenses. Just make sure that if you do feel any problems, you take out the lenses and get in touch with your optician.
Gas permeable lenses
With a reputation amongst many as being a healthier option than soft lenses, this hard material option are better at correcting irregularly shaped eyes and are very durable. Gas permeable lenses typically go either six or twelve months before they need replacing.
  • Maintenance level: Medium
  • Care considerations: Like re-usable lenses, this variety requires daily cleaning and storage so it’s important to get into a good routine. They will need different solutions to soft lenses though so ensure you have the right option before you give them a clean.
Have you got any useful contact lens care tips to share?

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