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The Dos and Don'ts of Wearing Contacts

I just started wearing contacts. Can you give me some advice on the proper ways to use and care for them?

First and foremost, make sure you get your eye examination, contacts, and fitting from a reputable, credentialed eye doctor. Then follow these simple recommendations from the American Optometric Association (AOA):

  • Listen and watch closely as instructions are given and demonstrated. Practice the lens care routine in your eye doctor's office.

  • Follow lens care and wearing instructions and schedules carefully and exactly.

  • Schedule follow-up visits with your eye doctor both during and after your adaptation period. This is important for maintaining good eye health and safe contact lens wear.

  • Wash hands thoroughly before handling your lenses.

  • Handle contact lenses over a clean towel so that if you drop them, they'll fall onto the towel and stay clean and undamaged.

  • Store your lenses only in the case made for them and keep the case clean.
  • Don't use cream soaps before handling your lenses. They can leave a film on your hands that can transfer to the lenses.

  • Don't put contact lenses in your mouth or moisten them with saliva, which is full of bacteria and a potential source of infection.

  • Don't use homemade saline solutions. Improper use of homemade saline solutions has been linked with a potentially blinding condition.
The AOA also offers these guidelines for identifying when you might have a potential problem with your contacts. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should remove your contacts and consult your eye doctor:
  • Blurred or fuzzy vision, especially if it has come on suddenly

  • Red, irritated eyes

  • Uncomfortable lenses

  • Pain in and around the eyes
Successful contact lens wear depends on you. Follow the advice of your eye doctor, get regular checkups, and be careful with your lenses. If you follow these guidelines, you should enjoy years of safe and clear vision with contact lenses.


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