Congratulations on getting your first set of contact lenses! Or, deciding to wear them from now on! You are now an elite member of the contact lens club that includes celebrities, sports stars, world leaders, and online influencers who do not seem to have any eye problems as they age. In reality, however, they do need spectacles, but they replace the necessary eyewear with contact lenses, as you are about to do.
But as a beginner, wearing your contact lenses for the first few times may seem daunting. And then there are a bunch of rules regarding using contacts and caring for them. Fortunately, wearing and caring for a contact lens is like learning any new skill. With time, you will get used to it, and you can put on and take out a contact lens as a reflex.
Here is a comprehensive guide about using contact lenses to get you started. Learn everything you need to know in this post and begin your spectacle-free life.
Types of contact lenses available
There is a contact lens for everyone in the market now. And the top opticians of Africa sell all the available options from where you can pick. Contact lenses come in two types - hard and soft. Unless necessary, eye doctors generally prescribe soft contact lenses that are usually thinner and more comfortable than the hard ones. People with astigmatism or chemical allergies preferably use hard contact lenses. Otherwise, there is a high chance that the set you got prescribed is a soft contact lens.
Soft contact lenses further subdivide themselves and come in the following types.
- Daily use contact lens meant for single-use. You need to dispose of these every day or once you have taken them out.
- Extended-use contact lenses are meant for 1,2 or 4 weeks of use. You can keep on reusing them until the prescribed span is over.
- Coloured contact lenses can be used daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly. That is how you can transform your eyes to green or blue if that is not your natural eye colour.
- People with mild astigmatism (whose eyeballs are not perfectly round) use Toric contact lenses.
Depending on your lifestyle, budget, preference, and underlying eye conditions, you can get a particular type of soft contact lens for yourself. Often, your eye doctor will guide you on the type of contact lens you will need.
How to wear a contact lens?
First up, your trainer’s guide on how to wear contact lenses. Follow these steps in order and you will have your lens on in no time.
- Take the contact lens set out of the box and place them on an even surface. Make sure that you are standing in front of a mirror at a fair distance.
- Wash your hands properly with soap before touching the contact lenses inside. You will not want to transfer any dirt or germs from your hand to the lenses, which will soon touch your eyes.
- Some optometrists recommend that you wash your eyes with soap water to enable proper contact with the lens. Use fragrance-free soaps devoid of extra oils to wash your eye.
- Wipe your palms dry with a dry cloth. Start with either your right or left eye and keep to this pattern hereon to avoid confusion.
- Take out the contact lens for the appropriate eye. Make sure that you do not confuse the right and left eyes because your two eyes may have different powers.
- Place the lens in the middle of the palm of your non-dominant hand. Pour some contact solution on the lens to moisten the exposed surfaces.
- Pick up the lens with your dominant hand's index or middle finger. Ensure that the contact lens forms a bowl on your fingertip, with its exterior edges facing outwards. If it develops a dome with the external borders sitting on your fingertips, flip the lens.
- With the contact lens resting on your fingertips, use the ring finger of your dominant hand to pull down the lower eyelid of your eye. Use the middle or index finger of your other hand to pull up the upper eyelid of your eye.
- Once your eyes are wide open, slowly move your finger with the lens perpendicularly to your eye surface. The lens will attach itself as soon as it touches the surface. Keep looking straight ahead towards your eye in the mirror’s reflection.
- Slowly close your eyes. Roll it around in full circles a few times, open your eyes, and blink. If you have placed your contact lens correctly, you should feel comfortable and see clearly through this eye. If you feel any irritation or discomfort, take the lens off and start over from step number 5.
- Once you complete one eye, move over to the next, and repeat the above-listed process.
How to remove your contact lens?
Removing contact lenses is more effortless than wearing them. Here are the steps:
- Again, start by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Ensuring your hands are germ-free is the primary safety tip of using a contact lens.
- If you use an extended-use contact lens, keep the storage case ready before washing your hands. Make sure it has enough contact solution where the contact lens can stay submerged.
- Stand in front of the mirror again and pull your upper and lower eyelids down with the same fingers you used while wearing the contact lens. You will want the eye to be fairly open as you bring your dominant hand's middle or index finger closer to touch the lens.
- Once you touch the contact lens with your fingertip, gently slide the lens off from the eye’s lens to the white part.
- Bring the thumb of your dominant hand into play. Using the thumb and the finger that is touching the lens already, gently pinch the lens and pull it off. The contact lens should come out quickly.
Repeat steps 3 to 5 for the other eye, and you will have removed both your contact lenses without any hassle.
Caring for your contact lenses
Contact lens care is not rocket science, as you might believe now. You only have to follow a few tips and tricks, and your lenses will stay safe throughout their lifespan without causing you any irritation or eye infection. While using any contact lenses, remember the following pointers.
- Read the instructions on the contact lens box carefully. That should be your go-to guide of contact lens care. Maintain every do and don’t mention, and your lenses should stay fine.
- If you are using extended-use lenses, make sure that you keep the lens submerged in contact solution inside the storage box. Without the solution, the lens will become unusable in a matter of hours. Also, please avoid using the same solution for a month and change it every seven days.
- Clean the storage box with warm soapy water as you change the contact solution inside. Then, wipe it dry before filling it again with the contact solution.
- Never use your saliva to moisten your contact lenses. Instead, only use appropriate contact solutions bought from a reputed optician. Our saliva contains a host of germs that the eye cannot fight off, and an eye infection is inevitable if the contact lenses come in contact with saliva.
- Do not store a contact lens or soak it in tap water. Again, the germs from tap water might come in contact and infect your eye.
Helpful tips for using a contact lens
Beyond contact lens care, you will need to remember a few other points while using contacts. These are precautionary measures that enable you to make the best use of your lenses.
- While using daily contact lenses, be sure to dispose of the pair you are currently using as soon as you take them off. For example, if you take the lens off in the middle of the day, use a fresh pair the next time you need contacts. Do not reuse daily lenses even if you used the pair for just an hour.
- Try to keep your fingernails short to avoid receiving a scratch on your eye surface. And do not place the contact lens on your fingernail while placing it on your eye. Always use your fingertips.
- Yes, you must not sleep or swim if you wear contact lenses. Neither can you use contacts when you are ill or already have an eye infection? Talk to your eye doctor to get better recommendations.
Contact an optometrist immediately if you experience any discomfort while wearing contact lenses. It would help if you ignored a mild itch or redness in the eyes that might be happening because of the contacts.
And you are ready to use a contact lens
That’s it! You do not need to know anything about wearing and using contact lenses. Get your set from your nearest Optica branch and get assured quality, and start using contacts like a pro.
Millions of people are using contact lenses today without any side effects or repercussions. It is time you improve your look with a contact lens and simultaneously take care of your eye health. In your nearest Optica branch, you will get a wide variety of quality contact lenses from the top brands and we assure you of prompt delivery. You can also visit our website and order your set of contact lenses online.