Contact Lens Care
Contact Lens Care
Safety tips and lens care
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 possible.
- 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.
- Use the 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 examinations 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 colour 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 lenses.
- 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 unsafe.
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.
How to remove a contact lens that is stuck
Wash your hands before you try to take out a lens. Try using sterile saline or contact lens eyedrops to help float the lens back over the cornea. If the lens is still stuck, you can try one or more of the following:
- Look in a mirror to see if you can find an edge of the lens. If you can see the edge, use a finger to slide it back over the cornea.
- If you can't see the lens and you think it is under the eyelid, relax your upper eyelid. Try to feel the lens through the eyelid and move it back over the cornea.
- Look downward as far as possible to see if the lens moves out from under the eyelid back over the cornea.
- Gently massage your eyelid. Start at the top of the eye and massage downward to see if you can move the lens down.
- Try to lift the upper eyelid to see if you can see the lens and take it out.
If you can't remove a contact lens, call an eye professional for an appointment.
Other Places To Get Help
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
Current as of: August 21, 2015
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
Want More Information?
HealthLink BC, your provincial health line, is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year.
Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. or for deaf and hearing-impaired, call 7-1-1.
You can speak with a health service representative, who can also connect you with a:
- registered nurse any time, every day of the year;
- registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday;
- pharmacist from 5pm to 9am, every day of the year.
Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.