30 March 2012
According to the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers, in 2009 there were over 3.3 million contact lenses wearers in the UK. A flexible and easy alternative to glasses, contact lenses have increased in popularity, thanks to some great advancement. New materials offer increased wearing times and improved comfort, and it is now possible to correct most prescriptions with contact lenses as multifocal and contact lenses for astigmatism being available.
However, whilst contacts are easy to use and offer freedom from glasses, there are still some important do’s and don’ts that all wearers need to know. We’ve listed our top ten tips to safe contact lens wear below:
1. Regular checkups – You should ensure that you have regular eye examinations and contact lens check-ups to ensure that your eyes are healthy and that you have the right prescription and lenses. Your Optometrist will advise you when you need an examination or contact lens check. Routine eye examinations are usually every 2 years and routine contact lens checks every 6-12 months.
2. Do not wear contact lenses if they don't feel right - Always think about how your lenses feel. If they feel uncomfortable or "not right" take them out and if your eye still feels uncomfortable when you have removed your lenses you should seek advice immediately from your Optician. Never wear lenses that are causing discomfort, irritation, or blurred vision as this may signify an eye infection or some other defect with the lens.
3. Do not use out of date lenses or solutions - Contact lenses and contact lens solutions have expiry dates for a reason. Do not use them if they are out of date. When contact lenses are out of date, the solution that the contact lenses are stored in will have lost some of its potency, meaning that bacteria could have started forming on the lenses. Out of date cleaning solutions may not work as well as they should.
4. Keep some spare glasses to hand – Even if you wear your lenses most of the time, it is a good idea to have a pair of up to date glasses. There may be times when you cannot wear your contact lenses, for example if you are unwell or if you have an eye infection. Glasses are also useful if you unexpectedly run out of contact lenses.
5. Always have adequate supplies – Whilst you might have some spare glasses, it is always a good idea to have a supply of lenses so you don’t run out. Buying contact lenses online at Tescoopticians.com can help as you’ll receive a reminder when it’s time to re-order.
6. Don’t reuse daily contact lenses - Again for hygiene purposes only use the contact lenses for the specified amount of time on the packet.
7. Put your lenses in before applying make-up – One for the ladies! Make sure you put your contact lenses in first, to stop any bacteria from your make-up being transferred to your eyes during application (and always wash your brushes!)
8. Only use your contact lenses – your optician will have prescribed contact lenses specifically for you. Even if someone wears a similar prescription or the same brand, never use lenses that have not been prescribed for you.
9. Take care not to contaminate your lenses - When showering and washing your face be careful not to contaminate your lenses with tap water or soap. You can either close your eyes or remove your lenses.
10. Be cautious about swimming while wearing your contact lenses – Again, to avoid getting water in your eyes you need to remove contacts before swimming. Alternatively wear daily disposable lenses and well fitting goggles to keep your contacts in and your eyes dry.
Following these top ten tips will make sure you keep enjoying the flexibility of contact lenses. Your eyes are incredibly important and you only get one pair – so look after them! If you are in any doubt about your current contact lenses or want to re-try them call us on 0845 6013479 and book a contact lens assessment today.
Also see NHS Choices and The British Association of Contact Lenses for more information.