A Crash Course on Wearing Contact Lenses
After vision tests, many patients choose contact lenses because they are comfortable, give a whole field of vision, and may be less restrictive than wearing glasses. However, taking care of contact lenses is not as straightforward as putting on a pair of glasses.
Dr. Walter Choate diagnoses and corrects vision discrepancies for patients in the greater Nashville, Goodlettsville, and Hendersonville, TN. Below, we explain how to insert, remove, and maintain your contacts.
How to Insert Contacts
Putting in contact lenses with care involves multiple steps but should become a breeze once you practice the routine.
1. Wash your hands with unscented soap and water.
2. Dry your hands with a lint-free towel. Most paper towels work well.
3. It’s common for eyes to have different prescriptions. Label your contact lens case (if it isn’t labeled already) so that you don’t mix up your contact lenses for each eye.
4. With your fingertips, place one contact lens in the palm of the less dominant hand and rinse the lens with contact solution. Avoid using your fingernails. Fingernails can ruin the integrity of contact lenses if they are sharp or contaminated.
5. Place the rinsed lens on the tip of the index finger of your writing hand.
6. Inspect the lens for damage or debris. The edge of the contact should be slightly curved and smooth like a bowl. Jagged contact edges may irritate the eyes.
7. Make sure it’s the right side up. Apply the “taco test” by tenderly squeezing the sides of the contact between two fingers. Look at the shape of the contact lens. If it forms a taco shell shape with the edges pointed straight up, then it’s on the right side. If the contact lens is inside out, you’ll notice that the edges seem to flare outward.
8. Open your eyes wide. To stabilize the eyes, use your non-dominant hand to open the upper eyelid. While holding the contact lens on the tip of your pointer finger on the dominant hand, use the middle finger of your dominant hand to gently pull down on your lower eyelid. This will keep your eye open and make lens placement much easier.
9. Look straight ahead or up while placing the contact lens. Doing this in front of a mirror can help.
10. Close your eyes carefully to allow the lens to situate. Blinking too quickly may cause the contact to pop out.
11. Wait a moment to see if the lens feels comfortable. If the lens is cloudy or feels awkward, take it out and try again.
12. Repeat the above steps with the other eye.
How to Remove Contacts
It’s essential to take out contacts on schedule or if they are irritating your eyes. Taking contacts out at the appropriate times helps maintain eye health and proper vision.
1. Wash your hands with unscented soap and dry them with a lint-free cloth.
2. Hold the eye open with the non-dominant hand.
3. Gently pinch the contact lens with the thumb and index finger.
If you’re having difficulty removing your contacts, try these tips:
- Dry eyes? Moisten your eyes and the contact lens with lubricating eye drops.
- General difficulty? Slide the lens downward and then try pinching it out.
How to Clean and Store Contacts
Clean, disinfect, and store reusable contacts in solution. There are two main options, and we can discuss which one is more ideal for you:
- A multipurpose solution is the most common and works for both hard and soft lenses.
- Hydrogen peroxide-based solution and a neutralizing disk are suitable for patients with allergies or sensitivities to chemicals.
Never store contacts in tap water, liquid tears, or saliva. These liquids do not sanitize the contact lenses and increase the risk of ocular infections.
Are You Interested in Contact Lenses
With practice, taking care of contacts should become second nature. Schedule a consultation for contact lenses at Choate Eye Associates by calling (615) 851-7575. You can also send us a message online.