Contact lenses can open up a whole new world for those who are used to struggling with their vision or even those used to wearing glasses all the time. While glasses do wonders to improve vision, there are certain scenarios when they aren’t ideal. For example: while playing sports, running, swimming, walking in the rain, or on days when you’d rather wear sunglasses, it is just more convenient to be able to skip the glasses and put in a pair of contact lenses.
Contact lenses require proper care in order to function correctly and to ensure the safety of your eyes. When you receive your contact lens prescription from your eye doctor, they will give you a lesson on putting in your contacts. Learning how to put in a contact lens the right way is crucial to using contacts safely.
How to put in a contact lens
Inserting contact lenses correctly is essential for both comfort and safety. Acuvue has a wonderful tutorial with accompanying video and PDF that we recommend checking out, in addition to the steps below:
- Always prepare for inserting your contacts by washing your hands and setting up your materials in an area with good lighting.
- If you are inserting a new lens right out of the packaging, you can begin by opening the packaging. If you are inserting a lens that you have used previously, rinse it thoroughly with contact lens solution, and look closely to check for any rips, tears, or debris on the lens.
- Start with the lens on your index finger, and check to ensure it is oriented correctly, and not inside out. To do this, raise the lens to eye level and inspect the rim. If the lens is in the shape of a proper “U”, it is good to go. If the edges curve downward, and the rim appears to have a lip around it, the lens is inside out and needs to be reversed before it is inserted into the eye.
- Use your free hand to lift your eyelid, and raise the lens (still on the tip of your index finger) to your eye. Use your middle, ring, and pinky fingers on the hand holding the lens to gently pull downward on your lower eyelid, giving you a wide-open eye to insert the lens.
- Look upwards and place the lens gently into the lower portion of your eye.
- Release your eyelids and blink several times to allow the contact to center itself.
Caring for your contacts
Your two most important tools in caring for your contact lenses and ensuring that your eyes will remain healthy are your contact lens solution and your contact lens case. According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the following guidelines allow for the safest contact lens experience.
- After putting your contacts in, rinse the contact lens case with fresh contact lens solution and leave it open to air dry.
- Replace your contact lens case at least every three months.
- Never reuse contact lens solution.
Always follow your eye care professional’s instructions when it comes to contact lens use and care. If you develop irritation, redness, blurry vision, discharge, or swelling of the eye while wearing contact lenses, remove the lenses and consult your eye care professional immediately.