In order to maintain healthy eyes, there are several precautions you can take with the handling and insertion of your contact lenses.
When handling your contact lenses:
- DO wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial hand soap before inserting or removing your lenses. Avoid soaps containing cold cream, lotion, or oily cosmetics. Rinse your hands completely and dry with a lint-free towel before handling your lenses.
- DO inspect the lens carefully before insertion to ensure that it is clean, moist and free of any nicks or tears.
- DO NOT touch the lens with your finger nails or remove them from their case with tweezers.
- DO NOT use the lens if it is damaged in any way. If the sterile blister package containing the lens is damaged, do not use it.
When wearing your contact lenses:
- DO remove immediately if you experience any discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness of the eye or other problems. Contact an eye care professional immediately and if symptoms persist, replace your contact lenses.
- DO NOT wear your lenses for longer than recommend. Wearing contact lenses for longer than the recommended time can dry both your eye and the lens. If you wear Daily Disposable Lenses, throw them away after one day's use. If you wear longer lasting contacts, make sure you remember the date you first used a fresh pair so you can replace them in due course.
- DO NOT expose your lenses to any water whilst wearing them. This includes tap, bottled, distilled, lake or ocean water. If you plan on swimming, bathing in a hot tub or participating in water sports, remove your lenses first.
Contact with water in these situations may increase the risk of severe eye infection that could lead to vision loss or blindness. If your lenses do come into contact with water, replace them with a fresh pair.
- DO NOT wear someone else's contact lenses. Contacts are a medical device and according to Sheila Hickson-Curran, spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, "all contact lenses, even purely cosmetic ones, should be prescribed and properly fit by a licensed eye care professional".