Congratulations on your first pair of contacts! Whether you’re changing from glasses or going straight to contacts, this is a fabulous opportunity that will help you see and interact with the world differently.
It’s important to remember that, as exciting as they are, contact lenses are also a medical device that requires proper care and handling. Here are a few tips to set first time contact wearers up for success!
Tip 1: Don’t Buy Your Contacts Online
You’ve gone to your eye doctor, had your comprehensive eye exam, received your prescription, and been fitted with the contacts that are right for you. Now what?
While it may be cheaper and more convenient to buy contact lenses online than buying them from your eye doctor, the benefits don't necessarily outweigh the risks. Some very real risks include:
Unregulated: There is no way to verify if an overseas contact company is producing quality contact lenses since they aren’t subject to FDA regulations.
Poor Fit: If the online store does not require a prescription, you could be purchasing incorrect corrective lenses or the wrong lens size.
Mislabeled Products: Sometimes you may think you are ordering one thing, but get something else entirely. For example, you ordered a lens made out of a particular material but receive a product made out of something else entirely.
The biggest take away for new contact wearers is to know that the online world is mostly unregulated. Unless you are ordering contact lenses from a professional eye doctor, you just can’t guarantee what you’ll be getting. This poses some very real risks to your eyes health.
Tip 2: Correct Care and Handling
Wearing contact lenses requires proper hygiene and care. New contact lens wearers may not know how to properly care for their new eyewear, which can lead to a higher risk of developing serious eye infections.
Some tips for proper care of contacts include:
Wash your hands before putting in and removing your contacts
Use a cleaning solution for your contact case and lenses (NOT water)
Remove your contacts before sleeping and contact with water (showering, swimming, etc.)
Follow the schedule set by your optometrist for wearing and replacing contact lenses
Don’t forget that dirt and other harmful particles can get stuck in your contact lenses. If you work in an environment that contains potential eye hazards like flying debris, smoke, dirt, or sawdust, make sure you talk to your eye doctor about protective glasses!
Tip 3: Applying Your Contact Lenses
At your content lens fitting, your doctor will walk you through applying your contacts for the first time. However, should you need a refresher the steps, they include:
Slide the lens out of its case and into the palm of your hand. Gently clean with contact lens solution.
Place the contact lens on the tip of your DRY index or middle finger.
With the fingers and thumb of your other hand, simultaneously pull up on your upper eyelid and down on your lower eyelid.
Position the lens on your eye while looking upward or forward (whichever is easiest).
Gently close your eye, toll the eye in a complete circle to help the lens settle, and finally blink.
Look closely in the mirror to make sure the lens is centered on your eye. The lens should be comfortable and your vision should be clear.
If you are standing in front of a sink, use a clean paper towel to cover the drain where the contact lens might accidentally fall.
Tip 4: Enjoy Your Clearest Vision!
Learning how to do anything new takes time. It may take about a week until you adapt to and feel truly confident with your new contact lenses.
If you find yourself struggling with this new eyewear, give Eden Prairie Eye Care a call! Contact our offices today at (952) 944-2792 or schedule your appointment online. We’ll make sure that the contacts you wear are the proper lens for you!