Contact Lens Safety Tips

Here is a list of safety tips from the American Optometric Association:

  • Visit a reputable eye care professional for a complete eye exam every 12 months or more often if directed by your eye care professional.

  • Use only contact lenses approved by the FDA and prescribed by a licensed eye care practitioner.

  • Never swap contact lenses with another person.

  • Don't wear lenses longer than prescribed. Also, don’t wear them when sleeping unless otherwise directed.

  • If eyes become red or irritated, remove the lenses immediately and talk to your healthcare provider. Don't reuse the lens or ignore the irritation.

  • Replace contacts regularly because they wear out over time. Throw away disposable lenses after the recommended wearing period.

  • Put on soft contact lenses before applying make-up.

  • Put on rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses after applying makeup.

  • Avoid lash-extending mascara. Its fibers can irritate the eyes. Replace mascara at least every 3 months.

  • Remove lenses before removing makeup. 

Cleaning tips

Here are cleaning tips:

  • Remember to CRD—Cleanse, Rinse, and Disinfect. Do this to your lenses after removal and before wearing them again. Enzyme and cleaning solutions cannot substitute for disinfecting. There are also multipurpose products that can perform many of these functions if used as directed.

  • Wash and rinse your hands before handling your lenses. Use a nonperfumed hand soap.

  • Do not use saliva to clean your lenses.

  • Never use nonsterile homemade saline, distilled water, or tap water for any part of your lens care routine.

  • Know your solution. Solutions cannot always be mixed. Use products recommended by your healthcare provider. Not all solutions can be used for all contact lenses.

  • Solutions can become infected through contact with lenses. Do not let the bottle tip touch any surface, including your contact lenses.

  • Clean, rinse, and air-dry your lens case each time lenses are removed. Contact lens cases can be a place where bacteria grow. Replace cases every 6 months or with each new bottle of solution.

Online Medical Reviewer: Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RNHaupert, Christopher L., MD

Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2017

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