Look, we’re not asking you to take your contacts on hot dates or long walks on the beach or anything, but caring for your contacts is pretty freaking important if you want to avoid red, watery eyes or something gross like AnacondaKerawhatever Acanthamoeba Keratitis, an eye infection that you shouldn’t google unless you want to throw up all over your keyboard (good times). Oh, you’ve been wearing contact lenses for years? That doesn’t mean you’re any better at this, Janet. Eye doctors are always seeing patients who can’t seem to remember how to properly care for contact lenses or were never taught the right techniques to begin with.
First things first: always wash your hands. Seriously, you should have learned this in elementary school, but some of y’all are just nasty (sorry, not sorry). Washing your hands not only keeps you from getting sick, it’s also a CRUCIAL step when inserting or removing your contact lenses or even just touching your eyes. Take a moment and think about where your hands have been over the course of one day: the bathroom you just destroyed, the sticky handle bar on the grocery cart, your cell phone which apparently has more germs than a public toilet seat (10X more, to be exact), and God KNOWS WHERE ELSE. Do you really want all that mess up in your eyeballs? NOPE. Also, be sure to avoid hand sanitizer unless you want your eyes to burn hotter than a bag of Takis Fuego. When it comes to disinfecting your dirty hands, nothing beats soap, warm water and a lint-free towel.
Before taking out your contacts, be sure to have a CLEAN contact lens case on hand (a freshly torn piece of Bounty doesn’t count) as well as a fresh multi-purpose solution. There are a lot of good formulas out there, so feel free to use whatever solution your doctor recommends or one that works for you (just don’t use your spit, ew). Once your contact has been removed, make sure it is completely covered in liquid so it doesn’t dehydrate overnight and put that crap away immediately. Remember, the solution in your contacts case is like a bathtub for your contacts, so don’t be all gross and keep reusing the same filthy liquid every day! Always dump the old solution in the morning and use fresh solution at night.
For those of you who can just throw your lenses out (1-day lenses), don’t think you’re completely off the hook when it comes to caring for your contacts. Although you get to ditch your contacts after a day, remember to wrap them in a tissue paper and put them in the trash receptacle. ALWAYS avoid putting them down the drain or flushing them down the toilet. Trust me, the environment will thank you.
We’ve already discussed how to safely remove your contacts, but now let’s talk about putting them back in. Wash your hands with soap and water, take the lenses out of your case and place them in the palm of your hand with a few drops of solution. The next step? Gently rub the lens against your hand, rinse off with solution from the bottle, and insert those bad boys into your eye. Some multi-purpose solutions say “no rub necessary,” but those solutions sit on the throne of lies are asking you to skip a pretty important step that could be prevent an eye infection. Once your lenses are in, dump out the remaining solution in your case, let it air dry for a few minutes, and close both lids to avoid contamination (don’t forget to recap your solution as well to avoid disgusting germs). Need a masterclass? Check out this training video.
Do you still have contact-related questions? Start adulting and schedule an appointment today! Wondering if your kids can wear contacts? Check out this parental guide! Are you dead set on purchasing some werewolf eyes for Halloween? Knock yourself out, but be safe about it
The AOA is reminding the public about the importance of healthy contact lens wear and care. Consider adopting these healthy habits to ensure your eyes are healthy and lessen your chances of getting an eye infection.
The CDC has created this fun info graphic relating your dirty underwear to your even dirtier contacts! Take notice people!