Here’s 4 Contact Lens Tips for Success:
1. Replace your contact lens storage case more often than you think
If you are wearing a daily replacement contact lens, then this contact lens tip doesn’t apply to you. But, if you are wearing a 2 week or monthly replacement lens, please replace your storage case often! Cleaning contact lenses with a doctor-recommended cleaning solution and replacing contact lenses on time are vitally important. But, one of the most often overlooked aspects of contact lens habits is the storage case. Studies show the average contact lens storage case is plagued by bacteria and other organisms you really don’t want in your eye. And, if those organisms are in your case they will end up in your eye. That could cause a nasty eye infection. And, depending on infection, it could potentially result in permanent vision loss if there is scarring. Want to be ultra successful in contact lenses (read: out of my office)? Try to add monthly lens storage case replacement to the very good habits of lens cleaning and discarding. You can typically buy a dozen or so of these sterile cases from the store for a few dollars. That’s a really great investment. It’s one of the more important contact lens tips.
2. You need to cry more (or use more moisture drops) when using digital devices
Since most people reading this may not want to practice crying every time they work on computers, tablets, or smartphones, the next best thing is to use a good moisture replenishing eye drop. Here’s why: blink rate. Subconsciously, we all have a blink rate of about 10-12 times a minute. We don’t even know we do it (until a random blogger points it out) because it doesn’t interfere with our vision and it’s necessary to keep moisture flowing across the surface of the eyes. However, when we read or use digital devices, our blink rate gets cut in half. That means there is half as much moisture being moved across the eye. Then, the eyes dry out. A lot of times that can cause discomfort, burning, itching, etc. But, it can also cause fluctuations in vision. A steady film of tears is needed across the surface of the eye for best vision. When that tear film becomes unstable—like when we blink less during reading–focus fluctuates. I recommend a good “rewetting” drop like ‘Blink for Contacts.’ You can use this drop with your contact lenses in your eye. It’s especially helpful when using digital devices for longer periods of time.
3. Don’t fall for clever marketing and repackaging of old lens technology
I’m all for disruptive technology. But, there’s a difference between disruptive technology and disruptive marketing via repackaging of out-of-date technology. This irks me tremendously. There is currently a contact lens company that spends millions in social media advertising for its service whereby contact lens are shipped to you for a monthly subscription fee. It sounds revolutionary. Finally, disruption has come to the field of eye care! One problem. The particular lenses being sold are made in Taiwan from a technology that was first brought to market 20+ years ago. It’s so old and behind modern lens technology, the major US company that sold it 20 years ago has since discontinued its own production in favor of healthier, more-breathable contact lens materials. Think about this. 25 years ago we had televisions that were 2 feet deep and weighed 400 pounds. That same t.v. today is 2 inches deep and weighs a fraction of its predecessors. 25 years ago, people still used phones that was connected by a cord to a wall. The internet was barely even around then. The difference with this analogy is that you can still use a 25 year old television. It won’t be as fun, but it’s not less healthy than a 4k HDTV (I think). But, using a contact lens materials that is 20+ years old is significantly less healthier than modern contact lenses and your eyes are too important to take the chance.
4. Use doctor-recommended solutions and not tap water or saliva to clean lenses
Yes, people use tap water and/or saliva to clean their contact lenses. You know who you are! Thankfully, the spit-on-your-contact-lens-to-clean-it fad seems to be a little less popular than 10 years ago. Your mouth is a dirty place and should stay a safe distance from your eyes. So should tap water! No matter where you live tap water is not sterile. It’s going to have organisms that could threaten eye health. Contact lens cleaning solution is the only way lenses should be rinsed. And, while there are many brands and types available, not all cleaning solutions are created equally. Even more, what’s best for one patient may not be the best for another patient. Many eye doctors will recommend a solution specific to a patient. If not, be sure to ask your doctor. Most eye doctors–myself included—do not recommend generic or store-brand solution. Investing in a doctor-recommended contact lens solution is a great way to ensure success in contact lenses by preventing eye infections and increasing comfort.
Honorable Mention Contact Lens Tips
Inspect contact lenses prior to use. Discard a lens that is torn, chipped, or cracked. If something is on the lens and not coming off, throw it away.
Make sure your contact lenses are not inside out
Replace your contact lenses on time! Dailies, 2-week, and monthly lenses are called that for a reason 🙂
Call your eye doctor immediately if you feel any symptoms as a contact lens wearer. Contacts are regulated medical devices because they come with health risks.
Give your eyes a break from contacts by wearing glasses sometimes
Be honest with your eye doctor about your wearing habits. There may be other lens options that better suit your habits (excluding bad habits, of course).
I hope you’ve found these contact lens tips helpful. As always, I’d love to hear your feedback or questions. Please feel free to reach out via the “contact” page.