Wearing Contact Lenses
When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a healthy, comfortable and convenient vision correction option. Whether you are new to contact lenses or have been wearing them for years, the following tips will help you to enjoy the benefits of contact lenses.
New to Contact Lenses
CIBA VISION® offers a variety of contact lenses that provide you with the same visual clarity you enjoy while wearing glasses. There are many advantages of contact lenses over glasses including convenience and cosmetic value.
If you're new to contact lenses, your first step is to see your eye care professional who will evaluate your vision needs to help determine the best type of lens for you.
Click here for frequently asked questions by new contact lenses wearers.
Ongoing Professional Care
For your own safety, you must seek the care of a licensed eye care professional before you use contact lenses. In fact, in most countries, it is required that contact lenses only be fit by eye care professionals — and not bought without eye care professional oversight. Only your eye care professional is educated, trained and licensed to examine, and properly fit the lens to your eyes.
Click here to find an eye care professional near you.
Furthermore, proper follow–up care by your eye care professional is essential. Over time, your eyes change, often without symptoms or warning signs, which may put you at risk for developing potentially serious complications, including vision loss. Regular ongoing professional care can help maintain eye health. Please consult your eye care professional for a recommended examination schedule, which usually ranges between every 6 to 12 months.
Following a Wearing Schedule
Different lenses are made for different vision needs, lifestyles and wearing schedules. While some lenses can potentially be worn for a month of continuous wear, others are meant to be taken out daily. To help protect your eyes from serious complications, it is important that you follow the wearing schedule that your eye care professional recommends. Please consult your eye care professional if you have any questions about the proper wearing schedule for your lenses.
Inserting and Removing Your Lenses
It is important that you wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly each time you handle your lenses. Do not insert a lens onto your eye if it is red, irritated or painful. In these instances, you should contact your eye care professional immediately before continuing contact lens use.
Lens Replacement Schedule
Different lenses are made out of different materials. Because each material performs differently, manufacturers recommend a replacement schedule for each type of lens to allow for optimal performance of the lens. Most lenses worn today are intended to be replaced on a frequent basis. Typical replacement frequencies include one day, 1 to 2 weeks and one month. Speak to your eye care professional who will recommend a replacement schedule based on the lenses you are wearing and your individual needs.
Caring for Your Lenses
Depending on the type of lens you are wearing, there are many different options for cleaning and disinfecting your lenses. Some lenses, such as daily disposable lenses, require little to no lens care — they are simply thrown away after each use. However, if you wear lenses that your eye care professional has recommended that you take out and re–insert onto your eye, they should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Proper care of your lenses can help your lenses stay clean and comfortable for you to wear. Consult your eye care professional to determine what lens care solutions are best for you.
Clean & Safe Handling of Contact Lenses
Observing proper personal and contact lens hygiene and following your eye care professional's instructions, as well as instructions provided by lens and lens care manufacturers, are the most important steps you as a contact lens wearer can take in protecting your sight. The CDC has a list of recommendations on their web site, www.cdc.gov, that includei:
- Visit your eye care provider for regular eye examinations.
- Wear and replace contact lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your eye care professional.
- Remove contact lenses before any activity involving contact with water, including showering, using a hot tub or swimming. Extended-wear contact lens users should discuss concerns with their eye care provider.
- Wash hands with soap and water and dry before handling contact lenses.
- Clean contact lenses according to the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions from your eye care professional.
- Use fresh cleaning and disinfecting solution each time lenses are cleaned and stored. Never reuse or top off old solution.
- Never use saline solution and rewetting drops to disinfect lenses. Neither solution is an effective or approved disinfectant.
- Store reusable lenses in the proper storage case.
- Storage cases should be rinsed with sterile contact lens solution (never use tap water) and left open to dry after each use. Note: every purchase of AQuify® Multi-Purpose Solution comes with a lens case* which is infused with an antimicrobial agent. Because of the special properties of the lens case, it should be capped after each use.
- Replace storage cases at least once every three months.
If you experience any problems with your contact lenses, please remove your lenses and consult your eye care professional right away. Discomfort can be an early sign of a more serious complication, and early treatment can have a significant impact on overcoming problems.
i Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Acanthamoeba Infection: Prevention and Control; [updated 2009 Dec 15; cited 2010 Mar 11] Available from http://www.cdc.gov/acanthamoeba/prevention.html
* This special lens case should not be used by persons who are allergic to silver or other metals