Lens Wearing Guide
- Reasons for choosing contact lenses
- Types of contact lenses
- How to get contact lenses for the first time
- Putting your contact lenses in
- Removing your contact lenses
- Cleaning and storing contact lenses
- How long to wear your lenses for
- When to get in touch with your Optician
- About conjunctivitis
Each wearer has a different reason for using contact lenses. However, in our experience the major reasons why our customers want the option of contact lenses in addition to glasses are:
- Convenience: for example daily disposables require no cleaning or care (unlike glasses)
- “The Look”: many wearers prefer the look of contact lenses to glasses and find that it is a confidence booster
- Sports Use: many people could not enjoy their favourite sports without contact lenses. Often people will begin wearing contact lenses for sport and end up using them in all walks of their lives because of the benefits they discover
Contact lenses can be split into the following groups:
- Daily Disposables – replaced with a fresh pair of every day
- Two Weekly Disposables – replaced with a fresh pair every two weeks
- Monthly Disposables – replaced with a fresh pair every month
- Extended Wear Lenses – can be worn continuously whilst awake and asleep
- Toric Lenses – for patients who suffer from astigmatism
- Multi-Focal Lenses – provide all in one vision correction for patients who cannot see clearly over long and short distances
- Coloured Contact Lenses – fashion lenses for people who fancy a change from their natural eye colour
The majority of contact lenses purchased are soft and Lenstore.co.uk only stocks soft contact lenses. Hard (or “Rigid Gas Permeable”) contact lenses do exist and are typically for patients who suffer from severe astigmatism and irregular corneas. Your Optician will let you know if hard contact lenses are the most appropriate for your eyes but for the majority of people soft lenses provide the best option.
If you currently wear glasses and want to try contact lenses the first thing you should do is book a contact lens examination with your Optician. He / she will take you through the whole process of getting fitted for contact lenses. Your Optician will first check if your eyes are suited for contact lenses (most people’s are). He / she will then train you in how to insert and remove your contact lenses and will also show you how to clean and take care of them. Next you’ll be given a trial set of contact lenses which normally last a week. At the end of the trial week you visit your Optician again and he / she will ensure that your eyes have reacted well to the lenses. At that point you’ll buy three months supply of contact lenses from your Optician and wear them. After three months, you’ll visit your Optician for the last time during the fitting period and he / she will write you a prescription. Make sure you grab a copy of your prescription. You’ve now been officially fitted for contact lenses and can buy them from whichever supplier you choose.
- Step 1:
- Wash your hands with soap, rinse them thoroughly and dry them with a clean towel.
- Step 2:
- Place the contact lens on the palm of your hand, check that it is clean and not torn.
- Step 3:
- Ensure that the contact lens is not inside out (if it is the edges will flare up slightly) and place it on your forefinger (your pointing finger).
- Step 4:
- Insert the lens. Use the forefinger on your opposite hand hold up your upper eyelid to prevent you from blinking. Use the third finger on the hand in which you have the contact lens to hold down your lower eyelid. Look up and place the contact lens onto the white of your eye. Look downwards to allow the lens to slip into position. Remove your fingers and close your eye momentarily. Your lens should be in place.
- Step 5:
- Repeat the procedure on your other eye.
Helpful Tip: get into the habit of putting your right eye’s lens in first. It’ll reduce the chances of mixing up your contact lenses.
It does take a little practice to perfect your technique so don’t despair if you’re finding it difficult for the first few days or weeks. If you continue to have difficulty inserting your contact lenses then make an appointment with your contact lens Optician who should be happy to observe your technique and help you improve it.
- Step 1:
- Make sure the contact lens is in the middle of your eye before trying to remove it. To check the lens is centred cover your other eye. If your vision is blurred your lens is not in the correct place. Look into a mirror and centre the lens with your finger.
- Step 2:
- Pull down your lower eyelid
- Step 3:
- Whilst you have your eyelid pulled down, place your finger on the bottom edge of your lens and slide it down to the white part of your eye.
- Step 4:
- Squeeze the contact lens gently between your finger and your thumb and remove the contact lens from your eye.
Helpful Tip: get into the habit of removing your right eye’s lens first. It’ll reduce the chances of mixing up your contact lenses.
- Step 1:
- Place the contact lens in the palm of your hand and apply a few drops of the recommended contact lens solution to the lens. Use your opposite hand’s forefinger (pointing finger) to rub the lens gently on both sides.
- Step 2:
- Rinse the lens thoroughly using plenty of contact lens solution.
- Step 3:
- Fill your lens case with plenty of contact lens solution and place your cleaned and rinsed contact lens in the appropriate compartment. Secure the cap of the lens case and repeat with your other contact lens. Leave your contact lenses in the lens case for at least four hours. Letting it soak in the solution will disinfect the contact lens.
- Step 4:
- After putting your contact lenses back in your eyes, pour the remaining solution out of the lens case. Rinse the lens case with fresh solution and let the inside of the case dry out in the open air.
Warning: please never use water to clean or store your contact lenses. Water does not have the necessary contents to disinfect your contact lens correctly. In fact, cleaning your contact lenses with water may lead to a contamination of your lenses and has been known to cause irreparable harm to the eye.
If you wear daily disposables you do not have to worry about storing your contact lenses as outlined above. However, if you drop your lens or something gets caught in your eye you may have to clean it in which case you should follow the procedure outlined in Steps 1 and 2 above.
In general most soft contact lenses have a recommended wearing time of not more than 10-12 hours continuously for up to 5 days a week. It’s recommended that you wear glasses for a couple of days a week to ensure that your eyes receive more than enough oxygen to stay healthy. Extended wear lenses can be worn whilst you are both awake and asleep for up to a week. However it’s important to realise that the recommended wearing time for a contact lens will vary by the type of lens and the wearer. Contact lens manufacturers provide wearing guidelines for your lenses (usually found on the packaging). Please follow the wearing schedule suggested by your Optician as he / she is uniquely well placed to advice you.
You should get in touch with your Optician if you are:
- Close to the expiry date of your prescription / due for a contact lens examination (typically every 12 months)
- In need of a copy of your contact lens prescription
- Experiencing a deterioration in the standard of your vision with contact lenses
- Considering changing to a contact lens solution which was not recommended by the person who fitted your contact lenses
If you experience any of the following symptoms / irritations in your eyes please firstly take your contact lenses out of your eyes (even if wearing them seems to lessen the discomfort or symptoms) and secondly get in touch with your Optician as soon as possible:
- Feeling of discomfort
- Excessive watering
- Visual disturbance
If your Optician is not available immediately and the problem is causing your severe disturbance you should consult you GP or go to Accident and Emergency at your local hospital. You can, of course, also call Lenstore.co.uk during our office hours and we will advise you on the best of course of action. We will do our very best to help you.
“Aftercare” is the medical care and advice that should be provided to you after you buy a pair of contact lenses. At a minimum, contact lens aftercare should include both advice on and helping to make arrangements for:
- Regular contact lens examinations
- Where you can go in an emergency
- What signs or symptoms you should watch out for
- How to remove your contact lenses during an emergency
- Who your local contact for advice is
Aftercare is provided by your Optician and supplier of contact lenses. Lenstore.co.uk provides a lot of advice on our website and over the phone about aftercare and your Optician is obliged provide you with all of the access you need to professional medical advice and care.