Back to articles

The DOs and DON'Ts of Wearing Contacts

Possible Causes and Solutions to Contact Lens Irritation

There are a variety of benefits to wearing contacts. They can help improve your vision without affecting your appearances, interfering with sports, and other activities. They provide better peripheral vision and offer a wide selection of types to fit your lifestyle.

Contacts are a great alternative to glasses. However, even though an estimated 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, up to 90 percent of them don’t know how to properly take care of their contacts! There are many complications to the misuse of your contacts that can affect your long term eye health, so it’s extremely important to follow good care.

Here are the top DOs and DON’Ts for wearing contact lenses:

DO

  • DO wash your hands properly with a lotion-free soap prior to handling your contact lenses to remove germs and debris that may cause irritation or scratches to your contacts and/or eyes.
  • DO keep your contact lens case clean. As with properly handling your lenses in a germ-free way, it’s important to store them in a germ-free place. Pour out the solution, rub it with a clean finger, and rinse with fresh solution then store it upside down on a clean towel or tissue until you’re ready to use it.
  • DO replace your contact lens case every month to every three months.
  • DO follow your contact lens manufacturers’ and your optometrists’ recommended schedule for replacing your contact lenses.
  • DO keep up on your regular eye examinations as recommended by your optometrist to ensure eye health.
  • DO use the best contact solution for your particular eye and type of lens.

DON’T

  • DON’T buy contacts without a prescription —even if you don’t need a corrective prescription and want to play around with a new eye color.
  • DON’T place lenses in your mouth for cleaning or rewetting. Putting your lenses in your mouth can transfer bacteria to your lens and to your eye when placed back in your eye, causing infection.
  • DON’T use tap water to rinse your lenses or soak them overnight if you don’t have fresh contact solution.
  • DON’T expose your lenses or storage case to excessive heat.
  • DON’T rub your eyes roughly while wearing your contact lenses which can cause scratches and other issues to your eyes.
  • DON’T leave your contacts in for too long.

Here are the top DOs and DON’Ts for wearing contact lenses:

  • DO apply your cosmetics after your contacts are in your eyes
  • DO apply eye makeup on the outer lid margin only, not on the inside.
  • DO remove lenses before removing make-up. Using an oil-based remover can transfer oils to your eyes and flaking makeup can cause irritation and scratches.
  • DO use creams instead of pressed powder, as powder makeup can easily get into your eyes causing irritation and damage to your lenses
  • DO use mascara that doesn’t flake or clump
  • DON’T use other people’s cosmetics, because sharing products, especially eye makeup can transfer bacteria and other infection-causing germs.

Looking for more makeup tips? See our exhaustive list of tips for contact lens users who also wear makeup