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Caring for Your Contacts

Cascading boxes of contacts

How to Care for Your Contacts

How to Care for Soft Contacts

Daily disposable contacts let you toss your contacts at the end of the day and have a new pair every day, but most contacts are worn for a week, a month—or longer—before being replaced. These contacts require daily cleaning and care to protect your eye health and keep the contacts in good working order.

When you get your new contacts, your eye doctor or contact technician should walk you through the steps of cleaning and storing your contacts and explain any care instructions that are specific to your needs. Be sure you follow their recommendations every day to protect your eyes and keep your contacts in top shape.

What to know about contact care:

Before you touch your contacts, case or eyes, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water.

At the end of each day, carefully clean your contacts—one at a time—by putting the lens in the palm of your hand with a few drops of cleaning or multipurpose solution. Use your finger to rub each lens for about 20 seconds, rinse with saline or multipurpose solution, then store in fresh solution. Do not reuse solution—it limits its ability to disinfect your contacts and an result in an eye infection.

Only use the contact cleaning and storage solution(s) or saline solution that your doctor recommends for rinsing and storing your contacts. Do not rinse your contacts or contact lens case with water. Water can contain bacteria that can cause eye infections. Water can also affect the way your contacts fit, which can harm your eyes. Be sure to keep plenty of contact solution on hand.

Whenever you take your contacts out of their case, clean the case. Rinse it with fresh contact solution, wipe with a clean tissue, then let the case and its lids air dry. Bacteria can grow in the case, so be sure to keep it clean and replace your case at least every three months. Even if you clean your case frequently, bacteria can still grow in the case, so it’s important to replace it regularly.

Do not wear your contacts longer than recommended. If you have daily disposable contacts, use a fresh pair every day. If you wear weekly or monthly contacts, replace your lenses as directed. Do not sleep in your contacts, unless they’re specifically designed for overnight wear—most are not. It’s important to let your eyes rest and get oxygen, so don’t overdo it when it comes to wearing contacts. If possible, remove your contacts for a few hours in the evening or wear eyeglasses one day a week to let your eyes relax and get some fresh air.

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