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New To Contact Lenses? Here Are Our Top 5 Tips!

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An estimated 56 million North Americans wear contact lenses.  If you have just started wearing contact lenses — you’re in good company.

Advice About Contact Lenses from Dr. Roth and Dr. Tiomno of Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ 

Here are 5 tips to quickly help you adjust to wearing and caring for your new lenses so you can enjoy the many benefits they offer.

1.  Learn How to Tell if Your Contact Lens Is Inside Out

The Taco test is the easiest way to tell if you are inserting your soft lenses correctly.  Put the lens in the crease of your palm that is just under your pinky finger.  Gently close your palm.  The edges of the lens should come close to each other and look like a “taco”.  IF they fold back onto your palm, the lens is probably inside out. 

Another way is to hold the lens on your index fingertip and look carefully at its shape. The edge of the lens should be pointing upwards, like the rim of a teacup. If the edge is flared outward like a blooming flower, the lens is inside out.

Some contact lenses have tiny laser markings of numbers or letters. If you can read the numbers or letters correctly when you hold the lens on your fingertip, they are properly oriented and the lens is ready to be inserted.

2.  Never Use a Substitute for Contact Lens Solution

Daily disposable lenses don’t need ANY solutions.

We recommend that patients use special peroxide solutions to clean lenses that are not daily disposable lenses.

Multipurpose solutions usually don’t clean lenses affectively. 

Do NOT make the mistake of using saline solution and thinking that it is disinfecting your lenses. 

Not all lens solutions are the same. 

Do NOT use tap water or saliva to moisten or clean your lenses . 

Using substances other than the recommended contact lens solution to rinse or rewet your contacts can introduce harmful microbes to the eye and cause a serious infection.

We recommend that you remove your contacts before showering, swimming, or any other time they might get wet.

3.  If Your Contact Lenses Feel Uncomfortable, Take Them Out!

When it doubt, take them out.

The major (and sometimes ‘only’ benefit of) soft contact lenses is that they are very comfortable.  If you feel any discomfort, there may be something wrong.

Wash your hands.  Remove your contacts and rinse them with contact lens solution.  Sometimes dust or dirt gets under the lens and that causes irritation. Flushing the lenses with contact lens solution will help remove the irritant.

If your eyes still feel irritated, don’t put the contact lenses back in your eyes. Wait until they are no longer red or irritated, and try to put them back in.  If the problem persists, call us. 

4.  Wear Contact Lens-Friendly Makeup

Makeup can be a source of irritation and infection whether you wear contact lenses or not. Here’s what we recommend when it comes to eye makeup and contact lenses:

  • Choose hypo-allergenic makeup.
  • If you use a cream-based product around your eyes, use one that is water-based rather than oil-based one. 
  • Keep your eye closed when you put on makeup so that makeup particles don’t get into your eye. 
  • Don’t apply eyeliner or eyeshadow to the inner rims of your eyelids.  That plugs up the glands that lubricate the eye.
  • Replace eye makeup at least once every 3 months to minimize the growth and spread of bacteria.
  • Never share eye makeup with friends or family.
  • Remove your contact lenses before removing your makeup.

5.  Stick to the Hygiene Guidelines

This tip is one of the most important ones you can do.  Wash and dry your hands before you handle your contact lenses.

Try not to use oily or heavily scented hand soaps when you wash your hands because that can stick to the surface of the lens and could irritate your eye.

If you touch moisturizers or lotions before you handle your contact lenses you run the risk that that will stick to the lens and cloud your vision.

After washing your hands, dry them using a lint-free towel. It's harder to grasp contact lenses with wet hands.  Again, don’t use tap water with your lenses.

Bonus Tip: Get an Eye Exam

This advice can be very helpful but it doesn’t replace an in-person exam.  We will show you how to care for your lenses so you will be successful and we schedule for progress visits so you can enjoy the freedom of contact lens wear.

If you are new to contact lenses and have any questions or concerns about your eyes or vision, call us at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ  1-732-679-2020. 

We will be happy to schedule you for a contact lens exam so you are seeing the best and are successful.  We are committed to helping you so you can be an expert in contact lens wear and care in no time!

We see patients from Old Bridge, Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.