Contact lenses normally are extremely comfortable. Normally. Yet for people with dry eyes, contact lenses make the symptoms like burning, itching and watering worse, particularly if they are not handled properly. For this reason, we have put together some tips on the proper way to handle contact lenses.
1. Before insertion: pay attention to hygiene
You should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you take your contact lenses out of the storage container. If you want to go out of the house made up, it is better if you put on your make-up after inserting the lenses, otherwise the risk of mascara or eyeliner getting on to the lens is too great. Take your first contact lens out of the container and rinse it thoroughly with fresh cleaning solution. At the same time, rub the lens carefully in order to intensify the cleaning effect.
2. Insert the contact lenses correctly
- First of all, place the contact lens on the tip of your index finger. Make sure that the lens is sitting correctly on your finger, with the inside facing upwards.
- Then, with the other hand, pull the lower eyelid gently downwards so that you can insert the lens more easily. This usually sounds more difficult than it actually is because the lens normally “sticks” on the eye by itself – there is no need at all to touch the sensitive cornea.
- Finally, you can pull the upper eyelid over the contact lens so that it is not pushed out again by blinking. To do this, simply hold your upper lid around the lash line between your thumb and index finger, and pull slightly forwards, then you can let it go
3. Foreign body sensation? It may be that the lens is inside out!
After blinking a few times, you should not feel anything any more. The rule is: 20 seconds after insertion, you should no longer feel like you have a foreign body in your eye. If this is not the case, it can be that your contact lens is quite simply inside out in your eye. In order to check this, you should take the lens out of your eye again and examine it closely. If the edge is not facing upwards, but is flat on the sides like a soup bowl, then the lens really has turned inside out.
4. Daily wearing time?
Generally, with modern contact lenses, there is no maximum wearing time which mustn’t be exceeded. However, should you really intend to wear your contact lenses every day from morning until late at night, you should let your eye doctor or optician know about this. They will select the right oxygen-permeable material for you.
5. When should you take a break?
If you suffer from dry eyes, you should think about whether you have to wear your contact lenses virtually around the clock. Try to find a compromise: at home, in front of the television, you could wear glasses. The same is true when you go to the cinema. In particular, working at a monitor strains your eyes enormously – always take your glasses to the office as a substitute as well as your storage case and the cleaning solution for your contact lenses. That way you can swap them over if they becomes uncomfortable.
6. When is a break absolutely essential?
Should your eyes have become inflamed, are greatly irritated or hurt, you should immediately remove your contact lenses and reach for your glasses. The same is true for feverish infections and heavy colds. Find out from your doctor if you can continue to wear the same lenses after your illness or if you should throw these away as a precaution.
7. Respect the wearing time
Every contact lens has a kind of expiry date. Some can only be worn for a day, others for four weeks, for example. This prescribed time frame should not be exceeded because the lens becomes too dirty, despite scrupulous hygienic measures, and so could irritate your eye.
8. For dry eyes: use the right eye drops
Lubricating eye drops are a real blessing for dry eyes. But unfortunately, not all drops can be used with contact lenses. Some contact lenses can only be inserted 30 minutes after using the preparation. That is not the case with the products of the HYLO® EYE CARE range – these are also ideally suited for contact lens wearers. You can get an overview here.
9. Contact lenses while travelling
In principle, you can wear your lenses during your vacation just as you do at home provided that the hygienic standards are the same as the ones at home. If this isn’t the case, you should really think about using daily contact lenses. With these, you also have to wash or disinfect your hands before inserting and removing them, although the danger of greatly contaminating daily wear lenses is less. Ultimately, these are thrown away anyway after being worn once and daily rinsing and disinfecting is not required.
10. The correct storage of contact lenses
So that contact lenses can be worn without problems and they do not irritate your eyes, they have to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. This includes leaving the contact lenses overnight in a suitable disinfecting solution. Before that, you should clear dirt and possible germs from the lenses with your clean fingers. This is done by laying the contact lenses in the palm of your hand, dribbling some cleaning solution over the top and carefully rubbing them clean. After that, lay them in the appropriate case and add solution until the contact lens is fully covered.
Tip: Please ask your eye doctor about the correct way to handle your contact lenses and read the patient information leaflet.
Please also read: Lubricating eye drops and contact lenses – do they go together?