Eyecare tips for Contact Lens

Applying Your Contact Lenses

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before applying your contact lens, but avoid using scented or oily soaps especially those containing lanolin and moisturising agents as these might be transferred from your hands and adhere to the contact lens surface.

How to wear

Slide the lens out of its case and into the palm of your hand. Rinse thoroughly with sterile saline.

Keep your fingertips dry with a lint free tissue and place the contact lens on the tip of your index finger. With the fingers and thumb of your other hand, simultaneously pull up on your upper eyelid and down on your lower eyelid.

Position the lens on your eye while looking upward or forward, whichever you find to be easier. You may also apply the contact lens by placing it on the white of the eye closest to your ear.

Gently close your eyes and roll your eyes in a complete circle to help the lens settle, and then blink.

Look closely in the mirror to make sure the lens is centered on your eye. If it is, your eyes should feel comfortable and your vision should be clear.

Removing Your Contact Lens

Always wash your hands before removing contact lens. If you are standing in front of a sink, use a clean paper towel to cover the drain where the contact lens might accidentally fall.

To remove soft contact lens, look upward or sideways while you pull down on your lower eyelid. With a finger, gently slide the lens onto the white of your eye. There, you can very gently pinch the lens together with your index finger and thumb then lift it off the eye.

Until you master proper contact lens removal, you might want to keep your fingernails short to avoid accidentally scratching your cornea and damaging your eye.

Contact Lens Safety Tips

DO make sure contact lens and lens storage cases are cleaned and disinfected regularly, according to your optometrist's instructions.
Improper cleaning causes growth of unwanted pathogens and this can cause lens discomfort, eye inflammation or even infections.

DO replace contact lenses regularly, according to your optometrist's directions.

Extended use of contact lens beyond intended period can cause lens to lose it’s original properties which can cause the lens to be susceptible decreased performance such as poor durability, chemical imbalances, disrupted wetting surface etc.

DO wear your lens according to the hours as advised by your optometrist.
Over-wearing of contact lens causes the cornea to be susceptible to damages and it is a common cause of eye irritation, inflammation and infection.

DO always rub contact lens when you clean them, even if using a "no-rub" solution.
Rubbing contact lens increases the efficiency of lens cleanliness by at least 30%.

DO check your eyes at least every year before you purchase your contact lens.
Contact lens is placed directly on your cornea thus an eye check is crucial to detect any changes to your eyes so as to tailor the lens or the lens wear regime accordingly.

DON’T use tap water, mineral water or distilled water to store or clean your contact lens.
Improper or expired lens solution causes growth of unwanted pathogens and this can cause lens discomfort, eye inflammation or even infections.

DON’T place contact lenses in your mouth or use your saliva to wet them.
Saliva may introduce and encourage growth of unwanted pathogens and this can cause lens discomfort, eye inflammation or even infections.

DON’T "top up" old solution in your contact lens case.
Discard old solution and replace it with fresh solution. Used or expired lens solution loses it’s sterile and original properties and can cause growth of unwanted pathogens which can cause lens discomfort, eye inflammation or even infections.

DON’T sleep, swim or shower with the contact lens in your eyes.
These actions increases the risk of eye inflammation or even infections which can lead to scarring of the cornea and vision loss.

Eye Makeup and Contact Lens

Getting makeup in your eye is annoying. It is actually even worse with contacts lens, because it can stick to the lens instead of flushing right out. Follow these tips to keep your eyes looking and feeling good:
  • Put your contact lens on before applying makeup and always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your contact lens, so you won't transfer any oils, creams or lotions to the lens.
  • Choose water-based rather than oil-based creams.
  • If you prefer powder, keep your eyes closed during application. Then, brush off any excess powder before opening your eyes.
  • To remove eye makeup, wash and dry your hands. Then remove your contacts lens, be careful not to bump them into any makeup. Finally, use your eye makeup remover.
  • Replace your eye makeup frequently — at least every three months. Don't use old eye makeup, because over time bacteria will get into the product and then into your eyes, where it can cause an infection. One way to tell if your makeup is too old is if it smells funny. Also, don't share your eye makeup with others.

Fact or Myth?

While you might hear a myth or two about someone "losing" a contact lens in the back of the eye, this is actually impossible because of a continuous membrane that connects your eye to the back of your eyelid.

Proper Spectacles Care

Wearing and Removing Spectacles

Take them off using two hands, instead of one. This keeps the temples and ear hooks in the right alignment. Taking them off using one hand stretches them and makes them loose.
Do not put your glasses on the top of your head. This can distort the shape and may cause the frame to be misaligned.

Proper Cleaning of Spectacles

Use lens cleaning spray and spray a small amount on both sides of each lens. Using a microfiber soft cloth, gently wipe the lens in one direction from the nose pad to the temple. Refrain from rough cleaning of tough spots and dirt at home. It is recommended to bring your spectacles back to the optical shop for a more thorough cleaning and maintenance of your spectacles at least every 6 months. Do not use shirt, tie or handkerchief to wipe the lens. The fibers and dirt in these cloth will gradually damage the coating of the lens.

Adjustment of Spectacles

It is common for the spectacles to be misaligned with daily use especially for active children. Thus it is recommended to go back to your optical shop at least every six months for the maintenance of your spectacles. The spectacles will be examined for wear and tear, tighten any loose screws, check the fit again, just as if it were the day you bought them and make sure they fit well. Any replacement parts needed are usually supplied for free or for a nominal charge.

Do not use super glue on any parts of the spectacles as it can cause irreversible damage to the frame and lens. It is always advisable to bring the spectacles to an optical shop for repair as even a simple over-tightening of the screw by the amateur hands can cause the tracking to be worn off.

Proper Storage of Spectacles

When you take your spectacles or sunglasses off, put them in the case to keep them from getting scratched. A hard case that open and close is better than a soft pouch or a slide in casing as the act of slipping them in can rub against the lenses and cause minute scratches, which your eyes perceive as haze. Any particles, scratches, or tiny hairline fissures will make it harder for you to see perfectly through your spectacles, especially at night or in dim lighting conditions. If you aren't putting them in a case, at least make sure the lenses are up, away from any surfaces. With modern technology, many lens are scratch resistant nowadays however, bear in mind that the lens are not scratch proof thus proper care of spectacles is important. Do not lay your spectacles or sunglasses lens down on hard surfaces as this will increase the risk of scratching the lens.

Remember these pointers:

DO NOT leave spectacles and sunglasses in the car especially on a hot day as the temperature in the car soars rapidly within minutes reaching more than 40 degrees Celsius especially in Singapore! Exposure to high temperature such as in cars and saunas, can cause disruptions to the lens coating and may also cause internal cracking of the lens. These irreversible damage of the lens induces lens haziness when you look through them.

DO NOT attempt to fix back lens that has dropped out due to misalignment of the frame or dropped screws. Usually the lens need to be precisely aligned due to the focusing points or the prescription of specific angles in the lens. Switching the left and right lens, inverting the lens upside down or rotating the lens off axis can cause visual disturbances. This is sometimes difficult to detect immediately especially for young children who may not be able to verbalise well and wearing the wrong prescription for young children can affect normal visual development. Always bring spectacles and sunglasses back to the optical shop for repairs.

DO take a minute or two to clean your spectacles, sunglasses or contact lens at the end of the day before storing them properly. Proper and comfortable optical aids provides you with clear vision and safe protection of your eyes for long-term great eye health!

DO make regular visits every 6 monthly to your optometrists for proper eye checks and also optical aid maintenance. A good eye care provider is as important and complementary to your general practitioner doctor in looking after your well being!