Contact Lens Safety - Women’s Health Guide
Safely cleaning and storing your contact lenses
is the best way to prevent eye infections. Lenses
can collect bacteria, fungi, and other germs if not
Why should you clean your contact
Contact wearers are at risk of eye infections since
contacts are worn directly on the eye. Eye infections
can cause pain, blurred vision, and sometimes even
blindness. Proper contact lens cleaning, storing, and
hygiene are the best way to keep your eyes healthy.
Replace contact storage
cases every 3 to 6 months.
When should you wear contact lenses?
Most types of contact lenses are only worn while
awake. Contact lenses should not be worn when:
- Sleeping (some can be worn overnight)
- Swimming in the pool or ocean
Some types of extended wear lenses can be worn
overnight. Talk to your eye care provider about when
to remove contact lenses.
How should you clean and store your
Follow your eye care provider's and manufacturer's
instructions for cleaning and storing your contact
- Always clean hands before touching your eyes and
- Remove the lens and place in the palm of your hand.
- Rub contact lens solution over the surface of the
lens for 5 to 10 seconds on each side.
- Rinse lens with a stream of solution to remove
bacteria and deposits from the lens.
- Store lenses in the proper storage case with fresh
- After removing lenses from the storage case, rinse
case with fresh solution and allow to air dry. Never
use tap water to rinse your contact lens case.
- Replace your contact lens storage case every 3
to 6 months.
Discuss with your provider:
- Which contact lens products and solutions to use
- How often to replace your contact lenses
If you wear contact lenses
- See your eye care provider for regular exams.
- Clean hands before touching your eyes and lenses.
- Use fresh, sterile solutions recommended by your
provider for lens cleaning and storage.
- Remove your contact lenses and see your eye care
provider if your eyes become red, irritated, or if you
have problems seeing.
- Contact your provider if you have any problems with
your eyes, vision, or lenses.
- Re-use any lens
discard all storage
solutions after use.
Used solutions can
with germs that can cause eye infections.
- Expose your lenses to water, including distilled,
bottled, tap, lake, or ocean water. Water can contain
germs that cause eye infections.
- Use saliva to wet your contact lenses.
- Transfer sterile contact lens solution to another
container for later use.
Never expose contact lenses to water.
What are signs of an eye infection?
- Excessive tearing or mucus
- Unusual sensitivity to light
- "Gritty" feeling
- Unusual redness
- Blurred vision
See your eye care provider immediately if you have
signs of an eye infection. Eye infections can be serious
and in some cases cause blindness.
Allergies can cause some of the same signs as an eye
infection. Allergies usually affect both eyes equally.
Some infections may affect only one eye.
For more on contact lens safety