Whether you’re new to contact lenses, or you’ve been wearing them for years, these tips on how to put contacts in may help you avoid contact lens problems that some wearers have faced.

Stock up on contact lens solution

Unless you wear daily contact lenses (some call them "dailies"), don’t wait until the end of a long day to discover you’re out of cleaning solution. Keeping a ready supply of solution will prevent those moments.

This is especially important because you should use fresh cleaning solution each time you touch your contact lenses. Never use tap water to clean your contacts. It can contain impurities and hardy, infectious microorganisms.

Tips for putting in and removing contact lenses

Wash and dry your hands before inserting or removing contacts

Whatever’s on your hands when you touch your contacts will wind up in your eyes. Wash your hands with antimicrobial soap and dry them thoroughly before handling your contact lenses. Avoid using cream or oil-based soaps and lotions before touching your contacts, as these can contaminate your lenses or leave an oily film.

Always start with the same eye for contact lens insertion

When inserting your contacts, start with the same eye every time. You’ll be less likely to switch the lenses by mistake — and, yes, like your shoes, your left and right contact lenses are different.

Place your contact lens in your palm

Hold your contact lens by putting it in the palm of your hand. Pinching the lens between your fingers increases the chance you’ll nick it with your fingernail. Fingernails can harm the surface of the lens, and are also a rich source of bacteria.

Remove your contacts if you experience pain or discomfort

If your contact lenses start to hurt or feel dry and uncomfortable, or if people keep commenting on the redness of your eyes, remove your lenses! Pain and discomfort are often your eyes’ way of telling you something’s causing problems. If this happens repeatedly, talk to your eye doctor to see if your contact lenses are right for you.

Keep your glasses with you

Keeping your glasses around, especially during vacations, lets you rest your eyes when they need it. Any time wearing contacts hurts or feels uncomfortable, you should remove them, and having your glasses nearby will make this easier.

Always wear sunglasses, even with UV-protective contacts

Even UV-protective contact lenses don’t block all of the UV rays that harm your eyes. Wearing UV-protective sunglasses will help reduce the strain and harm to your eyes and vision. Talk to your eye doctor about the kinds of outdoor activities you do so he or she can help assess your exposure risk and recommend the right protection for you.

Purchase contact lenses from legitimate sources

Buying your contacts online? Check out the place of business. Some lenses sold on the Internet may not be approved by the proper channels. Also, both non-corrective and prescription contact lenses need to be prescribed by an eye doctor, who will make sure that the lenses fit and look after the health needs of your eyes.

Remember, taking care of your contact lenses means taking care of your eyes. Always talk to your eye doctor about getting contact lenses and about wearing and caring for them in ways that keep your eyes healthy.

Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional. For specific questions, please see your eye care practitioner.
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