How to take care of Contact Lenses and your Eyes.

I have been wearing contact lenses for more than 7 years now, and whatever I know now is  because I learnt from all the mistakes I had made. This is the guide I wish I had when I first started wearing lenses. I have never worn colored lenses, but I guess the rules are the same.

First and foremost, you must have your eyes regularly checked up every 6 months, you might not seem to have any problem but its always better to be safe than sorry. That being said, always order lenses of the correct prescription. It is very important that you do so, sometimes stocks aren't available of the exact power that you are looking for, and you might feel that it's okay if you take say 5.5 instead of 6, but it's not, please don't do that. You will end up straining your eyes which could lead to bigger problems. There is a very easy calculation to find out what will be your contact lens power based on your glasses. You can read more about it here.

There are three types of lenses that you could choose from, weekly disposable ones, monthly disposable and yearly disposable. The most sanitary option would naturally be the weekly disposable ones but not the most feasible option as this can get quiet expensive if you wear contact lenses daily. For a regular wearer, I believe monthly lenses are the most feasible option, as one pack comes with 6 lenses, so you buy two boxes and you are set for the whole year. I don't have the same power on both my eyes so I need to buy two separate boxes.

A lot of companies make lenses and their cleansing solutions, my favorite is the Bausch and Lomb one. There are only two brands that I have tried, one is B+L and the other is Alcon Opti-Free.

Things you will need:-

Contact Lenses
Contact Lens Case
Contact Lens Solution
Fragrance/Oil Free Hand Wash
Lint free Towel
A Mirror

How to Wear:-

Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your lenses with an oil & fragrance, anti-bacterial hand soap, with Luke warm water, and pat dry using a lint free towel. Oil and fragrances can leave a layer on the skin which might transfer to the lens casing irritation and redness.

Take the lens out of the contact lens case using your ring finger, because it has the gentlest touch.

Gently rub the lens, at least 20 times on both sides, and rinse with the cleansing solution.

Place the Lens on the tip of your index finger, and make sure it is the right side up by noticing that the curvature is more like a V than U.

Open up your eyes wide, hold the upper lid up using your other hand, and insert the lens right over your eyeball.

Immediately rotate your eyeballs to set it in place, and make sure there are no air bubbles made by blinking gently a few times.

If you are feeling a pinching or burning sensation, its probably because you haven't rinsed it properly, or had some residue in your hand. If this occurs, remove the lens and repeat again.

How to Remove:-

There are two ways you can remove your lens

Pull the lens away from the eyeballs and take it off your eyes, or you can slightly pinch the lens whilst its over your eyeballs and pulls it away from your eyes. I prefer the later. If you find it difficult to slide the lens away from your eyes, it's mostly because your eyes are dehydrated, pour few drops of the cleansing solution directly into the eye and you can remove it very easily.

How to Store:-

Once you remove your lens, it is very important that you rub it for at least 20-30 times on both the sides, and rinse with a generous amount of cleansing solution. Even if you skip the rubbing before you wear it, do not skip after it after you remove it. I know you might have had a long day, or too tired to do the extra step, but do it everyday and it will become second nature, and your lenses will feel extremely fresh the next day.

Always throw the solution that you stored your lenses in everyday, and substitute with fresh solution. Add few drops of the solution to the case, drop the lens, then fill the case up with the solution till the brim. Don't drop the removed lens into a dry lens case.

Close the lens cap securely and make sure it isn't leaking.

Also, if you have different power on both the eyes make sure you kept the lens in the appropriate case for Left and Right, or else it can get quiet confusing in the morning.

Side Effects and how to prevent them:-

The outer layer of the eye (cornea) is not connected to any blood capillaries, so it gets oxygen directly from the air. Contact Lenses nowadays are apparently gas permeable, but still wearing it for more than 8 hours a day can reduce the amount of oxygen intake by the eye. So don't wear it more than 8 hours a day, and never sleep wearing your lenses. If accidentally you slept off wearing your lenses, remove it as soon as you wake up and add some lubricating drops into your eyes.

Wearing lenses everyday can also lead to dry eye. You are more susceptible to it if you stare at your laptop/mobile screen for long hours continuously. Take a break every 20 minute, and blink very often. There are certain lubricating eye drops available, which feels very relaxing to use before you go to sleep, ask your ophthalmologist to prescribe you one.

Do not shower, remove makeup or wash your face with your lens on, it can be extremely dehydrating to the eyes. It's okay to rinse your face if you keep your eyes shut.

I cannot emphasize on this enough: Always change your lenses withing exactly a month, or week if you are using weekly disposable ones. Maintain a calender, jot down the date, or the easiest way is by wearing a new lens on the first of every month/week.

Lens will go inside your eyes if it goes under the upper lids;
This is ridiculous as there is no way it can get inside. The upper lid doesn't originate from withing the eyes. In case your lens happens to get inside, blink a few times and it will come right off.

You cant wear makeup;
You can most definitely wear makeup. Just don't share your eye make up with any one else.

It hurts a lot;
Not unless you are wearing it right. If you don't clean your hands, or rinse the lens properly, don't change the lens very often, it will irritate you, other wise you wouldn't even feel it there. Sometimes I forget that I am wearing something in my eyes.

Its too time consuming;
That depends on your experience with wearing contact lenses. If you are a beginner, all these steps might take some time for you to get used to, and might not even wear your lens successfully in the first go, but once you get the hang of it, it will take a maximum of five minutes.

I hope this post was helpful to you, if I missed anything or you have any other query please let me know in the comment section below.

P.S. I will be uploading step by step pictures soon.