The essential bedtime rules in wearing contact lenses are never sleeping with them. The CDC recommends removing contact lenses even if these are approved for sleep to reduce the risk of eye infections. If you’re wearing contact lenses, then these tips should come in handy.
Wash Your Hands Every Time You Remove Them
Remove your contacts before you retire. Wash your hands before you touch your contact lenses. To dry wet hands, use a lint-free towel. When you touch your contacts with dirty hands, you risk developing an infection or other eye conditions. You can suffer from bacterial keratitis, acanthamoeba keratitis, and fungal keratitis if you’re not careful.
Take Special Care Of Your Contacts
After you remove your contacts, clean them. Most contact lens users overlook cleaning their contacts saying that they’re too tired or it’s just too worrisome to do. And this should not be the case.
Aside from properly wearing contacts, you must also clean and maintain these correctly. Rinse your lenses in contact lens solution. Never use saline solution or tap water because these can severely damage your contacts. Also, these can’t disinfect contact lenses.
Use a trusted brand. Look for a recommended contact lens solution brand from people you know who use contacts. You may also ask your doctor for the best solution to use.
Contact lenses are kept in a special container and are immersed in a contact lens solution. After every time you clean your lenses, replace this solution. Never top an old solution with a new one. Replace the lens case at least every three months. Clean the lens case often using contact lens solution as well.
Use A Travel-Size Cleaning Solution When You Travel
When traveling, a travel-sized cleaning solution should be used. Never pour the cleaning solution in just any plastic container which may have been exposed to dangerous contaminants. If possible, use a separate contact lens case as well. Having different contact lens cleaning solutions and cases will prevent any contamination
Gently Massage Your Eyes Before Sleep
After you’ve removed your contacts, take time to pamper your eyes. One way is to massage your eyes. Use very light, feathery touches to massage them.
To begin massaging your eyes, make sure that your hands are clean. Warm your hands by rubbing these together. After a few seconds, form your hands like a cup and place it over your eyes. You may open and close your eyes as you wish, but it’s better to cup your eyes while closed.
Use your fingertips to apply small, feathery touches around your eyes. Start along the area of the eyebrow and gradually work your way towards the rest of the eye area. Never rub your fingers over the eye area. This area is very delicate and can cause injuries.
Another massage technique is to apply a mild natural oil like coconut oil or olive oil on the eye area using small circular strokes. The strokes must be light and easy and should not apply too much pressure. The natural oils keep the skin surface smooth and hydrated. You can find natural oil brands online or offline.
Never Swim, Take A Bath Or Shower With Contacts
Naturally, you want to feel relaxed, refreshed, and light as the day ends. A shower or a dip in a tub is a good idea but not while wearing your contact lenses. If you plan to take a bath or a swim before the day ends, remove your contacts and keep them away correctly. Also, soap may have compounds that can damage your contacts, so it’s best to remove these beforehand.
Rest Your Eyes Often
Some contact lens wearers suffer from dry eyes and irritation, especially during the first few weeks of use. It’s a good idea to remove these early (immediately as soon as you get home from work or school) and give your eyes a rest.
Limit these activities: reading, watching TV or using the computer before sleeping to give your eyes a rest. Use a soft light as your bedtime light to enhance relaxation.
It’s also natural for your eyes to feel tired in the middle of the day. This is the time when the day is at its hottest, and naturally, you’ll feel tired as well. Whatever it is you’re doing, take a breather, and rest your eyes. One useful trick is to look at something green. This color relaxes the eyes and can help first-time contact lens wearers.
Apply Cold Compress On Tired Eyes
Cold compresses to relax the eyes and soothes tired eye muscles. Just like using cold compress over a fatigued muscle or on your forehead when you feel feverish, you will feel relief from pain, inflammation, and redness.
Use a soft, clean face towel to apply cold water over your eyes. Don’t use ice directly on your eyes. Place the cold compress over your eyes for at least a few minutes. You can do this immediately after removing your contact lenses. Don’t use a cold compress over the eyes with your contacts on.
Use An OTC Eye Wash
As mentioned, redness, irritation, and pain can be felt over the eyes when you’re using your contacts for the first few weeks. After taking these off before retiring, use an eyewash; follow the instructions stated in the packaging.
Never use an eyewash with your contacts on because this contains a saline solution. This is harmful to your contact lens because it can scratch the lens and cause severe damage.
Change Your Lens Regularly
According to experts, contact lenses should be changed at least every three months. When you change your lens, replace the lens cover as well. Discard any remaining lens care solution if this has not been used for a month.
Remember, caring for your contact lens is taking care of your eyes as well. Damaged, poorly-handled contact lenses can damage your eyes and can affect vision. Make these bedtime eye care tips a part of your daily evening ritual. Find more info on contact lens care from a professional.