For many of us, contact lenses have become an integral part of our lives. Soft contact lenses are one of the most popular because of its comfort and convenience.
Whether you are new to wearing soft contact lenses or you are already a veteran wearer, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and the lack of proper information.
As your friendly neighbourhood optometrist, let us give you some advice on the correct way to use soft contact lenses, how to choose the right type of lenses and how to care for your eyes!
Weigh the Pros and Cons of Monthly or Disposable Lenses
Disposable soft lenses are super convenient because they can be replaced daily, weekly or fortnightly. This is a great option for all the lazy people out there who find it a hassle to care for their lenses regularly. Disposable contact lenses also reduce the possibility of deposit buildup (such as protein, calcium and lipids) and allergic reactions.
Monthly soft contact lenses have their benefits too. They are reusable and is a cheaper option. Some brands can be worn even while you are sleeping because the lenses have high gas permeability and allow oxygen to get through to your eyes.
On the other hand, disposable contact lenses are hassle-free and you will save time and money on lens care!
However, disposable lenses may not be suitable for everyone. If your eyes are sensitive to a certain lens material or your prescription requires specific vision correction, the contact lens options available to you may be limited.
If you are unsure whether you should get disposable or reusable monthly contact lenses, get in touch with us for some sound advice! We can help to recommend which brand or type that will be best for the comfort and health of your eyes.
Buy your Lenses from Safe and Legitimate Sources
Yes, we know that there are enticing deals on Carousell or Qoo10 that offer soft contact lenses at great discounts. However, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Poor quality soft contact lenses may harm your cornea and leave damaging consequences.
You only have 1 pair of eyes and you should want the best for them. Why do you want to save a couple of dollars and risk the health of your eyes? It is definitely recommended to buy your lenses from authorised sellers so that you are assured of the quality!
Choose the Right Colour to Match your Skin Tone and Eye Colour
This may seem obvious but many people do not know how to choose the correct colour lenses to match your skin tone and eye colour. Basically, there are 3 types of soft contact lenses – clear, tinted and opaque.
Coloured lenses are great fun if you are looking to change the colour of your eyes. Same like makeup, the colour of your eyes can enhance your look and become a fashion accessory!
The colour of your eyes is an important factor in choosing the right coloured contact lenses. For us Asians, our eyes are mostly black (which we personally think is lovely!) and tinted contact lenses do not have an apparent effect on changing our eye colour. Opaque coloured lenses give the best results.
For those with warm skin tones, coloured contacts that are in shades of brown, grey or olive are natural-looking and alluring. For darker skin, vivid colors such as blue, purple, or green create a striking contrast and will make your eyes pop!
Arrange for a Contact Lens Fitting Consultation for the Correct Fitting Sizes
It may not be apparent but each of our eyes have different requirements and come in different sizes, shapes and curvature. Contact lenses are definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution!
Just like a good pair of well-fitting shoes, your eye doctor will take measurements and recommend soft contact lenses based on your eyes’ base curve (BC) and diameter (DIA).
Even if you are getting cosmetic lenses with no degree, you still need to buy according to the base curve and diameter of your eyes. Some people may feel that because a lens is for cosmetic purposes, it is okay to wear them without a prescription. This notion is wrong!
The surface of our eyes has unique properties individually, so any contact lens, decorative or prescriptive, should be assessed by an optometrist before use.
Do not take your eyes for granted! Wearing ill-fitting contact lenses may lead to cornea abrasions and unnecessary eye infections.
It is best to get checked by your optometrist to get acomprehensive eye exam and evaluate your choices for soft contact lenses. Contact us for an eye exam now!
Take Good Care of your Soft Contact Lens
To ensure your peepers are kept healthy and sparkling, it is so important to take proper care of your lenses.
There are essentially 3 basic steps to caring for your soft contact lens – Clean, Rinse And Disinfect. A variety of lens-cleaning solutions are available in the market so, do research well on which solution is preferable for your lifestyle.
For monthly soft contact lenses, you may also need to use a protein remover to remove excess protein deposits.
Also, we use our hands constantly throughout the day (more than you think so) and they are teeming with bacteria. We do not like to nag but alwaysremember to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your lenses because bacteria can get transmitted to your eyes this way!
Tip:If you have long nails or you are the kind who does not have a habit of washing your hands, a good suggestion is to use soft-tipped contact lens tweezers to remove your lenses for cleansing.
Continue Wearing your Lenses if your Eyes are Uncomfortable or you have an Eye Infection
Come on, this is common sense. If your eyes are red, itchy, swollen or you are already having an eye infection, please do not continue wearing contact lenses because it will only aggravate the condition! Switch to your spectacles and let your eyes recover before resuming use.
Use Tap Water to Soak or Rinse your lenses
Tap water may contain pathogens that have the potential to cause a serious parasitic eye infection called Acanthamoeba Keratitis. We are not kidding! It is recommended to always use contact lens solution for rinsing or storing because this solution is specially designed to have disinfectant properties.
Top up New Contact Lens Solution to Old Solution
Adding fresh contact lens solution to old solution that is already in the case is an open invitation to microscopic bacteria. Bacteria can also thrive in contact lens solution if you keep reusing the same solution. That is quite disgusting! Do not be a stinge and skimp on the solution; always soak and store your lenses in new solution.
As mentioned above, use disposable soft contact lenses if you tend to be sloppy in care.
Also, try not to contaminate the contact lens solution by allowing the bottle tip to touch other surfaces such as your fingers (they contain a lot of germs!) or that used hand towel.
Rub your Eyes Vigorously while Wearing Lenses
We understand, sometimes a good eye rub can alleviate that itch, stimulate lubrication to dry eyes and it feels so good!
However, the lens may dislodge and get stuck under your upper eyelids if you rub your eyes vigorously when wearing soft contact lenses. What is even worse is that rubbing can tear your contact lenses and cause more irritation.
Soft contact lenses are made of thin film of flexible plastic that is rather susceptible to tears and rips.This can make you vulnerable to cornea abrasions, infections and vision problems. Maybe you can use a warm eye compress or eyedrops instead.
Share your Lenses or Mix Up your Lenses
It is always good to share our blessings but not when it comes to contact lens! They are personal and best kept this way. Most contact lens wearers know not to share but in case you are oblivious, let us tell you why. The biggest problem with sharing lenses is bacteria!
The same goes for mixing up our left and right contact lens.
You may think we are germaphobes but sharing or mixing up contact lenses also means spreading the bacteria unique to and present in every eye. Why do you want to do that?!
Wear your Contact Lenses Past its Expiry Date
Chances are quite high that you overlook the expiry date on the contact lens package. If you have boxes of soft contact lens stored at home, it is best to take a look.
The usual expiration date for soft contact lenses is around four years from the manufacturing date.
Even if it is brand new but expired, the sterile solution containing the lenses can go bad. Specifically, the pH level of the solution can change, becoming more acidic or more alkaline depending on the conditions. With an unknown and unstable pH level, the lens can become contaminated and cause eye infections.
With this list of Dos and Donts, we hope that you are now more informed about wearing soft contact lenses!
Lastly, do remember to pay a visit to your eye doctor or optometrist regularly even if your eyes feel perfectly fine! In some cases, contact-lens-related problems exist without symptoms and can be detected during a routine examination.
If you have more questions or concerns about soft contact lenses, contact us for a non-obligatory consultation or voice them out in the comments below!