The practice of opting for contact lenses in place of traditional glasses has grown in recent years as newer types of contact lenses have been developed, such as Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 11 million Americans suffer from some sort of refractive errors in their vision, which includes conditions such as astigmatism. However, the basic principles behind the proper care, insertion, and removal of contact lenses have largely remained the same. Follow these steps for inserting, removing, and caring for your contacts:
Instructions for Inserting Contact Lenses
Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds prior to inserting your contacts, explains the American Optometric Association. Washing your hands may seem like an unnecessary step, but your hands may contain bacteria, virus, and debris that cause eye irritation, bacterial infection, or damage to your contacts.
Remove the contact from its packaging, or case, and place it in the center of your palm. Add a dime-sized amount of fresh contact cleaning solution to the contact in your palm. Rub the contact in the solution in a rocking, not circular, motion for approximately 20 seconds. Flip the contact over, and repeat the cleaning motions.
Using your opposite hand’s fingers, grasp the contact gently, and place it on the tip of your index finger. It will have a bowl-like appearance and should face upward. If the contact appears to have flared edges, you will need to turn it inside out.
Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism contact lenses, as well as other toric lenses, will have a slightly oblong shape. Bring your finger towards your eye, and place the contact lens in the center of your pupil. Toric lenses have a heavier side, which aligns the contact lens to its correct position. You may need to blink several times to help the contact become aligned.
Instructions for Removing Contact Lenses
Wash your hands as described above.
Using your non-dominant hand, hold open the eye lids of one eye. This allows you to get the best grip on the contact for removal without risking scratching your cornea.
Place your index finger on one edge of the contact and your thumb on the opposite side’s edge. Your fingers should resemble a pair of tweezers. Please note: do not use tweezers, or other objects, to remove contact lenses.
Slowly move your finger and thumb together while apply slight inward pressure to lift the contact lens from the surface of the eye. You will feel the contact lens come off of your eye.
Place the removed contact lens in the center of your palm. Apply your cleaning solution, and rub the contact together in a rocking motion for 20 seconds per side. Rinse your contact lens case out with contact solution, and add enough solution to cover the bottom of the well.
Place the cleaned lens in the solution, and add more contact solution to fully submerge the contact. However, do not overfill the well; too much solution may bring the contact to the surface, where it may tear when closing the case.
Tips for Your Caring For Your Contacts
After removing your contacts from their case, rinse the case and caps with contact cleaning solution. Leave the case open to air-dry throughout the day in a dirt-free environment.
Do not use rewetting drops for cleaning your contacts, even Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism lenses. Rewetting drops do not remove the buildup of bacteria and debris from wearing your lenses.
Avoid wearing contacts when you may be exposed to chemicals and vapors. For example, students should not wear contacts in chemistry class; vapors may become trapped behind the contact and damage the eye.
Always follow your optometrist’s guidance for your contact replacement schedule. Do not wear contacts for longer than prescribed.
Do not lick your contacts for reinsertion if they come out during the day. Only follow the insertion guidelines above.
Replace your contact lens case every three months. If the case becomes dirty, falls in the toilet, or any other source of contamination, replace the case regardless of your schedule.
Do not wear contacts when entering pools of water, such as during bathing and swimming.