If you wear glasses or have recently been diagnosed with a vision problem (such as astigmatism, myopia, presbyopia or something else) that requires corrective lenses, you may be considering using contact lenses.
Contact lenses are a great alternative to glasses and are popular with many people because of the comfort that freedom from bulky frames they provide. Many people also like the increased peripheral vision they enjoy as a result of the contact lenses moving with their eyes in any given direction. There are many different types of contact lenses. Some of these include soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses, daily wear lenses, extended wear contacts, colored contact lenses and more. Your eye care professional will work with you to ensure that you get the pair of contact lenses that are best for your eyes and your lifestyle. He or she will also go over the basics of inserting, removing, and caring for your contacts. If you familiarize yourself with the process of inserting your contact lenses properly before visiting your eye doctor, you will be armed with questions and may even impress your doctor!
Prepare to Insert Your Lenses
The absolute most important thing about wearing contact lenses is being clean and hygienic about it. If you stray from this rule even a little bit you are opening yourself up to possible eye infection and damage. For this reason, you must wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and soap before you begin to prepare your contact lenses for insertion. After washing, dry your hands with a lint-free towel. Make sure to avoid contact with lotions or cosmetics between washing your hands and handling your lenses.
Opening the Contact Lens Package
Many contact lenses will come in what’s called a “multipack.” Look for the opening flap on the front of the multipack and pull it in order to break the seal. Inside you will find six individually packaged lenses. The lenses are packaged this way to ensure maximum sterility for each lens. While there may be some slight variation in how lenses are packaged from manufacturer to manufacturer, the instructions below will help you open up your contact lens package properly.
Shake an individual lens package gently and check if you can see the lens floating in the enclosed solution. Next, peel back the foil covering carefully to reveal the lens. You can stabilize the lens package by placing it on a flat surface (such as your bathroom counter) in order to avoid splashing. Sometimes, a lens will adhere itself to the foil covering when opened. This will not affect the sterility of your lens.
Handling the Lenses
Try to get used to handling the same lens first (right or left) every time so that you develop a habit and don’t get mixed up. Remove the lens from the pack or from its storage case and examine it to ensure that it is clean and free of debris or tears. If you notice any damage on the lens, do not use it. Confirm that the lens is not turned inside out by placing it on your forefinger and looking at it’s profile. The lens should look like a bowl. If the lens edges point outwards, it is inside out.
Placing the Lens in Your Eye
Once you have verified that the lens on your forefinger is not inside out, use the middle finger from that same hand to both steady your hand and pull down your lower lid gently. Using your other hand, lift your upper lid. Center the lens and gently place it on your eye. Release your eyelids and blink. The lens will automatically center itself.
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