How to put on and take off contact lenses in complete safety? Here are the steps to follow
Comfortable and almost invisible, contact lenses represent a practical alternative to classic prescription glasses. In addition to correcting visual defects, they eliminate the annoying problem related to the limitation of the visual field and are functional from an aesthetic point of view as they allow you to highlight the eyes and any make-up applied to them.
However, contact lenses cannot be worn for too long: the eyes need to be lubricated frequently and if used incorrectly, they can cause irritation and infections.
- How to put on and take off
- How long can they wear
- How to store them
Before proceeding with the purchase of contact lenses, it is good to ask your optician for advice to avoid possible contraindications and to evaluate the type of lenses that best suit your needs. In fact, on the market you can find:
- rigid contact lenses. They are the first to be placed on the market, but they are also the least used because they are not transpiring and difficult to apply;
- semi-rigid contact lenses. They allow greater perspiration, but are not recommended for sportsmen because they tend to move;
- soft contact lenses. They are by far the most used because thanks to their flexibility and breathability, they allow the eyes to breathe better and are more practical. You can choose between daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly contact lenses.
Putting on and removing contact lenses may seem like a difficult operation, especially the first few times. In reality, a little practice and a good dose of patience are enough to get used to it in a short time. So let's see how to put on and remove contact lenses correctly and how to store them.
How to put on and take off
Before putting on and taking off contact lenses, it is important to have everything you need with you. So, after having positioned yourself in front of a mirror that will facilitate its application, it is good to make sure that you have your contact lenses at hand (each is contained within a blister with saline solution), the solution to rinse them, a clean towel.
A tip is to carry out this operation in a clean environment. Even the type of contact lens used may require some specific measures. For example, rigid lenses must be applied to the cornea, while soft ones can be placed on the conjunctiva (membrane that lines the eyelid internally) and then position themselves independently with a simple blink of the eyelids.
Here are the general steps to follow to put in contact lenses:
- make sure you do not have too long nails that can scratch and compromise the functionality of the lenses;
- before touching the lenses it is advisable to wash your hands thoroughly with a neutral detergent and then dry them to have a better grip on the lenses;
- take the blister with the lenses inside to be applied first in one eye and then in the other. Each lens is suitable for the right or left eye, so it is best to always start with the same eye to avoid confusing the lenses;
- take the lens from the blister with your index finger, taking care to position it with the curvature upwards. If the lens has a curved lower profile and the edge is facing inwards, the lens is in the right direction. Otherwise, it must be turned upside down before applying it;
- clean the lens with saline solution;
- with your free hand lift the upper eyelid of the eye and lower the lower eyelid; keeping the other hand still, bring the index finger on which the lens is positioned towards the eye and gently place the lens on the eye;
- at this point, just close the eye and blink to complete the application;
- to put the lens on the other eye, repeat the operation.
Removing contact lenses also requires a lot of attention. In the case of rigid ones, just pull the outer corner of the eyelid with a finger, while for soft contact lenses it will be enough to push them towards the outer side of the eye or pinch them with your fingers. Here are the general steps to follow to remove contact lenses:
- wash and dry your hands carefully;
- looking at the other, place the middle finger under the eye and lower the lower eyelid;
- using the index finger of this same hand, remove the lens by placing the index finger on the lens and slide it towards the white part of the eye;
- gently squeeze the lens between the thumb and forefinger and remove;
- repeat the operation also with the other eye.
In the case of daily contact lenses, these must be thrown away after use. Unlike contact lenses that can be changed frequently, they must be cleaned with the saline solution and then placed inside the blister containing other saline solution.
How long can they wear
The number of hours in which it is possible to wear contact lenses depends a lot on the type of lens and consequently also on the materials with which they were made. For example, daily contact lenses should not be worn for more than 8 hours in a row in a single day. Therefore, they must be thrown away after their use as they have not been designed to resist germs and bacteria for a long time. They are in fact very thin and the risk of eye infections is high if they are worn longer than the recommended time.
Very different is the case of lenses for prolonged use (such as weekly, fortnightly and monthly) which instead can be worn daily, taking care to clean them with saline solution every time they are removed and reused. After the period of time provided for use, they must be thrown away and replaced with new lenses.
How to store them
Proper storage of contact lenses allows you to preserve eye health. Alongside some of the precautions mentioned above, such as washing and drying your hands well before picking up the lenses, do not use them excessively and clean them with the appropriate solution, it is also good to pay attention to their conservation.
Especially in the case of contact lenses for prolonged use, it is necessary to use a dedicated case in which to store them and to be replaced approximately every three months. After each use, the case should be cleaned with a specific solution and then left to dry.
In general, a little practice is enough to put on and take off contact lenses. Their use lends itself well to everyday life, to sports or to events in which you prefer to avoid the encumbrance of the glasses with the frame. However, to avoid unpleasant eye irritation, it is prudent to put in place some precautions related to hygiene, proper storage and compliance with deadlines.
In addition, if irritation, burning or if you have any doubts about the expiration and method of use of contact lenses, it is good to ask your trusted optician for advice and immediately stop the application.