Taking the Fear Out of Contact Lens Use: Tips for First-time Users
As a first-time contact lens user, you may have many apprehensions and doubts about using contact lenses. However, once you get used to them, freedom from eyeglasses can be really liberating. Eye glasses are not just a burden on your nose but also on your mind where you have to be conscious about protecting them from getting scratched and not leaving them behind. Below are some of the most common questions that first-time users are known to have and their answers.Am I wearing the contacts inside out?
The foremost thing you should know is that wearing contact lenses inside out will cause you no harm. You will know that you have worn them wrong the moment your eyes start feeling uncomfortable. Having said that, there are a couple of simple things you can do to know the correct position of your contact lenses.
Just place the lens on the tip of your finger. If the lens is the correct position, it will form a “U” and if not, the edges will be flared out. Take a look at the picture illustrated here to get a better idea.
Most lenses these days come with a handling tint to help you with positioning the lens properly. All you need to do is place the lens on your fingertip. Now, if you see a colored outline, it means the lens is in the correct position; otherwise, the color will not be visible.How do I wear the contact lens?
Wearing the contact lens is simpler than you think. The thought of placing a foreign object on the eye can be quite intimidating at first, but rest assured that it will pass. Follow the tips illustrated here and you will see that wearing the lens is a piece of cake:
Now that I am wearing the lens, how do I remove it?
- Always wash hands before handling contact lenses.
- The lens may get stuck in the case. Never pull it out just like that. Before you open the case, gently shake it. This will get the lens unstuck.
- You need to rinse the lens with fresh lens solution before wearing it. So, just place the lens on your palm, shower it with a few drops of the liquid and rinse it.
- The next step is to place the lens on the tip of your finger. Remember; you need to get the position right at this point, as discussed above
- Now, it is time to prepare your eye to receive the lens. Just pull your upper and lower eyelids in opposite directions with the aid of your fingers.
- It is now time to place your lens. Just look forward or upward as you gently place the lens over your eye. If placing it on the black of your eye is intimidating, just place it on the white of your eye (the portion closest to your ear)
- Now, gently close your eyes and move them in a circle. The lens will automatically position itself and settle down. It is important that you blink so that it holds its place.
- It is a good idea to double check with the help of a mirror that the lens is actually in the center. The clarity of your vision will also give you an idea whether the lens has been placed properly.
Removing the lens is as simple as wearing it. Here is a step-by-step approach to doing this:
- Just look sideways or upward and pull your lower lid down
- Now push the lens towards the white of your eye
- Holding the lower eyelid, pinch the lens gently using your index and thumb fingers and pull the lens out. There you have it; the lens is removed
If you prefer rigid lenses, the process may vary slightly
- Just bend over and hold your palm below your eye and open it wide
- Place a finger of your other hand on the point where your upper eyelid meets the lower one (towards your ears) and pull the skin outwards. See the arrow mark on the image for better understanding.
- The next step is to simply blink and your lens will pop out and fall on your palm
Some people prefer making use of plungers, which are devices used to remove the contact lenses. If you plan to make use of them, just ensure that you only touch the lens with them and not the surface of the eyes.More tipsEnsure that you wash hands before handling the lenses to prevent contamination
Always keep your hands dry while donning or doffing the lenses
Long fingernails, at least initially, are a bad idea. Keep them clipped until you are more confident of handing the lenses
If you are removing the lenses over a sink, make sure that you cover the drain with paper. This ensures that the lens is not lost in the drain even if it falls off your hand
Eye care professionals suggest that lenses should not be mixed. So, ensure that you reserve one for the right and the other for the left