11 Common contact lens mistakes
There are some situations and issues that only contact lens users will understand and sympathise with. Some of them can be quite silly, but others are potentially dangerous, so we prepared a useful tip for each one of them to help you improve your experience with your contacts.
- Not knowing which side of the lens should be on your eye
That's a common problem, especially among fresh users. The easiest way to tell is to put the lens in the tip of your finger and look at it from the side. If you see the outer edge curling outwards, it means that the lens needs to be flipped to the other side. Some manufacturers put a side indicator on their contacts, to make things easier for the users.
- Dropping contact lenses on the floor
This happens to everybody at some point. Make sure to handle your contact lenses above the bathroom sink or some other surface, where it won't get lost. If your lens touches any surface other than your eye, your hand or the lens case with fresh solution, always make sure to clean it thoroughly before your next attempt at inserting it.
- Removing contacts before finding glasses
Well, the only solution to that is to remember to find the glasses first :)
- Forgetting to buy new contact lenses
In this busy world, it's hard to remember everything all the time and plan ahead. If you tend to forget about replenishing your contact lens supply, set up a reminder on your smartphone a week or two ahead of when you'll run out. You can also set up a reminder e-mail from us around the time when you'd be running out of your supply of lenses. Simply go to "My Account" > "My Details" and set a date under "On what date would you like to be reminded to place another order?" Hit Save and we'll email you on that day.
- Falling asleep without taking your lenses out first
Now, this is a dangerous one. If the lenses you're using are not specifically meant for continuous wear, you must ALWAYS remember to take them out before going to sleep. Regular contacts are not breathable enough to support your cornea's oxygen demands when your eyes are closed, therefore sleeping with them can be potentially very harmful. If your lifestyle means that you often fall asleep with contacts in, switch to using extended wear ones.
- Tearing your lenses
Contacts are made of very soft and delicate materials - you stick them in your eyes after all. That's why caution is recommended while handling them as they may be damaged quite easily. If you haven't used a particular pair for a while and it's been sitting untouched for weeks, it's a good idea to turn the lens case over a few times and give it a gentle shake before opening it. That ensures that the solution inside gets distributed evenly in the case and helps unstick a lens that's been stuck to the lid. Doing this will help prevent it from tearing when opening. If you spot a crack or a fine line on your contact lens, don't wear it as it might scratch your cornea and cause an infection. If the fault exists before the first use, it might mean that the lens has a manufacturing defect, in which case it should be returned to the retailer for a replacement.
- Trying to revive half-dried contact lenses with a lens care solution
Even if you're sure that the lenses are not expired or overdue, this is not worth the risk. Most contact lenses are delicate hydrogels whose structure is dependant on their liquid content so when it dries out, the structure breaks down and is no longer safe to use.
- Worrying about staying out because you have forgotten to take your lens case or solution with you
No other way than to pop into a chemist and buy a bottle of solution with a lens case. You know it won't go to waste anyway. If this happens to you a lot, think about switching to continuous wear contacts or daily disposable ones that you could always carry in your purse/man bag.
- Running out of solution and using old solution twice
Not a good idea and a great way to infect your nice sterile lenses. So don't do that. If you find lens care a drag then that's another reason to switch to daily disposables.
- Using water instead of solution due to running out of the latter
Very bad idea! Water, even drinking water, is not sterile and can be a source of a dangerous parasite called Acanthamoeba, which can cause a serious eye infection. To read more about water and contact lenses click here.
- Reusing daily disposable contact lenses
An idea against all logic. Daily contacts are relatively expensive, so some people try to save up a little cash and reuse them but that completely undermines the point of using them in the first place. They are recommended for people with a tendency for dry eyes, allergies, etc. If you stick used daily lenses into your eyes, you're putting them (your eyes, not the lenses) at risk of exactly the things you were trying to avoid by purchasing them.