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The Teen's Guide to Caring for Contact Lenses

Today, many teenagers wear contact lenses instead of glasses. When they are prescribed contact lenses they receive specific care instructions from their eye doctor.

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Those instructions teach teenagers how to keep their contact lenses clean and disinfected. By following those instructions, a teenager who wears contact lenses can avoid eye infections and other painful eye conditions. The following are some basic tips for teenagers (and others) on how to care for a pair of contact lenses.

Wash Hands Before Touching Contact Lenses

Itís important for a contact lens wearer to wash his or her hands with warm water as well as soap before touching contact lenses. Also, the personís hands should be free of any lotions. Any foreign substance on a personís hands may end up on the contact lenses resulting in eye irritation or even an infection.

Never Wear Another Personís Contact Lenses

When two people share the same contact lenses they are also sharing bacteria and foreign substances. Also, not all contact lenses fit the same way. A person may be putting in a contact lens that is an inappropriate size for him or her. This can lead to eye damage.

Keep Contact Lens Cases Clean

When a sterile contact lens is put into a dirty case there is a risk that bacteria will develop. In short, without the proper care, bacteria can grow in the contact lens case. Contact lens cases must be cleaned with hot tap water or a sterile solution in order to protect a pair of clean contact lenses. This cleaning routine must be repeated after each use of the case.

Follow the Contact Lens Prescription

A teenagerís eye doctor will explain what kind of contact lenses he or she has. Itís important to wear them on the schedule put forth by the eye doctor. Some contact lenses arenít meant to be worn for an extended period of time. Furthermore, wearing them longer than the stated period of time may cause eye infections to develop. Teenagers should be clear on these significant instructions before leaving the doctorís office.

Make a Yearly Appointment with the Eye Doctor

Along with a vision check, a teenager will need to have his or her contact lens prescription evaluated. The eye doctor may want to change the prescription or simply ask how the contacts are working for the patient. The doctor may renew the current prescription or write a new one. It is important to make the eye doctor aware of any conditions or problems that have occurred.

Wear Sunglasses to Protect the Eyes

A teenager who wears contact lenses may notice that his or her eyes are extra sensitive to the sun. This can be remedied by wearing sunglasses with UV protection. A teenager who doesnít want to wear sunglasses may opt for a hat to protect his or her eyes. Staying out of the bright sunlight is another option.

Donít Sleep While Wearing Contact Lenses

Unless a teenagerís eye doctor has specified that it is okay to sleep in his or her contact lenses, the person should not do it. When a person is asleep his or her eyes are not getting the supply of oxygen that they do in the daytime. Sleeping in contact lenses may cause an eye condition to develop.

Contact Lens Wearers Must Be Careful with a Makeup Routine

If a person wears makeup, itís best to put in contact lenses before beginning to apply the makeup. Powder makeup should be avoided if possible in order to avoid eye irritations. Also, contact lens wearers should avoid touching their contact lenses with makeup residue on their hands. A person should try to avoid getting any sort of makeup dust particles on his or her contact lenses.

In the Event of an Eye Infection Switch to Glasses

A person who experiences redness, irritation or infection in the eye should take out his or her contact lenses. It is wise to wear a spare pair of eye glasses until he or she can see the eye doctor. Putting the original pair of contact lenses back in may worsen the infection.

Never Put Contact Lenses into the Mouth

A contact lens wearer cannot clean a contact lens by putting into his or her mouth. There is bacteria in a personís mouth that can spread from the contact lens to the personís eyes. Sterile solution prescribed by an eye doctor is what should be used to clean a contact lens in the proper way. If a person doesnít have a supply of sterile solution, then he or she should not put it back into the eye until the proper cleaning solution can be found.

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