Contact lenses: a guide for trouble-free wear

The majority of contact lens problems can be avoided just by following some simple guidelines.

When wearing your lenses, you should always ask yourself:

  • Do I see well?  You shouldn't notice any blurring.
  • Do my eyes feel okay?  You shouldn't experience any discomfort.
  • Do my eyes look normal?  There shouldn't be any redness or discharge.

If the answer to any of these questions is no, you should do the following:

  • Remove your lenses.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect them
  • Allow time for the problem to settle.

If symptoms persist, you should then seek advice from your eye care practitioner.

  • Wash and dry your hands prior to handling your lenses. Many of the problems we see are hygiene-related.
  • Take care not to mix up your lenses. Remove from the case one at a time.
  • Check the lens is not damaged or inside out before applying.
  • If you wear make-up, insert your lenses before applying and take out your lenses before removing. Keep your eyes closed when using hair spray.
  • Always use the cleaning/storage solutions advised by your practitioner.
  • Make sure your lens case is clean. You should air-dry after each use by placing the case and lids face down on a tissue. Cases should be replaced on a monthly basis.
  • Keep to the wearing times and replacement frequency that your optometrist recommends
  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of replacement lenses or a spare pair.
  • Have an up-to-date pair of spectacles for when you need to remove your lenses.
  • Attend regular check-ups as advised by your practitioner. These are normally on an annual basis, however the maximum interval set by the General Optical Council (our regulatory body) is two years. Beyond that, we're unable to supply you with any more lenses.

  • Use tap water with your lenses or lens case.
  • Wet your lenses with saliva.
  • Use a lens if it is deposited or damaged.
  • Wear lenses left in the case for more than seven days without cleaning and storing them in fresh solution.
  • Use lenses or solutions that have passed their expiry date.
  • Wear your lenses if you are feeling unwell (eg. you have a cold or flu).
  • Re-use the solution from your lens case. Always discard and replace with fresh solution each time lenses are stored.
  • Decant solution into smaller containers (eg. when travelling).
  • Sleep in your lenses unless specifically advised to by your practitioner.
  • Use your lenses for swimming unless wearing watertight goggles.
  • Use any eye drops without advice from your contact lens practitioner.
  • Buy lenses from anyone not registered/regulated in the UK.
  • Wear or try someone else's lenses.