Medical Devices

Everyday Eye Care

Here are some safety tips you should follow if you wear contact lenses.

Make sure to:
  • Get regular eye exams to assure the continued health of your eyes.
  • Always have a back-up pair of glasses with a current prescription in the event that you have problems with your contact lenses.
  • Always ask your eye care professional before using any medicine or using topical eye products, even those you buy without a prescription. Some medicines may affect your vision or irritate your eyes.
  • Ask your eye care professional about wearing glasses or contact lenses during sports activities to minimize your chance of injury.
  • Apply cosmetics after inserting lenses and remove your lenses before removing makeup.
  • Apply any aerosol products (hairspray, cologne, and deodorant) before inserting lenses.
  • Always inform your employer if you wear contact lenses. Some jobs may require the use of eye protection equipment or may require that you not wear lenses.
  • Follow and save the directions that come with your lenses. If you didn’t get a patient information booklet, request one from your eye care professional or look for one on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Replace contacts as recommended by your eye care professional. Throw away disposable lenses after recommended wearing period.
Do Not:
  • Sleep in daily wear lenses because it may increase your chance of infection or irritation.
  • Purchase contact lenses from gas stations, video stores, record shops, or any other vendor not authorized by law to dispense contact lenses. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription. See Buying Contact Lenses to help you take simple precautions to make your purchase safe and effective.
  • Swap contact lens with another person. Swapping provides a way to transfer germs between people. Contact lenses are individually fitted. Incorrectly fitted lenses may cause permanent eye injury, infection and may potentially lead to blindness.
  • Smoke. Studies show that smokers who wear contact lenses have a higher rate of problems (adverse reactions) than nonsmokers.
  • Swim while wearing contact lenses. There is a risk of eye infection from bacteria in swimming pool water, hot tubs, lakes and the ocean

To view a video on handling, inserting, removing and caring for your contact lenses, go to:

American Optometric Association
For more tips on how to care for your lenses, see Contact Lens Solutions and Products

Page Last Updated: 05/11/2009
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