Because of the sensitive nature of the eye, wearing contact lenses for the first time can be intimidating for some, or even prevent some patients from making the switch over to contact lenses. However, the vast majority of those who wear contacts are able to use them without issue after just a week or two. Putting the contacts on and taking them off becomes just another part of their daily routine, and so do the enormous benefits of wearing contact lenses. The tips below will help speed that process up for your first time wearing contacts, and they cover the periods before, during, and after putting on and removing your contact lenses.
Before Wearing Contacts for the First Time
Whatever your reason is for purchasing contact lenses, this piece of advice holds true- an eye exam is the most important step in the process. Your eye doctor will not only assess your vision-related needs, but also determine the kind and shape of contacts you need based on the shape of your eyes and other health related factors. Therefore, it is important to have this exam done, even if you’re only going for colored or “non-prescription” contact lenses. It can save you a load of discomfort (and waiting) later on.
Putting in Contacts for the First Time
First things first- is the lens inside out? The first thing to look out for is a brand name or inscription on the lens itself. If you’re able to read the lettering, then you’re good to go. If no such lettering is present, you’ll have to look at the shape of the lens when held pointing downward. If the bottom portion of the lens is rounded, you’re lens is faced correctly. If it comes to a point at the bottom, almost in the shape of a “V,” you’ll have to turn it.
After washing your hands, which is an extremely important step in the process, you’ll want to rinse your lenses with specially made solution. Disinfecting solutions are great, and should be used in combination with a good rinse, but there is no substitute. After rinsing, take the lens onto your index finger. Use one hand to hold your upper eyelid upward and your contact-bearing hand to hold your lower eyelid downward, and while looking straight ahead, center the lens onto your eye. Close your eyes, roll them, and blink until you feel absolutely comfortable.
Removing Your Contact Lenses for the First Time
You’ve got them on, but they can’t stay there forever! Wash your hands thoroughly, and while looking upward or to the side, pull your lower eyelid downward with one hand. With your other hand, gently pinch the lens, moving it off of the surface of your eye. This of course applies to soft lenses. For hard lenses, consult your doctor’s advice on removal.
After the Fact – Caring and Cleaning for your Contact Lenses
Caring for your contact lenses properly will help maintain the health of your eyes, and opportunities to do so should be built into your daily routines. Keep your lenses clean using a combination of thorough rinsing and disinfecting. Multipurpose solutions can often do both, but only if they are compatible with your specific lenses. Replacing your lenses on time is also a necessity. While some lenses are only made to be worn for a day, others can last up to a year. Make sure you stay on top of this, because these lenses are manufactured from different materials.
If the day-to-day duties of wearing contact lenses seem weighty at the moment, we promise that with regular use, you won’t be thinking twice about handling your lenses. Practice makes perfect, and this case is no different. We wish you luck!