Have you ever wanted to change your eye color? When it’s warm and you don’t want to deal with glasses slipping or fogging up would you like another option? Are there activities that you participate in that glasses aren’t a comfortable choice? Many people don’t realize that they may be great candidates for contact lenses.
Contact lenses prescribed by a licensed Doctor of Optometry are worn safely and comfortably by millions of people worldwide and have a long history of providing wearers with a safe and effective form of vision correction. While contact lenses provide many vision benefits, they are not risk-free. Your Doctor of Optometry can help you better understand how to get the full benefits of your contact lenses and reduce your chances of developing problems.
Contact lens-related eye infections and other injuries can lead to long-lasting damage but often are preventable. Clean and safe handling of contacts is one of the easiest and most important measures patients can take to protect their vision. Hygiene is the most important aspect of successful long-term contact lens wear.
Many common contact lenses care mistakes, including failing to clean and store lenses as directed by a Doctor of Optometry and sleeping while wearing contacts, can increase the chance of getting bacteria in the eyes and causing infection. Serious eye infections can lead to blindness and affect up to one out of every 500 contact lens users per year, and even minor infections can be painful and disrupt day-to-day life.
All contact lenses, even purely cosmetic ones, are considered a medical device and require a prescription. If contact lenses are right for you, your Doctor of Optometry will provide you with the lenses, lens care kits, individual instructions for wear and care and follow-up visits over a specified time.
What about makeup and contact lenses? You can wear contacts and cosmetics safely and comfortably together by following these helpful tips:
- Put on soft contact lenses before applying makeup.
- Put on rigid-gas permeable (RGP) lenses after applying makeup.
- Avoid lash-extending mascara, which has fibers that can irritate the eyes. Also avoid waterproof mascara, which cannot be easily removed with water and may stain soft contact lenses. Replace mascara at least every three months.
- Avoid applying eyeliner along the watermark of the eyelid.
- Remove lenses before removing makeup.
- Choose an oil-free moisturizer.
- Don’t use hand creams or lotions before handling contacts. They can leave a film on your lenses.
- Use hairspray before putting on your contacts. If you use hairspray while you are wearing your contacts, close your eyes during spraying and for a few seconds after.
- Blink your eyes frequently while using a hair drier to keep your eyes from getting too dry.
- Keep false eyelash cement, nail polish and remover, perfume and cologne away from lenses. They can damage the plastic.
- Choose water-based, hypoallergenic liquid foundations. Cream makeup may leave a film on your lenses.
Contact lens prescriptions generally expire on a yearly basis, unless otherwise determined by your Doctor of Optometry. Prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses may be similar but are not interchangeable. Seeing your Doctor of Optometry annually for an in-person, comprehensive eye exam will not only assess your vision and need for updated prescriptions, but it may also help identify and lead to a diagnosis of other health concerns such as hypertension and diabetes.
Come in and see us for a comprehensive eye exam and discuss personalized options for your eyes.
Dr. Patrick Utnehmer, Promenade Optometry & Lasik, (951) 296-2211.