3 Tips for New Contact-Lens Wearers
At Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we offer virtually every eye-health service there is. From standard glasses for correcting astigmatism to lasers and intraocular lenses to treat cataracts, we’re equipped with the facilities, technology, and expertise that people need to keep their vision sharp. Many of our patients who wear glasses but aren’t quite ready for LASIK or other surgical procedures express interest in switching to contact lenses. However, many patients also express reservations about contacts. After all, the idea of having something foreign in your eyes all day is a strange one for many people. Fortunately, as long as you approach them with a sense of patience, open-mindedness, and responsibility, contact lenses can become a great asset for people who need corrective lenses. Here are three ways to make your transition as smooth as possible:
- Give contacts some time.
It’s not uncommon for someone to take several tries to get contact lenses in their eyes for the first time. Don’t let that discourage you—inserting a contact lens into your eye isn’t the most natural thing you can do, but it’s second nature for the tens of millions of people who wear contacts every day. It’s important to be patient for the first couple of months with your contact lenses. You’ll get better and better at putting them in and taking them out every day, and before you know it, you’ll be a pro.
It’s perfectly natural to feel like you have “something in your eye” when you start wearing contacts, but this is often just a psychological thing. Moreover, for some people, the initial discomfort is just a matter of finding the best contact fit and type for their eyes and lifestyle. Most people get used to this feeling after a couple of weeks (though it can vary quite a bit), so hang in there for as long as you can. There’s no officially sanctioned recommended time to wait before “giving up” on contacts, but we recommend wearing them consistently for at least two months before determining whether they’re right for you. Once they get used to wearing contacts, many people strongly prefer them to prescription eyeglasses.
One of the main things that make putting in and taking out contacts difficult for new contact-lens wearers is anxiety, maybe even fear. Again, inserting a tiny transparent disc into your eye may seem awkward, unnatural, and maybe even dangerous, but it’s perfectly safe—as long as you practice good hygiene and safety habits. Moreover, one of the most common fears about contacts (that they will somehow slide behind the wearer’s eyeball) is misguided. The inside of your eyelid is attached to the back of your eye, so this simply cannot happen.
- Keep them clean.
Anyone who decides to start wearing contacts should also commit to practicing safe and healthy contact-lens habits. This means:
- Only use contact solution to clean your contact lenses. Never use water, even in a pinch, as this can allow dangerous microbes to enter your eyes.
- Don’t sleep in your contacts.
- Never swim in your contacts (remember, amoebas).
- Never reuse contact solution.
- Only clean your lens case with contact solution (again, no water), and replace it every three months.
- Wash your hands each time you handle your contacts or touch your eyes.
When you first get your new contact lenses, your optometrist will go over what you need to do to keep your eyes healthy and safe. Make sure you fully understand what he or she tells you to do, then stick to that plan. At Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we offer high-end contact lenses, prescription glasses with enhancing coatings, and the most cutting-edge technology (such as the LenSx laser system and AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® trifocal intraocular lenses). If you’d like to schedule a comprehensive medical eye exam to check for any other eye-health issues, or you’re interested in any of the many other services or products we offer, contact Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons today. Be sure to follow Dr. William Segal and Dr. Marc Lay on Facebook and Twitter for more eyecare information, fun facts, and the latest news and updates about eye health.