Congratulations—you just decided to get your first pair of soft contact lenses. You probably feel excited, but also a little nervous. It might seem nerve-wracking to take a tiny object and place it in your eye every morning.
Don’t worry. Living with contacts might seem strange at first, but you’ll quickly get used to it. Soon, putting on and taking off your contacts will seem like a normal part of your daily routine.
How to Put Your Contacts In
Putting your contacts in your eyes for the first time can be tricky. When something comes close to your eyes, your eyes naturally blink to keep that object out. Even though you want your contacts to touch your eyes, your eyes might still blink rapidly when you first try to put your contacts in. With enough practice, you’ll train your eyes to get used to accepting your new contacts.
To place your contacts, just follow these steps:
- Wash your hands so you don’t get dirt from your hands on your contacts.
- Hold the contact lens for your right eye in your dominant hand. Squirt some contact lens solution on it to rinse off any debris.
- Put the lens on the tip of the index finger of your dominant hand. The contact lens should sit with the hollow side up. If the edges flare out, your contact is inside out and you’ll need to flip it to the right side. Some lenses have markers on them that will show you which is the correct side.
- To prevent blinking, hold your eyelids open with your other hand.
- Look up and keep your eye unfocused. Slowly move your finger toward your eye and place the lens in the center of your eye. Blink several times. Your contact should settle in place.
If your contact doesn’t settle in the center of your eye, remove it (see below for the removal process). Rinse it with contact solution, and then try to put it in again.
If your contact feels itchy or painful, remove it. If it has any tears or debris on it, throw it away and get a new contact.
Once your contact is successfully placed in your eye, repeat the process with your other eye.
When you’re first learning to put in contacts, there’s a tiny risk that your contact could get stuck behind your eyelid. If this happens, don’t panic. With a little time, your contact will eventually move down your eye to where you can pull it out.
Don’t worry if it takes a while to put in your contacts the first few times. Soon, it will become second nature and it will only take you a few minutes.
How to Take Your Contacts Out
Wear your contacts no longer than the amount of time your eye doctor suggests, which is usually about 16 hours a day. You should take your contacts off each night.
Follow these steps to safely remove your contacts:
- Wash your hands.
- Fill each side of your contact case with contact solution.
- Look up. Place the middle finger of your dominant hand under your right eyelid to pull your eyelid down.
- With the index finger of your dominant hand, touch your contact and slide it to the bottom of your eye.
- Use the thumb and index finger of the same hand to squeeze your contact and pull it out of your eye.
- Set the contact in the right side of your contact case and cover it with the lid.
- Repeat steps three through six with your left eye. Put the lens in the left side of your contact case.
Your contacts can stay in the case until you need them again in the morning. Always pour out the old solution and replace it with new solution before storing your contacts for the night.
How to Clean Your Contact Lenses and Case
If you have a “no rub” contact solution, your contact lenses should clean as they soak. However, you can take a few steps to help them stay even cleaner.
For instance, before putting in your contacts or after taking them out, simply rub each contact lens with a clean finger, and then rinse it with contact solution.
It’s also best to clean your case after each use. Just rinse it with contact lens solution, and then leave it empty and open to dry during the day. Replace your case every three months to prevent contamination.
Remember that you’ll need to switch out your contacts. Some types of contacts last longer than others. Check the recommendations on your contact box to know when to replace your contacts.
Just as with anything new, wearing and caring for contacts can seem overwhelming at first. If you have any questions, ask your eye doctor. If you live in the Salt Lake City area, the ophthalmologists at Country Hills Eye Center are here to help you adjust to wearing contacts.