Getting contacts for the first time, or considering the switch from glasses to contact lenses? While wearing contact lenses is an exciting step, it also comes with an adjustment period. Here’s everything you need to know before you start wearing contacts.
Tip #1: Be patient
Learning how to put in and take out contacts can be tricky. It may take several days before your new habit of putting in contacts feels like second nature. But don’t get frustrated: With some dedicated, steady practice, you’ll soon be incorporating your contact lenses into your morning routine without trouble.
Learning to Put Contacts in Your Eyes
Your eye doctor or a specialist at your eye care center will teach you the correct process for putting in your contact lenses. It can feel awkward at first, and you might feel like your eyes are revolting, but it won’t take too many tries to get those contacts in the right place. When you’re first learning how to use contacts, make sure to give yourself plenty of time, so you’re not rushing.
It’s possible your eye doctor will have you practice putting contacts in and taking them out multiple times at your initial contact lens appointment. He or she will want to observe that you’ve got the process down, and they can help give you guidance and tips that will make the process easier. You’ll also have a follow-up appointment (usually one to two weeks after you first start wearing contacts) to make sure everything is fitting and feeling well.
Dealing with Discomfort
Even with the guidance of your eye doctor, contacts might feel strange or uncomfortable in your eyes at first. Everyone experiences contacts differently, but your eyes should adapt soon. If you continue to have trouble adjusting or you have problems with your vision, contact your eye doctor.
Tip #2: Follow your eye doctor’s instructions
In addition to teaching you their method for how to put in and take out contacts, your doctor will also give you specific instructions about handling and wearing your contacts. You may receive guidelines like these to ensure you are as comfortable as possible:
- Replace your contact lenses at the recommended interval; wearing contacts longer than prescribed could cause vision problems or even eye infections.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contacts.
- If you have biweekly or monthly contacts (as opposed to dailies), establish a cleaning routine. Clean your contacts using the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor, and never clean your contacts or lens case with tap water.
- If your eyes have different prescriptions, make a habit of always starting with the same eye when you take your contacts out at night.
Tip #3: Know what to do if you have these common contact issues
Even though 48 million people in the United States wear contact lenses, that doesn’t mean you’ll never experience problems. Here are some common issues you might face as you get used to contacts.
The lens moves around on your eye at first: Sometimes one or more contact lenses may shift around a bit before settling into place. This is perfectly normal and is caused by fluids in your eye. To fix it, blink a few times, and the contact should migrate to its proper spot.
It’s possible that if your contact wanders too much, that it might be the wrong shape. Most lenses are spherical, but if you have astigmatism (a condition in which your eye isn’t completely round), you may need what are called toric contacts — lenses that are shaped differently to fit the eye that has astigmatism.
Your eyes tear up: Because contacts are a foreign object, their presence may cause your eyes to react with tears. After a short time, your eyes will get used to the contacts and any excessive tearing will stop.
Your eyes get dry: Certain types of contact lenses can leave you with dry eyes. Ask your eye doctor if there are eye drops you can use when not wearing your contacts to protect them from dryness. They may also suggest rewetting drops that are safe to use while you’re wearing your contacts.
You experience blurry vision: Often, this can be the result of not cleaning your lenses properly or wearing them longer than you should. Or your eyes might just be tired. If, after you switch your cleaning habits or get some rest, you’re still having trouble with blurry vision, call your eye doctor.
Are you ready to make the switch from wearing glasses all the time to contact lenses? We’re here to answer any questions you have and get you set up for contact lens success. Give us a call today.