Most people know that a contact lens is a small, round, transparent disc that is placed on the eye when vision correction is needed. Not everyone understands how that vision correction works though, and getting used to inserting and removing a contact lens can be somewhat of an art form.
The sheer nature of your eye’s functions is vital for contact lens wear to work. The eye’s moisture acts as an adhesive and, together with the slight pressure from your eyelid, holds the lens in place. Blinking keeps the lens clean.
The shape of the contact lenses you will be prescribed depends on your eye sight as well as the shape of your eye. While the inside of the lens fits your eye’s shape perfectly, the outer surface is designed according to your vision correction needs.
While a 20/20 eye allows for light rays to meet perfectly on the retina at the back of the eyeball, creating sharp images, the shape of an eye in need of contact lenses prevents this from happening, and as the light rays converge at the wrong point vision gets blurred. A contact lens helps refocus the light rays to create clear, crisp vision. There are many different eye conditions which can lead to blurred vision, but most are harmless and can be helped easily by contact lens wear.
If you are new to contact lenses, you may not yet have figured out the morning and evening routines that best suit you. The step-by-step guide below might help.
Inserting your contact lenses
Decide whether you want to start with your right or left eye, and then stick to your decision. Getting the wrong lens on the wrong eye can be both uncomfortable and time-consuming.
Be well-prepared: roll up your sleeves, clean the area around you thoroughly, and wash your hands with hot, soapy water, using a clean towel to dry.
Open the lens case and find the contact lens, balancing it on the tip of your index finger. Apply some rinsing solution.
Before inserting the lens, inspect it to make sure that it is clean and free from debris. Never chance it if a lens looks damaged.
Make sure that the edges of the contact lens are pointing upwards. If not, the lens needs to be flipped over in order to cup your eye the right way.
Get control of your blinking and, with your free hand, lift your upper eyelid slightly. With the middle finger of the other hand, pull down the lower eyelid.
Look into the lens and carefully place it onto the centre of your eye. It will move into its intended position as you blink.
If you are having problems or the lens turns itself inside out, try to be patient and start over again. A moment of slight irritation is nothing to worry about, but closing your eye for a few seconds can help, as can some rewetting solution.
Repeat the procedure on the other eye. Thoroughly clean and disinfect the lens case and leave it open to dry.
Removing your eye contact lens
Hygiene is crucial when it comes to contact lens care, and the removal process is no exception. Stick to the same cleanliness ritual as in the morning.
Open your eye, looking in to a mirror, and move your eyelids away from the lens.
For soft lens wearers, it’s a matter of grabbing the lens from the sides. Alternatively, you can give it a light push so that it buckles up.
Rigid contact lenses should be pulled to the side. When blinking, it will lose adhesion and fall out. Don’t forget to cup your hand below the eye to catch the lens.
Rinse and clean your lens and put it in a clean lens case, and then move onto the other eye.
If you are having problems inserting or removing your contact lenses, your optician can give you a training session during which they will watch your procedure to advise you on what you might be doing wrong. Most people find a routine that suits them quite quickly, and their contact lens care fits into their general morning and evening habits.
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