As part of Love Your Lenses Week (March 25-31), BBR Optometry is supporting the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and General Optical Council (GOC) campaign to ensure the millions of people wearing contact lenses treat them with the respect and love they deserve.
BBR chief executive Nick Black, who is a specialist contact lens practioner, says contact lenses are becoming ever more popular especially among people who play a lot of sport or patients who just do not like wearing spectacles.
He says: “Contact lenses are a suitable option for many patients with a wide range of lenses now available but people must remember that these are medical products, not fashion accessories, and that certain care needs to be taken when wearing them.
“Most people wearing contact lenses won’t ever experience any problems but there is still a small risk of developing potentially serious conditions if advice on the correct way to handle and clean the lenses is not followed.
“Here at BBR we offer all patients advice on how to insert, remove and clean their lenses and also ensure wearers have regular eye examinations as these are the best way to detect any possible eye health issues.
“Research carried out by BCLA and the GOC revealed that just over three quarters of respondents have experienced at least one problem in relation to wearing their contact lenses at some point (77%). This is most commonly dry eyes (52%) followed by sore eyes (36%) and a damaged contact lens (29%).
“I would advise any contact lens wearers who experience discomfort, redness or unusual blurring with either eye between eye examinations to leave their lenses out and consult their optician immediately for advice on what to do next,” he added.
Here are our top tips for contact lens wearers:
• Always wash and dry your hands prior to handling your lenses
• Always rub, rinse and store your lenses in the recommended solution before and after each use (except single-use lenses, which should be discarded after each wear)
• Always clean the lens case with solution, wipe with a clean tissue then air-dry after each use by placing the case and lids face down on a tissue
• Always apply the same lens first to avoid mixing them up
• Check the lens is not inside out before applying
• Check the lens is not damaged before applying
• Handle carefully to avoid damaging the lens
• Apply your lenses before putting on make-up
• Remove lenses and then remove make-up
• Keep your eyes closed when using hairspray or other aerosols
• Replace your lens case at least monthly
• Discard lenses and solutions that are past their expiry date
• Wear only the lenses specified by your contact lens practitioner
• Stick strictly to the recommended wearing schedule and replacement frequency
• Make sure you have an adequate supply of replacement lenses or a spare pair
• Have an up-to-date pair of spectacles for when you need to remove your lenses
• Use tap water, or any other water, on your lenses or lens case
• Sleep in your lenses unless specifically advised to by your practitioner
• Use your lenses for swimming, hot tubs or water sports, unless wearing goggles
• Share contact lenses or wear any lenses not specified by your practitioner
• Wet your lenses with saliva
• Put a lens on the eye if it falls on the floor or other surface, without cleaning and storing again
• Re-use or top up solution – discard and replace with fresh solution each time lenses are stored
• Decant solution into smaller containers
• Wear lenses left in the case for more than seven days without cleaning and storing them in fresh solution
• Wear any lens overnight if you are unwell
• Wear your lenses when showering unless you keep your eyes firmly closed
• Switch the solution you use, except on the advice of your practitioner
• Use any eye drops without advice from your contact lens practitioner
• Apply a lens if it is dirty, dusty or damaged
• Continue to wear your lenses if your eyes don’t feel good, look good, or see well
You can find out more about our contact lens consultations from Nick Black in this YouTube video