Overall, coloured contact lenses are safe to wear. However, most of the risks affiliated with wearing decorative contacts come about by not keeping the lenses clean. As you might guess, the single best way to negate eye infections is to adhere to proper contact lens care and maintenance guidelines as provided by your eye care professional.
The risk of suffering an eye infection varies and to some extent depends on the type of lenses you are using. Single-use or daily disposable coloured contact lenses are regarded as the safest type of lenses in terms of minimizing the risk of an eye infection. Rigid gas permeable contacts are equally safe for long-term use.
Regardless of the type of contacts you use, proper care and maintenance of your lenses is crucial for the safety and health of your eyes.
How to clean contact lenses
- Wash your hands with soap and clean water and dry thoroughly with a clean towel.
- Gently place the lens on the palm of your hand and add a few drops of the contact lens solution over the lens.
- Use your forefinger to gently rub the lens on both sides with the solution. Take care to use your fingertip and not your nail.
- Thoroughly rinse the lens with plenty of solution.
- Check to see if the lenses are smooth and clean. If it still feels gritty, rinse with some more solution, before wearing or storing.
Helpful tip: Never use water from any source to clean or store your coloured contacts. Water lacks the necessary ingredients to effectively disinfect your lenses. In fact, using water to clean your lenses can contaminate them, which will in turn infect your eye and cause irreparable damage.
If you wear single-use coloured contacts, you don’t have to worry about following the guideline above. However, if you drop your single-use lenses or something is caught in your eye, you will need to clean your lenses, in which case, follow the procedure outlined above.
How to store contact lenses
- Fill the lens case with the recommended solution.
- Gently place the clean lens in its appropriate compartment.
- Tightly secure the cap of the case. Repeat this process with the other lens.
- Let the contacts sit in the case for at least 4 hours before removing them to wear. Soaking the lenses in the solution will help to disinfect them.
- After wearing the lenses, pour out the solution in the case. Use fresh solution to rinse out the lens case. Leave the case to dry in open air.
Basic contact lenses care and maintenance guidelines
- Clean your lenses before and after wearing them
- Do not share your contact lenses with any other person
- Do not sleep, swim or shower with your contacts still on
- Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any irritation after wearing coloured contact lenses.
Coloured contact lenses are safe as long as you wear them correctly and care for them as is required. A lot of contacts wearers forget to remove their lenses. If you think you are likely to forget and sleep with them, set an alarm to remind you. It is also important to change your contacts and get new ones after a certain period of wearing them; set a reminder for this too, lest you forget.