Halloween is right around the corner, and that, of course, means costumes. If you’re planning on dressing up, it’s likely that you’re considering wearing contact lenses. While the lenses you buy at the Halloween store aren’t prescription, they still require care to ensure that your eyes are comfortable and protected. We do not recommend that patients purchase contacts from a Halloween store. They should see their optometrist and be properly fitted for contacts.
Luckily for you, Paragon Eye Associates houses a team of optometrists and ophthalmologists that know a thing or two about caring for your eyes. Given your potential contact lens use, we’ve included some information you should keep in mind. Below are care instructions to help your eyes stay comfortable this holiday season. For more info or a prescription, contact our Arlington or Mansfield office. Now, let’s get started!
Why Bother Taking Care of Halloween Contact Lenses?
We know what you’re thinking – why take care of something you’re only going to wear once? While the lenses you wear for your costume may not be a permanent or even lasting part of your wardrobe, it’s still worth taking care of them. The simple reason is that taking care of your contact lenses protects your eyes.
Wearing poorly maintained contact lenses puts you at a greater risk of infection and injury. In particular, if lenses are ill-fitting, they can scratch your eye. Using eye drops may be the first thing you think of if your eyes are dry while wearing lenses. However, this can make problems worse. You should never use non-directed methods for keeping your contact lenses clean. With that said, there are some things you can do to maintain your lenses properly.
How to Care For Contacts Properly
Keeping your lenses clean and disinfected is essential for avoiding complications. You should always clean your lenses before and after wear. Many cleaning solutions exist to help you accomplish this. The best one for you will depend on the demands of your eyes. If you have allergies or if your eyes form protein deposits, consulting a doctor before using a cleaning solution is important. Beyond that, here are some things you need to keep in mind:
- Stick to your wear and replacement schedule.
- Follow your doctor’s directions. Also, be mindful of manufacturer instructions.
- Never wear contact lenses that have been stored for 30+ days without disinfecting them.
- Keep your eye exam appointments and discuss the fit of your lenses to see if they need to be replaced.
- Do not shower, swim, use a hot tub or do anything where water gets in your eyes when wearing contacts.
- Do not go to sleep with your daily wear contact lenses on.
How NOT to Care for Your Contact Lenses
People often have the tendency to cut corners even with straightforward instructions. Maybe you’re on a trip, and you forgot your lens case. Maybe you’ve run out of your cleaning solution and don’t have time to purchase more. These things happen, but when they do, it’s important not to succumb to sub-par cleaning habits. Here are maintenance options you may consider but should absolutely avoid:
- Handling your lenses with dirty hands – You should ALWAYS wash your hands with soap and water and dry them before touching your contact lenses.
- Putting contact lenses in your mouth to wet them – Saliva is not sterile and can cause irritation and infection.
- Rinsing or storing contacts in water (tap or sterile water) – Water and contact lenses don’t mix, especially when both are in your eyes!
- Creating and using a homemade saline solution – saline solutions are carefully formulated to clean lenses, don’t attempt to make them at home.
- Using a saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect your lenses – These are NOT disinfectants and can put you at greater risk for infection.
- Reusing and/or topping off an old solution – Dirt and particles build up and can make your solution ineffective.
- Pouring a contact lens solution into a different bottle – Transferring the solution will cause it to stop being sterile.
- Not keeping the bottle tightly closed when you are not using it – Keeping the lid on tight will help prevent bacteria buildup.
Learn More About Contact Lenses Here!
Are you interested in contact lenses? Our team at Paragon Eye Associates is ready to provide you with the consultation and info you need. You can also order Halloween contact lenses through our office (prescription and non-prescription).