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Care for your Contact Lenses

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.


Contact lenses

help correct vision problems. You need to know how to insert and remove contact lenses correctly. You also need to know how to clean and store them, and how often to change them. Proper cleaning and changing of your contacts can help prevent eye damage or infection.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a sudden change in your vision or complete loss of vision.
  • You have a foreign body in your eye.
  • Your contact lens gets stuck in your eye.
  • Your eye is bleeding or looks different than usual.
  • You have severe eye pain.

Contact your ophthalmologist if:

  • Your eyelid is swollen.
  • Your eyes are sensitive to light.
  • You get hit in the eye with an object.
  • You have changes in your vision.
  • Your eyes are red and draining yellow or white fluid.
  • You feel like there is something in your eye.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Wash your hands before you touch your contact lenses:

Use soap and water. Do this before you insert, remove, or clean your lenses. This will prevent eye infections.


Clean your contact lenses as directed:

Use a multipurpose contact lens solution as directed. Rub and rinse your lenses before you insert them or store them. Do not use water or eyedrops to clean your lenses.

Keep your contact lens solution clean:

Do not let the tip of the bottle touch any surface or your hands. Do not put solution into a travel-sized container. Keep the cap on the bottle when you are not using it.

Store your contact lenses correctly:

Store your lenses in new solution each time. Do not reuse contact lens solution. Do not store your contact lenses in water. Clean the case every day with multipurpose contact lens solution. Keep the case open and let it air dry when you are not using it. Replace the case every 3 months.

Replace your contact lenses as directed:

Ask your healthcare provider how long you should wear a pair of contact lenses. Change your contact lenses as directed to prevent infection or injury to your eye. Throw away contact lenses that have a hole or tear in them.

Remove your contact lenses before you swim:

This will prevent damage to your contact lenses. It will also help prevent an infection.

Remove your contact lens if you get chemicals in your eye:

Throw away your contact lens and rinse your eye with water. Stand under a shower or faucet or pour water into your eye from a clean cup. Do this for 15 minutes.

Ask your healthcare provider if it is safe to wear your contact lenses during sleep:

Extended-wear contact lenses can be worn overnight. Other types should be removed for sleep to prevent an eye injury.

Do not smoke:

Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. Smoke can damage your contact lenses and cause eye problems. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

What you need to know about contact lenses and makeup:

  • Put in contact lenses before you put on makeup.
  • Do not wear lash-extending mascara. This type of mascara has fibers that can get on your contact and irritate your eye.
  • Do not wear waterproof mascara. This may stain your contact lenses.
  • Replace your mascara every 3 months to prevent infection.
  • Do not use fake eyelashes or eyelash cement. These products can damage your contacts lenses.
  • Remove your contact lenses before you remove makeup. Clean and store them as directed.
  • Do not apply eyeliner to the moist part of your eyelid.
  • Do not use hand cream or lotion before you touch your contact lenses.
  • Use hairspray before you put in your contact lenses.

Follow up with your ophthalmologist as directed:

Get an eye exam once a year. Your healthcare provider can check for changes in your vision or eye problems. He can also make sure your contact lenses fit your eyes correctly.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.