How to Adjust to Wearing Contact Lenses
For first time contact lens wearers, the thought of a foreign object on the surface of your eye might be intimidating. However, with a little time and patience, adjusting to the responsibility of wearing and caring for your contacts will become a natural part of your daily routine.
1. Follow Your Optometrist’s Instructions Along with the Directions Provided by the Contact Lens Manufacturer
Properly follow the care guidelines of your new contact lenses to help you learn the wear schedule and get you familiar with removing your contacts as often as directed for the most comfortable wear time.
Tip #1: Mark the current date on your lens packet or set an alarm on your phone to help you stay on an appropriate replacement schedule
For example, your specific contact lens brand requires you to discard and replace your lenses every two weeks. Write today’s date on the contact lens packet to help you remember when you last put fresh lenses in. Or, set an alarm on your phone two weeks from now to alert you when it’s time to replace them.
Tip #2: Put important dates on your calendar
Remind yourself of important dates like reordering your supply, opening a new box of lenses or replacing your lens case with a new one by putting corresponding tasks and dates on your calendar.
Tip #3: Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to remove your lenses each night
If you have lenses that require removal and reuse from day to day, setting an alarm will help you adjust to the additional time it takes to remove, clean, and store your contacts every night during your evening routine. This will take less time and become more second nature as you practice!
2. Be Patient with Yourself and Plan For a Little Extra Time to Put In and Take Out Your Lenses
Plan for 5 to 10 extra minutes in your morning and evening routine to put your lenses in and take them out without becoming frustrated or rushing through the steps. If you feel your eyes need to better adjust, simply put your contacts in for a few hours in the morning and switch to glasses later in the day if needed. Or, if you feel comfortable, continue to wear your contact lenses throughout the day until you remove them at night.
3. Follow a Routine to Avoid Mixing Up Your Lenses
Be consistent with your routine so that you do not mix up your right and left lenses. For example, choose the left lens to start each morning. Every evening start by removing the left lens and place in the left side of the case. If you do place the incorrect lens in your eye, you may feel discomfort, which will just indicate the need to remove and start over with the correct lens. However, consistently wearing the wrong prescription for an extended time could cause damage to your vision in the long run.
4. Be Diligent with Your Daily Lens Care and Personal Hygiene Habits
Be sure to wash and dry your hands well before handling your contact lenses. Use fresh solution daily to rinse your lenses and store them in a case with fresh solution. Your case should also follow a replacement schedule, which will help keep your lenses in good shape between replacements.
5. Communicate with Your Eye Doctor
If you’re consistently having a hard time wearing your new contact lenses, you should follow up with your eye doctor to determine a solution. You may have to try another brand containing different materials or lens technologies that may be more suitable for your eyes.
While some people can adjust to wearing contact lenses within a few days, others may have to trial and error what works best according to factors like lens materials, technology, care, and wear requirements. Your Shopko Optical optometrist will help you determine which brand may work best for you and can help troubleshoot if needed. Ultimately, practicing putting in and removing your lenses daily will help you easily adjust to your new contact lenses.