UC San Diego Health
menu icon
search iconSearch
Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us
Click 'Back to Intro' to return to the beginning of this section.

Contact Lens Safety Tips

Here is a list of safety tips from the American Optometric Association:

  • Visit a reputable eye care professional for a complete eye exam every 12 months or more often if directed by your eye care professional.

  • Use only contact lenses approved by the FDA and prescribed by a licensed eye care practitioner.

  • Never swap contact lenses with another person.

  • Don't wear lenses longer than prescribed. Also, don’t wear them when sleeping unless otherwise directed.

  • If eyes become red or irritated, remove the lenses immediately and talk to your healthcare provider. Don't reuse the lens or ignore the irritation.

  • Replace contacts regularly because they wear out over time. Throw away disposable lenses after the recommended wearing period.

  • Put on soft contact lenses before applying make-up.

  • Put on rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses after applying makeup.

  • Don't use lash-extending mascara. Its fibers can irritate the eyes. Replace mascara at least every 3 months.

  • Remove lenses before removing makeup. 

  • Use hairspray before putting on your contacts. If you spray your hair while wearing contacts, keep your eyes closed and keep them shut for a few seconds after you’re done.

  • Blink your eyes often when using a hairdryer.

  • Keep cosmetic chemicals away from lenses. This includes nail polish and remover, perfume, and cologne.

Cleaning tips

Here are cleaning tips:

  • Remember to CRD—Cleanse, Rinse, and Disinfect. Do this to your lenses after removal and before wearing them again. Enzyme and cleaning solutions can't substitute for disinfecting. There are also multipurpose products that can do many of these functions if used as directed.

  • Wash and rinse your hands before handling your lenses. Use a non-perfumed hand soap.

  • Don't use saliva or water to clean your lenses.

  • Never use non-sterile homemade saline, distilled water, or tap water for any part of your lens care routine.

  • Know your solution. Solutions can't always be mixed. Use products advised by your healthcare provider. Not all solutions can be used for all contact lenses.

  • Solutions can become infected through contact with lenses. Don' let the bottle tip touch any surface, including your contact lenses.

  • Clean, rinse, and air-dry your lens case each time lenses are removed. Contact lens cases can be a place where bacteria grow. Replace cases every 6 months or each time you start a new bottle of solution.

Online Medical Reviewer: Chris Haupert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 9/1/2020
© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.