Thinking about making the switch from glasses to contact lenses? Then you’re among the over 30 million Americans who’ve decided to wear contacts, according to the American Optometric Association.  Contacts come with a lot of great benefits. They’re simple, precise, and they don’t take away from that beautiful face of yours. But as Spiderman’s uncle once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It’s important to learn all about contact lenses to make sure you keep them clean and hygienic so they give you the best vision possible. Here’s our definitive list of contact lenses do’s and don’ts, perfect for the contact newbie or pro.

Do these things:

  • Make sure your hands are clean before handling your contacts. Wash with antibacterial soap before and after touching your contact lenses.
  • Talk to your optometrist about the best way to clean your contacts. They know all the good tips!
  • Clean your lens’ storage unit often, at least once per week.
  • If you wear makeup, apply it after you put your contacts in.
  • Replace your contact solution monthly, even if you still have some left in the bottle.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays. If you work around sand, dust, or other excessive particles, wear protective eyewear.
  • Be sure to replace your contact lens case every 90 days. It’s also a good idea to disinfect your case every month in the dishwasher, and let it air dry with the lids off.
  • Keep your contact storage case at room temperature.
  • Always use the recommended solution to clean and store contacts. Homemade solutions have been known to breed bacteria and even bind contacts with the eye.

Remember these no-no’s:

  • Don’t put contacts in over an open sink. Plug the drain to avoid any mishaps or missing lenses.
  • If you’re feeling ill, avoid wearing your lenses and put on a set of frames instead.
  • Don’t use your own saliva to clean or moisten your contacts. (We’ve heard horror stories!)
  • The 5-second rule does not apply to dropped contacts. If you drop your lenses, re-clean them before putting them back in.
  • Never “top off” your solution in your case. Always pour out the old and replace with all fresh solution.
  • If your eyes are feeling irritated or are red and itchy, stop wearing your contacts and call your optometrist.
  • Don’t forget to take off your makeup at the end of the day. Use mild non-irritating soaps or wipes to take off any lingering eye makeup.
  • Never wear your contacts longer than your optometrist has prescribed.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be sure to have a positive and happy relationship with your contact lenses. Whether it’s your first time wearing them, or you’ve been a contact user for years, a few wrong decisions can lead to irritated eyes and uncomfortable infections. Talk to your optometrist today to discuss your own contact lenses and see if making the switch is right for you!