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Healthy Contact Lens Wear

Woman with contact lens on fingerYou only have one pair of eyes, so take care of them!

When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a comfortable and convenient way to work, play, and live for the more than 40 million people in the U.S. who wear them. While contact lenses are usually a safe and effective form of vision correction, they are not entirely risk-free—especially if they are not cared for properly. To reap the benefits of wearing contact lenses, it is essential to practice healthy habits.

Healthy Habits=Healthy Eyes

Enjoy the comfort and benefits of contact lenses while lowering your chance of complications. Failure to wear, clean, and store your lenses as directed by your eye doctor raises the risk of developing serious infections and other complications. Your habits, supplies, and eye doctor are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Follow these tips:

Your Habits

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well with a clean cloth before touching your contact lenses every time.
  • Don't sleep in your contact lenses unless prescribed to do so by your eye doctor.
  • Keep water away from your contact lenses. Avoid showering in contact lenses, and remove them before using a hot tub or swimming.

Your Supplies

  • Your Contact Lenses
    • Rub and rinse your contact lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution—never water or saliva—to
      clean them each time you remove them.
    • Never store your contact lenses in water.
    • Replace your contact lenses as often as prescribed by your eye doctor.
  • Your Contact Lens Case
    • Rub and rinse your contact lens case with contact lens solution—never water—and then empty and  dry with a clean tissue. Store upside down with the caps off after each use.
    • Replace your contact lens case at least once every three months.
  • Your Contact Lens Solution
    • Don't "top off" solution. Use only fresh contact lens solution in your case—never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.
    • Use only the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor.
  • Your Eye Doctor

    • Visit your eye doctor yearly or as often as he or she recommends.
    • Ask your eye doctor if you have questions about how to care for your contact lenses and case or if you are having any difficulties.
    • Remove your contact lenses immediately and call your eye doctor if you have eye pain, discomfort, redness, or blurred vision.

    Be Prepared

    Carry a backup pair of glasses with a current prescription—just in case you have to take out your contact lenses.

    Check out CDC's health promotion materials, including posters, podcasts, a social media library, and more!

    What CDC is Doing

    CDC is working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eye care providers, contact lens and product manufacturers, and academic partners on a collaborative effort to improve how people wear and care for their contact lenses.

    Learn more about these partnerships.

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