Healthy Contact Lens Wear

Woman putting contact lens in

You only have one pair of eyes, so take care of them! Taking proper care of your contact lenses can help you see better and keep your eyes healthy.

When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a safe and effective way to correct vision. In fact, more than 45 million Americans wear contact lenses. However, wearing contact lenses can increase your chance of getting an eye infection — especially if you do not care for them the right way.

Contact Lens Health Starts with You

Both contact lens wearers and eye care providers play an important role in proper eye care. Having a conversation with your eye care provider during your next eye appointment can help you better understand if you are practicing healthy habits that can protect you from contact lens-related eye infections.

By following your eye doctor’s instructions on how to properly wear, clean, and store your lenses, you can enjoy the comfort and benefits of contact lenses while lowering your chances of an eye infection. Your contact lens wear and care habits, supplies, and following the advice of your eye doctor are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy.

Screenshots from videos of Te, Ryan and Whitney
Watch the real stories of three people who got an eye infection due to improper wear and care of contact lenses.

Wear your Contact Lenses Safely

If you wear contact lenses, take simple steps to protect your eyes

1. Don’t wear contact lenses while sleeping unless directed to do so by your eye doctor.

  • Studies have shown that wearing contact lenses while sleeping increases the chance of an eye infection by 6 to 8 times.

2.  Never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.

  • Use only fresh contact lens solution in your case. Adding new solution to used solution can lower germ-killing power.

3. Contact lenses and water don’t mix.

  • Contact lenses can carry germs from the water into the eye.

Graphic: Don’t let poor contact lens wear and habits ruin your look. Follow these recommendations for bright eyes!

Don’t let poor contact lens wear and habits ruin your look. Follow these recommendations for bright eyes!

Visit CDC’s Healthy Contact Lens website to learn more tips and recommendations you can follow to protect your eyes.

What CDC Is Doing

CDC works to increase awareness of behaviors and risk factors that can affect the eye health of people who wear contact lenses. As part of that work, CDC provides clear and consistent recommendations about properly wearing, caring, and maintaining your contact lenses.

Contact Lens Health Week

August 19-23, 2019, marks the sixth annual Contact Lens Health Week. CDC organized Contact Lens Health Week to encourage contact lens wearers to adopt healthy habits that can reduce their chances of getting an eye infection.

Free materials are available to help promote Contact Lens Health Week and healthy contact lens wear and care throughout the year.

Page last reviewed: March 1, 2019