Top tips for using contact lenses safely

Contact lenses dos and don’ts

If you’re fed up with wearing glasses, contact lenses are one way to help solve some inconveniences that you may come across when wearing glasses. But for first-timers, they can take some getting used to.

As well as having patience and taking time over putting in your contacts during those first weeks, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the dos and don’ts. NHS stats show that currently, more than 3 million people in the UK wear lenses, but some may not follow the rules of safe use. When you are prescribed contacts, remember to read the instructions and take on board any advice you receive. Read on for further expert tips on keeping your eyes safe and feeling comfortable all day long.


  • DO wash your hands before putting your contact lenses. If you’ve got any fluff or debris on your fingers, these could make their way into your eye and potentially lead to infection
  • DO carry a pair of up-to-date glasses around with you – with the right prescription – in case you need to take your lenses out. This means you’ll also need to carry a contact lens pot and solution.
  • DO book regular check-ups with your optician. Over time, your eyesight could change, which would mean updating your lens prescription. Failing to have regular appointments could lead to problems going unnoticed.
  • DO replace the lens solution on a regular basis, as advised by your optician. It’s also good practice to regularly rinse and clean the storage case, or swap it for a clean one.
  • DO keep the packet. On the back, there’s a batch number, which you’ll need in the event of a bad reaction.
  • DO report any problems. Failing to tell your optician or doctor about issues you’re having could result in greater damage later on.
  • DO disinfect your lenses in a storage case after you’ve removed them to prevent harmful bacteria from building up on the surface. Soak them for a set amount of time advised by your optician and only use the care products they’ve approved.


  • DON’T leave your lenses in for longer than you’re supposed to. Every type of contact lens comes with a recommended time, and going beyond that could damage your eyes.
  • DON’T use care products that haven’t been approved. If you’re having problems with dry or sore eyes whilst wearing contact lenses, Optrex ActiMist 2in1 Eye Spray for Dry + Irritated eyes* targets dry eye in a blink of an eye.
  • DON’T wear someone else’s lenses. There’ll be no guarantee that they’re clean, and the other person will most likely have a completely different prescription to you, meaning you’ll strain your eyes.
  • DON’T wear lenses while in the shower or swimming – unless you’ve got a pair of water-tight goggles. See our article on wearing contact lenses on holiday for more tips.
  • DON’T put a damaged or torn lens in your eye. This could irritate your eye and make them go bloodshot. Please seek medical advice and consider trying Optrex’s Bloodshot Eye Drops†, designed to relieve redness and minor irritation.
  • DON’T try to re-use disposable lenses. Daily contact lens wearers should always put in new ones every morning, and if you’re a monthly wearer, make a note of which date you need to open a fresh pack. Why not set a reminder so you don’t forget?
  • DON’T sleep in your contact lenses. As with wearing contacts for long periods of time, never wear them overnight unless your optician has given this the okay.

Have you had laser eye surgery?

Some contact lens wearers choose to correct or improve their vision with laser eye surgery. This has long-term benefits, but in the short term can cause problems such as dry and bloodshot eyes, light sensitivity and excessive watering.

If you’re having laser eye treatment, make sure you’re prepared for any side effects and are taking measures to protect your eyes from things such as pollution, air con and eye strain caused by artificial light. Optrex’s ActiMist™ Eye Spray for dry & irritated eyes can help you relieve and refresh dry, irritated eyes*. Alternatively, you can try the Intensive Eye Drops, which can instantly hydrate, lubricate and soothe your eyes. You should seek medical advice from your doctor to ensure that eye drops or eye care products are suitable for your eyes post-surgery.

Contact lens wearers can get more top tips on how to look after their eyes whilst on holiday.

*Dry and Irritated eyes due to disturbed lipid layer of the tear film, approx. 80% of dry eye cases.

† Bloodshot Eye Drops is a medicine for temporary relief of redness of the eye due to minor irritations. Always read the label.