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Precautions for Using Eye Drops With Contact Lenses

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When using eye drops with contact lenses, a few safety and efficacy precautions must be taken. Read the article to learn more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rahul Vaswani

Published At May 7, 2024
Reviewed AtMay 7, 2024

What Are Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are prostheses used on the eye's front surface to replace the anterior cornea. They help treat corneal surface degeneration and refractive error. Numerous parameters characterize contact lenses, including total diameter, base curve, optic zone diameter, power, edge, thickness, tint, and central, peripheral, and intermediate curves. There are several varieties of contact lenses.

Contact lenses are available in soft, hard, and rigid gas-permeable lenses. They have various uses, including optical, surgical, diagnostic, therapeutic, cosmetic, preventive, and occupational. Contact lens performance is determined by water content, wettability, oxygen permeability, refractive index, transmission, light transmission, size, temperature resistance, and flexural stability.

Contact lens action relies on a variety of design and material property considerations. Contact lenses are categorized into focons and filcons based on their substance. A perfect contact lens should be stable, sterile, adaptable, gas permeable, biocompatible, and have suitable surface chemistry. It should also have good optical qualities and tolerance. Each type of contact lens has advantages and disadvantages. Using contact lenses can lead to mechanical, corneal, and conjunctival issues.

What Are the Types of Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses can address several vision problems, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Contacts are usually available as soft or hard lenses, but there are also specialized varieties of contacts for specific eyesight and eye health requirements.

Hard Contact Lenses:

Hard contact lenses are usually made of plastic and contain stronger elements that help them maintain their shape. In certain situations, people with irregular corneal curvature or soft contact discomfort may find these lenses helpful.

Soft Contact Lenses:

Many people choose to wear soft contact lenses daily because they are more flexible. Extended-wear, daily-wear, and colored contacts are some soft contact lenses.

What Are the Types of Eye Drops?

Use eye drops to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes caused by contact lenses. Eye drops come in various forms and are not all the same. One must know the proper eye drops to use with contact lenses to maintain the eyes' comfort and safety.

Rewetting Eye Drops:

Rewetting eye drops are designed to maintain moisture in the eyes while wearing contact lenses. They moisturize and lubricate the eyes, improving comfort. These eye drops can also remove debris under the contact lenses. They are perfectly safe to use with contact lenses.

Dry Eye Drops:

Dry eye drops are designed to relieve the symptoms of dry eyes and are available in various formulations. There are thinner and thicker varieties of dry eye drops. The thinner drops may be suitable for use with contacts, but it is normally preferable to use rewetting eye drops designed for use with contacts. It is advisable to speak with an eye specialist before using thicker dry eye drops with contact lenses as they may cause vision problems or "gum up" the lenses.

Vasoconstrictor Eye Drops:

Vasoconstrictors are certain substances used in eye drops to relieve redness. They work by constricting the small blood vessels in the eyes to treat redness. Vasoconstrictor eye drops work well to relieve red eyes, but if used in excess, they may form deposits on the surface of the lenses, produce cloudiness, and even recur redness. It is advised to use these eye drops for red eyes and avoid using contacts until the redness has completely subsided.

Medicated Eye Drops:

Medical eye drops, commonly used to treat eye infections, should not be used with contact lenses. It is advisable to wait until the eyes have completely healed before using contacts.

How to Use Eye Drops With Contact Lenses?

Use eye drops carefully by following these instructions with contacts:

  • Take off the contact lenses, then store them securely.

  • Hold the eye drops in the eye by tilting the head back.

  • Squeeze the bottle without letting the tip contact the eye while holding it over it.

  • Close the eyes for around one to two seconds.

  • Blink to spread the eye drops.

  • Re-insert the contact lenses after applying eye drops to the eyes.

Read the instructions carefully before using, and contact the optometrist in case of any doubts.

How to Take Care of the Contact Lenses?

Maintaining the hygiene of contact lenses can help protect eyesight and maintain healthy eyes.

Maintain contact lens hygiene by following these guidelines:

  • Hands should always be completely cleaned before handling contact lenses or eye drops.

  • Contact lenses should be cleaned often.

  • Ensure that the contact lenses are kept in a sterile case.

  • Let the case air-dry after rinsing it with a fresh solution.

  • Contact lens cases should be replaced at least every three months.

  • Do not take a shower with contact lenses.

  • Take off the contact lenses before using a hot tub or going swimming.

  • Avoid rinsing or soaking the contact lenses in tap water.

  • Make an appointment for routine eye exams.

What Are the Indications to Remove the Contacts?

It is essential to pay attention to the effect of contact lenses on the eyes.

Remove the contact lenses immediately to protect the eyes in the event of:

  • Red or irritated eyes.

  • Eye injury.

  • Pain in or around the eyes keeps getting worse.

  • Light sensitivity.

  • Sudden blurring of vision.

  • Unusually wet eyes.

  • Discharge or inflammation from the eyes.

Consult the eye doctor if experiencing these symptoms.

Conclusion:

Numerous eye drops are available, but not all will work for contact lens wearers. Rewetting eye drops are designed to make contact lenses feel better in the eye. Dry eye drops may work appropriately, but some formulas are heavy and can clog the lenses. Vasoconstrictors and medicated eye drops should be used only when not using contact lenses. Remove the contact lenses in case of pain, redness, light sensitivity, discharge, sudden blurring, or severe tearing.

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Dr. Rahul Vaswani
Dr. Rahul Vaswani

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)

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refractive errorcontact lens
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