Contact lenses are comfortable, convenient and advantageous but need special care for maintenance as well as use. Here’re some tips that lens-wearers would appreciate.

1. Soft lenses generally centre by themselves if they fit well. Just put them straight on the cornea and they will go where they belong. Use the iris, the coloured part of the eye, as a guide. Make sure you have a competent eye care practitioner evaluate the fit of your lenses before you wear them, though. Improperly fit soft lenses can cause damage to your eyes!

2. Almost all nearsighted people can wear contact lenses, no matter how high their prescription. In fact, there are contact lens laboratories that make custom lenses up to -30.00 diopters! It is essential to follow your contact lens practitioner’s rules, however.

3. Improperly worn contact lenses can cause a loss of oxygen to the cornea, which in turn can lead to blood vessels growing over the front of your eyes, infections, lid changes, allergies, corneal warping, corneal swelling and possibly even blindness.

4. Do not share contact lenses with your friends. Everyone’s tears are filled with normal bacteria, but transferring these bacteria to someone else’s eyes is not a good idea. And not only is there a risk of infection, if the lenses don’t fit, the eye can suffer from a lack of oxygen or develop other problems.

5. Contact lenses are medical devices. Changing parameters should be done under the supervision of an eye care practitioner. Do not take chances!

6. If you sunbathe while wearing contact lenses, there is no problem with heat. But your corneas can swell and make your lenses fit tighter, causing some temporary redness and irritation. Put some form of lubricating drops in your eyes before tanning. Wear protective glasses to block the really harmful UV radiation from getting to your eyes.

7. Bloodshot eyes are a sign that something is not right. It could be as simple as a solution allergy or dirty lenses. But it could also be a sign that your corneas are not getting enough oxygen. Go see your eye care practitioner and find out why your eyes are so red!