If you wear contact lenses chances are you know that washing your hands before handling your lenses is a complete necessity but there are other things that you can do to help safeguard your eyes from infections. The case that you store your lenses in needs to be cleaned on a regular basis; never use soap to clean the inside or outside of the case or the lids. Use a steady stream of hot water to flush out both sides plus the lids. I use a toothbrush to scrub the outside of the case and the grooves on the lids for surface dirt.
Where you store your lens case can play a big part in your eye health; if you use hairspray, perfume, air freshener or aerosol cleaners you are going to want to store your lens case in a drawer or under a towel. The spray from aerosol cans can land on the case and then transfer to your fingers when you are inserting or removing your lenses. If you use weekly wear lenses remember to change them and always dispose of the old ones in the trash. If you have trouble remembering when you opened a new pack of lenses, there are cases that offer a rotating dial on the side that allows you to change the date so you know how old they are.
Dust and pollen can cause dry eyes which can lead to lenses slipping out of place; if that happens and you need to readjust your lens make sure your hands are clean. If you can not clean your hands close your eye and place a paper towel over the eyelid to move the lens around until it is properly seated again. When I chop onions and have my contact lenses in my eyes tear and that can cause slippage; I made the mistake one time and one time only to try to move the lens around with the knuckle of my index finger while my eye was closed and ended up blinking the lens out. Likewise, if you are cooking and using spices, be careful that the dust doesn’t come in contact with your face or eyes.
If you have any type of a skin rash or infection, it is imperative that you wash your hands with an antibacterial hand soap before inserting or removing your contact lenses. Eliminating scented hand cream is another way to prevent eye irritation that could lead to an infection. I was using a lightly scented body lotion and thought I got it all off of my hands but there was a trace of it on my fingertips. I ended up having to throw away both of my lenses because of the amount of oil that came in contact with the lenses.
Eyeliner and mascara should be replaced twice a year if you use it every day; the same thing applies to any sponges, brushes or applicators that are used near the eye or on the eyelid. I would rather spend ten dollars on a new eyeliner every six months that to have a cross contamination situation. Remember the golden rule you learned when you started wearing makeup, never share it with your friends.