Contact Lenses Dos and Don’ts

Should you sleep in your lenses? How often should you replace your storage case? Find out these answers and more.

Health Monitor Staff
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If something is going into your eyes, especially contact lenses, you need to take care of them. But are you caring for your lenses properly? Find out what you should and shouldn’t do to best preserve your lenses and protect your eyes.


  • Wash your hands with a mild soap and dry with a lint-free towel before touching contacts—every time!
  • Clean lenses often, as recommended by your doctor.
  • Use fresh solution every time to clean and store contacts in your case.
  • Throw out expired solution and other lens products. The ingredients start breaking down after the expiration date, and the manufacturer doesn’t know if the solution will still work—or cause side effects—after that date.
  • Remove your lenses before taking off makeup to prevent eye irritation.
  • Get regular eye exams to be sure your contacts are doing their job.
  • Every 3 months, replace your contact lens case. Studies show up to 80% of storage cases are contaminated with invisible microbes. Regular replacement is your best defense.


  • Use tap water or saliva to “clean” or store your contacts, since it could be contaminated with microbes.
  • Swim with contacts or wear them in the hot tub (chemicals like chlorine are bad for your contacts, plus the water can still have low levels of microbes).
  •  “Stretch” the time between replacing contact lenses; reusing them too much could lead to an eye infection.
  • Top off old solution with new because the active ingredients can start breaking down once exposed to air.
  • Sleep in your lenses without your doctor’s approval.
  • Use eye medicines or new eye products without your doctor’s approval.
April 2013