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Parents Guide to Contact Lenses

You probably have a lot of questions about contact lenses.  Here are the answers to some of the ones we hear most often.

Are cosmetic (or coloured) lenses safe?

If you are looking for tinted lenses to enhance or change your eye colour, you will need to be fitted for coloured contact lenses by your eye care practitioner just like any other contact lens.

Can I re-use the solution in the storage case?

You should never re-use your contact lens solution. You should throw it out, rinse out your case with fresh solution, and let it air dry.

Can I shower or swim in contact lenses?

You should take out your contact lenses whenever you swim or shower. If you don’t, you could get an eye infection.
A swimming pool environment and the sea are loaded with bacteria and micro-organisms which is why the straight answer is no.  Swimming in contact lenses puts your eyes at more risk of infection than not swimming in contact lenses. Always use appropriate swimming goggles if contact lenses are worn while swimming.  Swimming goggles not only protect against lens loss from swimming under water, but they may also offer some protection from the environment.

Can I use glitter when wearing my contact lenses?

Lotions, powders and gels with bits of glitter look fabulous when you put them on—but the tiny, shiny specks can get into your eyes and cause irritation and problems with your contact lenses. When you’ve applied your glittery gel, be careful not to touch your eyes—and wash the glitter off your hands right away.

Can I use hairspray with my lenses?

Make sure you put your lenses in after you use your hairspray. Aerosols and pump sprays are sticky and can really mess up your lenses.

Can I use make-up with my lenses?

Yes you can, but to minimise discomfort or your make up being ruined we recommend that you follow these simple guidelines:

  • put your lenses on before you put your make-up on, and if you can, use oil-free and fragrance free make-up

  • replace your make up frequently, we recommend mascara every 3 months, eyeliner every three months and eye shadows every six months

Use water-resistant mascara and eyeliner to prevent flaking and smudging. And avoid lash-building fibres as they can cause irritation if they get underneath your lenses.

How long can I wear my contact lenses? Should I rest my eyes from contacts and wear glasses occasionally?

Your eye care practitioner will recommend the length of time each day that your lenses can be worn.

There isn't a simple answer. With contact lenses it isn't a 'one size fits all' approach. Your eye care practitioner will make a judgment based on your lifestyle and will discuss your wearing schedule with you.  If you think you might be wearing your lenses longer than you should, or would like to wear them longer then talk it through with your eye care practitioner.

How long will it take to get used to contact lenses?

It can take anywhere from one day to a couple of weeks, depending on the person.

Can I store or clean contact lenses with tap water?

Never use anything other than contact lens solution to clean your lenses.

Contact lenses should never be stored in tap water, nor should they be rinsed with tap water. Tap water contains micro-organisms that can latch onto the lenses, encouraging eye infections - which if left untreated can lead to permanent vision loss. Make sure you always use a lens solution. Check how to look after your lenses here. Tap water should also never come into contact with your lens case for the same reasons and you should always use a contact lens solution to clean your lens case.