Teen holding out contact lens on the tip of her finger
Teen holding out contact lens on the tip of her finger

Wearing + Caring for Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are thin, clear plastic discs that sit on top of the cornea, the outer layer of the eye, to improve vision. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription from an eye doctor.

Contact lenses can be used to correct:

Types of contact lenses:

Hard lenses

  • Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses are most common
  • Hold their shape firmly, while letting oxygen flow through the lens to your eye
  • Provide sharper vision than soft lenses when the cornea is unevenly curved

Soft lenses

  • Tend to be initially more comfortable than hard lenses
  • Come in a variety of options for different patient needs (daily, monthly, for astigmatism and color-tinted contact lenses)

Did You Know?

All contact lenses require a prescription, including lenses that are not used to correct vision, such as colored and cosmetic lenses.

What Happens During a Contact Lens Eye Exam?

Your eye doctor will ask about any vision problems you are currently having, assess the health of your eyes and evaluate your vision using an eye chart. Comprehensive eye exams are an important part of caring for your overall health.

Your eye doctor might also:

  • Measure the curvature (shape) of your eye to help find the proper contact lens fit
  • Determine your prescription using an instrument called a phoropter
  • Use dilating eye drops during your exam for better views of the structures inside the eye, which can be helpful in detecting eye diseases

If contact lenses are an option for you, your eye doctor may send you home with lenses to try and schedule a check-up exam to discuss how things are going. You can then purchase the contact lens and supply size of your choice.

Did You Know?

Comprehensive dilated eye exams can also help detect other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Always Follow Your Eye Doctor's Instructions

  • Schedule and attend regular check-up exams
  • Follow your replacement schedule and lens care routine exactly as prescribed

Questions about contacts and COVID-19? Read morelink-out icon

Your Replacement Schedule

Contact lenses are designed for specific wearing times. Depending on what’s best for your eyes, your eye doctor may recommend:

  • Daily disposable lenses - lenses that are worn for one day and discarded after each removal
  • Reusable lenses - lenses that are cleaned, rinsed and disinfected after each removal and discarded after the recommended wearing period prescribed by your eye doctor
  • Custom lenses - lenses that are specifically designed for eyes that require a high prescription or special fit

Handling Contact Lenses

Before touching, inserting or removing contact lenses, always remember to:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with mild soap, rinse completely and dry with a lint-free towel
  • Avoid the use of soaps containing cold cream, lotion or oily cosmetics
  • Handle your lenses with your fingertips and be careful to avoid contact with fingernails

Caring for Contact Lenses

Because daily disposable lenses are worn for one day and discarded after each removal, they do not require cleaning, disinfection and storage with contact solution.

However, reusable contact lenses (e.g., monthly replacement contact lenses) do require proper care after each removal. Follow the instructions for your specific lens care regimen to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable. In addition:


  • Always work with the same lens first to avoid mix-ups
  • Always be sure that the lens is in the correct position on your eye before you try to remove it

See Also: Properly Recycle Used Contact Lenses, Blister Packs and Top Foils Through the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Programlink-out icon


  • Never expose your contact lenses to water while wearing them
  • Never use tweezers or other tools to remove your lenses from the lens container unless specifically indicated for that use.
  • Never wear your lenses beyond the period recommended by your eye care practitioner

See Also: Caring for Reusable Contact Lenses with Biotrue® Hydration Plus Multi-Purpose Solution

Carefully Follow Instructions on Solution Labeling

Some solutions cannot be used together, and some are not indicated to use with all lenses.

Storing Monthly Contact Lenses

Fill your lens case with fresh solution every time you store your lenses, and never “top-off” or re-use solution. Discard your solution immediately after your lenses have been removed from the lens case.

Lenses prescribed for single-use disposable wear are to be discarded after each removal.

Caring for and Cleaning the Lens Storage Case

It is essential to follow all labeling instructions for proper contact lens wear and care—and this includes the lens case.

  1. Clean and rinse your lens case with contact lens disinfecting solution each time you remove your lenses. Allow time to air-dry.
  2. To permit excess solution to drain, flip over your lens case while air drying.
  3. Replace your lens case at least once every 3 months or as directed by your eye care practitioner.

See Also: Properly Recycle Small Lens Care and Eye Care Items, Such as Contact Lens Solution Bottle Tops and Lens Cases, Through the Biotrue® Eye Care Recycling Programlink-out icon

Adverse Reactions (Problems and What to Do)

You should be aware the following problems may occur: eye stinging, burning, itching (irritation), or other eye pain, comfort is less than when lens was first placed on the eye, abnormal feeling of something in the eye (e.g., foreign body, scratched area), excessive watering (tearing) of the eye, unusual eye secretions, redness of the eyes, reduced sharpness of vision (poor visual acuity), blurred vision, rainbows or halos around objects, sensitivity to light (photophobia) or dry eyes.

If you notice any of the above, Immediately remove your lenses.

If the discomfort or problem stops, look closely at the lens.

If the lens is in any way damaged, do not put the lens back on your eye. Place the lens in the storage case and contact your eye care practitioner.

If the lens has dirt, an eyelash or other foreign body on it, or the problem stops, and the lens appears undamaged, thoroughly clean, rinse and disinfect the lens, then reinsert it.

If the problem continues, immediately remove the lens and consult your eye care practitioner.