Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses


The two main types of contact lens are rigid gas-permeable or soft. Instructions for using and caring for your lenses will vary accordingly. It’s vital to follow your practitioner’s instructions.

Reusable contact lenses

For lenses that are re-used, rather than worn once and discarded, the following guidance applies.

After removing your contact lenses it’s essential that you disinfect them as this prevents harmful organisms building up on the lens. Your practitioner will advise you on the best contact lens system and care regime. This may include extra cleaning procedures, such as rubbing or rinsing.

Disinfection tips:

  • To disinfect your lenses, soak them in solution in a storage case for a specific amount of time.
  • Never re-use disinfecting solution or top it up. It must be discarded and replaced with fresh solution each time the lenses are stored.
  • Only use the care products recommended by your practitioner, and follow the instructions carefully.

A dirty case is a major source of infection.

Case care tips:

  • Rinse your storage case, leave it open to dry after use each day, and replace it monthly.
  • Clean the storage case each week, using a clean toothbrush and contact lens solution.

Disposable lenses
Daily disposable lenses require no cleaning or disinfection because the lenses are worn only once and thrown away. Don’t re-use these lenses as they’re unsuitable for repeated use. Even if you wear daily disposables, it’s still important to have regular check-ups with your practitioner.

Extended-wear lenses

Extended-wear lenses are specially designed for overnight wear, and can be worn continuously for up to a month before being discarded. Don’t sleep while wearing lenses unless your practitioner advises it. They will also advise you on how to look after the lenses if you need to remove them temporarily. You may need more frequent check-ups if you wear this type of lens.

All types of contact lens

You should always:

  • wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly before handling your lenses
  • have an up-to-date pair of spectacles to wear when you need to remove your lenses
  • replace the lenses at intervals specified by your practitioner
  • have regular check-ups with your practitioner
  • seek professional advice if you’re having problems with your contact lenses

Ask yourself these three important questions when wearing your lenses:

  • Do my eyes look good?
  • Do my eyes feel good?
  • Can I see well?

If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to all of these, or you have any other doubts about your contact lenses, remove them immediately and talk to your practitioner.


  • Never go to bed with a painful red eye. Seek advice immediately.
  • Never bring your lenses into contact with tap water.
  • Never wet your lenses with saliva.
  • Never wear your lenses while you’re having a shower or going swimming (unless you use goggles).