How To Choose & Use Contact Lenses: Tips For Daily Contacts

A person's eye before putting in their contact lenses.

When you first begin wearing contacts, you’ll likely be a bit uncomfortable about using them. Not only are they strange to put in and adjust, they also require a decent amount of prep and care – as properly caring for your contacts and making sure you’re using them correctly could spell the difference between clear vision or irritated eyes.

There are a few key features of daily contact lenses that traditional contacts of the past were missing, so it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into before you spend any money. In this guide, we’ll be covering your options when it comes choosing between types of lenses, and explaining how to use contact lenses once your prescription has been filled.

Choosing the proper kind of contact lenses

Before we talk about using your daily contact lenses, let’s briefly cover the most common types your optometrist will have you choose between, including:

  • Soft contact lenses: the most popular choice, these are soft plastic lenses prioritizing comfort and can either be daily disposables or worn over weekly or monthly periods of time before being tossed
  • Gas permeable contact lenses: these semi-soft extended wear contacts are less common and feature a more rigid silicone material that lasts longer but may be more uncomfortable for some

Now, if you’re going with daily disposables these fall under the label of soft contact lenses – this makes sense too, as there’s no real reason to have rigid or hard contact lenses if you’re replacing them everyday.

Choosing between these two main kinds of contact lenses is a bit of a no-brainer for most of us, as the flexible and comfortable nature of soft, permeable daily wear contacts is a good fit for most lifestyles. Ultimately your choice will be something you need to discuss with your optometrist, as some eye conditions could mean semi-soft or rigid lenses are a better fit.

Is it worth it to get daily contacts?

The worth of daily contact lenses will depend on what you value and if you want to wear contacts or glasses – if you’re a fan of convenience and someone who can stick to a simple routine, chances are you’ll love wearing daily contact lenses.

Compared to wearing prescription eyeglasses or longer-lasting prescription contact lenses, you can’t beat the ease of using daily disposables; no more picking out glasses based on your face shape or worrying about damaging frames and lenses that aren’t exactly disposable.

If you accidentally damage or lose a contact lens, no problem – you’ll have boxes of spares. If you only feel like wearing your lenses for half a day, that’s totally fine. You can always just pop it out and into the trash without feeling like you’re throwing away money.

You can also wear contacts underneath non-prescription sunglasses, which is a huge benefit many don’t consider. Compared to having to buy both prescription glasses and sunglasses, it’s much easier to just layer the two on top of each other. You could even wear contacts underneath non-prescription blue light glasses if you’ve been struggling with digital eye strain caused by too much screen time.

What features do our daily contact lenses have?

Here at Felix Gray, our main concern with contacts is comfort – that’s why we only stock daily contact lenses manufactured using our unique lens structure featuring a graduated, aspheric curve shape paired with smooth edges. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the eye irritation commonly caused by other brands of contacts.

In addition to their shape, our daily prescription contact lenses also feature an incredibly thin optical center point. We’ve incorporated this thin design in order to improve visual clarity and reduce eye strain caused by constant readjustments that may occur when wearing standard lenses.

Finally, our hydrophilic lens material is made from around 60% water and rests in a saline solution with added hyaluronic acid for maximum comfort when sliding them on.

Using your contact lenses

Like their name implies, using daily contact lenses involves putting them in and taking them out everyday. Or at least everyday you plan on wearing them – for example, if you’re just hanging out at home for the day you may decide not to wear them.

Maintaining a hygienic routine bordering on obsession will not only help keep your eyes healthy, it also makes the entire process of wearing, applying, and removing daily lenses much easier. This is especially important if you’re new to contact lenses in general, as you’ll want to stick with good habits from the beginning.

Your overall contact lens routine

You’ll want to stick to a daily routine when wearing contacts, and while that may sound like a lot of work it’s really not a big deal once you settle into the habit. This routine should be followed religiously if you want a lifetime of good eye health and no stress or issues while wearing contacts.

The point of wearing soft contacts is to improve your vision without the annoyance of wearing eyeglasses – if you’re not sticking to a routine, you’ll likely end up suffering from avoidable vision issues due to poor eye and contact lens hygiene.

Maintaining basic hygiene standards

The basic idea behind maintaining hygiene standards while wearing contact lenses is to keep your hands and eyes clean and healthy. The most important thing to remember is to wash your hands before and after touching, cleaning, or moving your contact lenses around.

Whether you already have them on or you’re just waking up and putting them in after your morning shower, you need to wash your hands with soap and water – preferably fragrance-free soap that has no added chemical scents or ingredients that could irritate your eyes.

Aside from washing your hands, you’ll want to store your daily contact lenses in a cool and dry space away from any heat or moisture that could damage the delicate plastic lens structure. Keeping them in a cabinet or drawer is fine, just make sure your boxes of contacts won’t get covered in dust, debris, or stray drops of water.

How to put in contact lenses

Like we mentioned above, the most important part of using daily contact lenses is washing your hands before or after handling them. Aside from that, follow these steps for putting in contacts:

First, wet the tip of your dominant hand’s middle finger (or whichever you prefer) with contact lens solution before putting them in, as you want a sterile and lubricated surface touching the lens instead of your dry fingers or whatever mystery water comes out of your tap.

Use your non-dominant hand to open your eyelids to help safely put your lens in. The easiest way to do this is to use your index finger and thumb to open your upper and lower eyelids. Or, just use your index finger to hold open the upper eyelid as some prefer not to use two fingers.

Next, use the middle finger of your dominant hand to place the lens on your eye – this hand will be much steadier and easier to control if you’re nervous. If it’s uncomfortable or irritating once placed, simply remove the lens and place it back in fresh contact solution before trying again. Do not rinse it off with tap water.

Finally, blink a few times to allow your soft lenses to adjust and settle in. If you notice a bit of dryness or slight irritation still, you can add some lubricating saline eye drops.

Cleaning and removing your contact lenses

Sometimes, your lenses will fail to work correctly or become irritated while you’re out and about or lounging around. When this happens, you can first try fixing the issue with some drops. If that doesn’t work, you may have to take them out and physically clean them off to remove any stray specks of dust or small hairs stuck to the lens surface.

To do so, begin by washing your hands and filling a clean contact lens case with disinfecting saline solution. You want both your hands and your case to be clean – always prioritize cleanliness when it comes to your contact lenses.

Next, add a small amount of solution to the palm of your hand along with your contact lens. Begin to clean it by slowly and carefully rubbing the surface of the lens with a finger (like your middle finger), making sure to clean off any noticeable debris.

After you’ve cleaned the lens, rinse it off with a few more drops of solution. If you still need to wear the lens, you can now place it back on your eye – if you’re planning on taking a nap or don’t need them for a few hours, you can place them back into the case with fresh contact lens solution.

Note: remember not to wash your contact lens case out with tap water or soap; always use saline solution to do so as your tap water is not sterile.

Can you sleep with your daily lenses in?

Sleeping with your daily contact lenses in is not recommended. The point of wearing disposable lenses, after all, is to throw them out once you’ve worn them for a full day. With that being said, if you occasionally forget to remove them and end up napping or sleeping for a few hours, it’s likely not the end of the world – but you do want to make sure to remove them as soon as you realize you’ve left them in.

That isn’t to say it’s safe to leave them in while sleeping, however. Your overall eye health and the risk of issues like corneal infections will increase if you sleep with contact lenses in and our goal of course is to avoid that entirely.

Can you wear daily contacts two days in a row?

Daily contact lenses are designed for one day of use – not two. If you value the health of your eyes, avoid wearing daily contact lenses for two days in a row. You do have the option of discussing lenses that last longer with your eye doctor, so if you would prefer lenses that you can wear for two days to over a week, make sure you bring the topic up during your next visit.

Final thoughts

Choosing and figuring out how to wear contact lenses is a daunting task when you first begin, but settles into an easy and relaxing routine once you’re accustomed to them.

With that in mind, you may also want to consider wearing glasses instead; if you aren’t sure, make sure to browse some of our other vision-related blog articles covering all other aspects of eye health and common vision issues in general such as anti-reflective coatings and types of tints.