I wore bright magenta glasses from fourth grade until my 13th birthday when my dad took me to get my first pair of contact lenses. It felt so liberating not to have anything on my face and to still be able to see. I quickly realized that there's a lot of extra care that comes with being a contact lens wearer. Now that Summer has arrived, here are some helpful tips to keep your eyes protected and happy.
- Choose sunscreen wisely. It's a no-brainer for contact lens wearers to use waterproof sunscreen on their faces so when they sweat or swim, it doesn't drip into their eyes (youch!). But make sure the sunscreen you slather on the rest of your body is waterproof as well, so when you accidentally touch your face or wipe the sweat off your forehead with your arm, you won't risk that painful sting.
- Wear UV protecting sunglasses. They not only protect your eyes from damaging rays, but sunglasses also prevent debris from blowing into your eyes. I also found wearing sunglasses prevents dry eyes caused by warm wind.
- Invest in some UV blocking contacts. I didn't even know they made these until I looked on my box of Acuvue Oasys contacts. Look for ones that say Class 1. This is the highest protection available in contacts and it means they block up to 96 percent of UVA and 100 percent of UVB rays.
For more must-know tips, keep reading.
- Wear goggles when swimming. This may seem obvious, but I've been the person who accidentally opened her eyes underwater and had her lenses float away to the sea gods. Luckily, I was able to squint my way back to shore. Goggles allow you to see underwater, but they also keep your eyes covered in case you get splashed.
- Avoid AC and fans that blow directly on your face. Point vents away from you in the car and have fans oscillate to prevent your contacts from getting dry. Blinking often also helps, but if you end up with dry eyes, keep some lubricating eye drops on hand.
- Use allergy relieving eye drops. If you suffer from itchy, watery eyes due to allergies, use eyes drops that contain an antihistamine.
- Take a break in the bathroom. Hit the sink and splash cold water on your eyes to relieve them from the heat.
- Take a contact lens mini-vacation. Whether it's for a few hours in the morning, one day a week, or for the entire weekend, giving your eyes a break from contacts is something my optician always recommends at my yearly check-up.