Healthy Vision and Contact Lenses

Contact lenses prescribed by a licensed doctor of optometry are worn safely and comfortably by millions of people worldwide and have a long history of providing wearers with a safe and effective form of vision correction. While contact lenses provide many vision benefits, they are not risk-free. Your doctor of optometry can help you better understand how to get the full benefits of your contact lenses and reduce your chances of developing problems.

Protect your eye and vision health with proper hygiene

Contact lens-related eye infections and other injuries can lead to long-lasting damage but often are preventable. Clean and safe handling of contacts is one of the easiest and most important measures patients can take to protect their vision. Hygiene is the most critical aspect of successful long-term contact lens wear.

Many common care mistakes, including failing to clean and store lenses as directed by a doctor of optometry and sleeping while wearing contacts, can increase the chance of getting bacteria in the eyes and causing infection. Serious eye infections can lead to blindness and affect up to one out of every 500 contact lens users per year, and even minor infections can be painful and disrupt day-to-day life. 

A contact lens is a medical device that requires a prescription

All contact lenses, even purely cosmetic ones, are considered a medical device and require a prescription. If contact lenses are right for you, your doctor of optometry will provide you with the lenses, lens care kits, individual instructions for wear and care and follow-up visits over a specified time. 

Contact lens prescriptions generally expire on a yearly basis, unless otherwise determined by your doctor of optometry. Prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses may be similar, but are not interchangeable. Seeing your doctor of optometry annually for an in-person, comprehensive eye exam will not only assess your vision and need for updated prescriptions, but it may also help identify and lead to a diagnosis of other health concerns such as hypertension and diabetes.

Contact your doctor of optometry with questions about proper lens use and for any other eye health concerns. Visit our doctor locator to find an AOA-member doctor of optometry to health with eye care needs.


Click here or on the image below for hygiene tips for contact lens wearers.

American Optometric Association's Do's Don't Contact lens Infographic final

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