Contact Lenses & Cosmetics
“My contacts don’t work anymore for my vision, and are dry and uncomfortable, and I want to tear them out of my eyes half way through the day.” —Patient X
I’m sure a lot of you have had similar complaints or concerns, and may have even been fit in different brands, materials, and modalities to try and solve the problem. Now keep in mind that there are definitely a lot of different clinical reasons for someone to be feeling this way and a lot of times the switch in brand, material, or modality will do the trick. We can however look into how your cosmetic products are affecting your contacts as well. Every bit of proper care and hygiene will help to increase comfort and health of our eyes.
How do cosmetics affect our contact lenses?
Studies have shown that the cosmetics can bind themselves to the lens surface. The cosmetic product will now have the ability to change the lens’s dimension by flattening the curve of it. Changing the lens dimension could affect the lens fit, comfort, and prescription. Yes I said prescription. So that means the lenses you are putting on your eyes will not be the right power for you anymore and your vision will be reduced as well. Further, it will reduce the lens’s ability to be able to move fluid over top of it keeping it moist, and instead the lens will begin to dry out.
- Change lens dimensions
- Change fit
- Change lens prescription
- Reduce vision
- Decrease comfort
- Increase dryness
How do cosmetics come in contact with contact lens?
When inserting or removing our contact lenses we can transfer particles of our cosmetics onto the lenses if our hands are not properly washed. If we insert our lenses before we apply our makeup, we could transfer particles from our mascara wands for example. Or if we are wearing our contact lenses while removing our makeup particles from the cosmetics can enter the eye during this process.
How can we prevent the transfer of cosmetic products to our contacts?
- Thoroughly wash hands before inserting contact lenses.
- If applying makeup after inserting contacts lens insert a drop of preservative free artificial tears into each eye to rinse the contact lens before leaving for the day.
- If inserting contact lenses after applying makeup then insert a drop of preservative free artificial tears to each eye to rinse the ocular surface. Then again thoroughly wash your hands and insert the contact lenses.
- Remove contact lenses before removing makeup.
- Thoroughly wash hands before removing contact lenses.
- Once contact lenses are removed ensure to properly rub the contact lenses with proper contact lens solution and rinse before storing in their case.
- Talk to your optometrist if switching to dailies contact lenses is an option for you.