We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
JAMA Patient Page |

Proper Care of Contact Lenses FREE

Aria A. Razmaria, MD, MSc
JAMA. 2015;314(14):1534. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.12468.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

More than 40 million people in the United States use contact lenses. Correct handling and care of this type of eyewear is important to avoid complications.

Cosmetic or prescription contact lenses are considered medical devices and are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Only physicians and other licensed eye care professionals are allowed to prescribe contact lenses. It is necessary to meet with such a professional, discuss the different types of contact lenses, and have contact lenses individually fitted. It is very important to follow the doctor’s advice and the manufacturer’s guide regarding how to care for and when to replace the contact lenses. This applies to both cosmetic and prescription contact lenses. Inappropriate use and care of contact lenses can have serious consequences like infection or injury to the surface of the eye and may even lead to blindness.


Before touching contact lenses, always wash your hands with soap and water and dry your hands well with a clean, lint-free cloth. Manufacturers recommend rubbing and rinsing contact lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution to clean contact lenses each time you remove them from your eyes. Store contact lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace your case every 3 months or sooner. Manufacturers also recommend rubbing and rinsing a contact lens case after each use with contact lens solution, drying it with clean tissue, and storing it upside down with the caps off after each use. Soak lenses overnight in sufficient contact lens solution to completely cover the lens. Contact lenses should never be stored in water. Only fresh contact lens solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. Old solution in the storage case must be discarded and not reused or mixed with new solution.

Remove your contact lenses before sleeping unless directed otherwise by your doctor. This helps the cornea of the eye to “breathe” and restore its surface. Keep water away from your contact lenses. Manufacturers recommend avoiding showering, swimming, or going into hot tubs while wearing contact lenses. Manufacturers also recommend applying cosmetics after inserting lenses and removing lenses before removing makeup. Recommendations also include applying any aerosol products (such as hair spray, cologne, and deodorant) before inserting lenses. You should never share contact lenses with another person. Sharing can transfer germs between people or damage the cornea by an improperly fitted lens.


People who wear contact lenses should have a thorough eye examination at least once a year. It is recommended to have a backup pair of glasses with a current prescription in the event that problems occur with the contact lenses. An eye care professional should be contacted before using any topical eye products, even those that can be bought without a prescription. Some medicines may affect the vision or irritate the eyes. Remove contact lenses immediately and contact an eye doctor if you experience eye pain, discomfort, redness, or blurred vision.

Box Section Ref ID

For More Information

To find this and previous JAMA Patient Pages, go to the Patient Page link on JAMA’s website at www.jama.com. Spanish translations are available in the supplemental content tab.


The JAMA Patient Page is a public service of JAMA. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, JAMA suggests that you consult your physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 312/464-0776.

Sources: US Food and Drug Administration, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Optometric Association

Topic: Vision Care



Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Spanish Patient Page: Cuidado adecuado de los lentes de contacto

Supplemental Content

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles