Whether you slip on glasses or pop in contacts, follow these tips to maintain your eye health, look great, and save some cash.

By Christine Yu
Photo by Getty Images

4 Bad Habits to Avoid With Your Contacts

1. Wearing them in the shower

Fresh water is not your lenses’ best friend. It can be home to bacteria and microbes that may get trapped under your contacts and cause redness, itching, infected corneas and conjunctivitis. So remove your lenses before hopping in the shower (ditto pools, lakes or hot tubs). Avoid handling them with wet hands for the same reason.

2. Napping in contacts

Depending on the person, lenses max out at about 16 hours, so you probably know not to sleep in them: It makes you up to eight times more likely to get a corneal infection. But even taking a nap in your lenses is a bad idea. “Contacts can block oxygen to the cornea, which can lead to swelling and abnormal blood vessels,” explains Dianna Seldomridge, MD, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. So despite the fact that you may be sooo sleeeepy, alas, you really do need to get motivated and remove and clean your contacts.

3. Cleaning them too quickly

Even lenses marked “no rub” still need to be, well, rubbed. Plant the tip of your finger in the concavity and slowly work your way out in a circular motion for a thorough clean. “You’ll be more likely to remove the debris, bacteria and protein that can stick to lenses and irritate your eye,” Seldomridge explains. 

4. Wearing them past their prime

Avoid trying to eke extra time out of monthly, weekly or daily lenses. Protein naturally builds up on contacts, and it can scratch your eye and lead to infection.

Do Not Put It On Your Credit Card

Many insurance plans cover prescription eyewear. If yours doesn’t, use flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) dollars. Zenni.com (frames starting at $7) and eyebuydirect.com (frames from $9) are great for single-vision glasses, progressives and bifocals. Readers.com (frames under $20) and ambreyewear.com (frames from $59) are perfect for readers and computer glasses.

The Details on Glasses 

First, determine your “pupillary distance”—the measurement between the centers of your pupils. Ask your partner or one of your kids to hold a ruler over your eyes, align an even number directly above the center of one pupil, and measure to the center of the other. Use a ruler with millimeters, if you have one, or convert inches to millimeters on Google. Now that you have accurate sizing info for your glasses, focus on choosing a flattering frame for your face. In general, the “opposites attract” rule applies, so if your face is... 

Round 

Go for a square frame to create the appearance of angles. 

Square

Select a round or oval frame to soften a strong jawline. 

Oval

You have the most options. Try square or round in dark- or light-colored frames. 

Diamond Shaped

An oval, rimless frame will enhance your narrow eye line. 

Heart Shaped 

Opt for an oval or round frame to offset a narrow chin.

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