A Closer Look at the Link Between Eyewear and Eye Care

Vision care goes beyond eye health. It also encompasses eyewear. Glasses and contact lenses help us clearly see and navigate the outside world, but they can’t do their job well when they’re not properly looked after.

To ensure your eyewear is helping rather than hindering your sight, it needs to be handled with care. Although wiping your frames on the hem of your shirt or forgetting to replace your contact lens case every three months may seem harmless enough, these actions add up and can significantly impact your eyewear’s efficacy.

Keep reading to learn how to clean and maintain your glasses and contact lenses the right way.

Good Eye Care Starts with Good Eyewear

It goes without saying that glasses and contacts are an investment. High-quality frames and lenses are essential components to long-lasting eyewear. Lens add-ons like an anti-reflection coating, scratch-resistant coating, and UV protection also go a long way in enhancing your comfort and keeping your eyewear in better shape.

Frames, lenses, and customizations add up quickly, though, and without the right vision care benefits in place, you’re left with a hefty price tag. Opting for a more budget-friendly option may sound OK in theory, but these eyewear materials aren’t as well suited for everyday wear and tear. This can ultimately end up costing you more, as your eyewear may need to be replaced more frequently.

The good news is that a vision care plan with a frame allowance can help keep out-of-pocket eyewear costs to a minimum. This benefit covers glasses and contact lenses up to a certain price point. If your eyewear is the same as or below the amount, you’ll pay nothing. If it’s more than the allowance, you’ll just pay the difference.

It’s important to note that not all policies offered by eye insurance companies include a frame allowance. Look for a vision care benefits alternative that’s easy to understand and doesn’t use complex industry jargon to try and confuse you.

Cleaning Your Glasses and Contacts for Better Vision Care

Whether you wear glasses, contact lenses, or switch between the two, routinely cleaning your eyewear is an integral part of vision care. By removing dust and grime from the surface of your eyewear, you’ll not only be able to see better but also keep materials looking like new.

Complete the following steps to clean your glasses and contact lenses like an eye care professional. Make sure to always wash your hands before getting started to prevent transferring dirt and oils during the process.

  • Glasses:
    1. Rinse your glasses under lukewarm water to dislodge dust and other particles. Be careful not to get the water too hot, as this can end up damaging any specialized lens coatings.
    2. Spray a small amount of a glasses cleaning solution (or apply a drop of lotion-free dishwashing liquid) to each lens. Never use a household glass cleaner or ammonia-based products.
    3. Gently rub the cleaning solution on both sides of the lenses with your fingers. From here, you can move onto your frames if needed. The parts of your glasses that come in contact with your skin, like the temples and nose pads, get dirty too!
    4. Run your glasses under lukewarm again for a soap-free finish.
    5. Dry your glasses with a microfiber cloth to prevent smudging and scratching.
  • Contacts:

    Disposable contact lenses should be thrown away after each use, but biweekly and monthly contacts can be cleaned and stored daily.

    1. Place one lens in the palm of your hand and apply a few drops of contact solution. Never use water or medicated eye drops.
    2. Using one finger, carefully rub the lens to clean its surfaces.
    3. Rinse the lens with more solution after rubbing off any debris.
    4. Put your lens into the corresponding chamber of a clean contact case and cover with more solution.
    5. Repeat steps one through four for your other lens, closing the contact case when you’re finished.

Tips and Tricks to Care for Your Glasses and Contact Lenses

Regular cleanings keep glasses and contacts in tip-top condition, but persistent care helps extend their lifespan. This means you can enjoy your favorite eyewear for longer and avoid using your vision care plan’s frame allowance unnecessarily. Here’s what experts recommend to maintain your glasses and contact lenses and get the most out of your investment.

  • Glasses:
    • Don’t wipe glasses while they’re dry. Leftover dirt on the lens or cleaning cloth can cause scratches.
    • Always use a specialized cleaning cloth. Tissues, paper towels, paper napkins, and other materials can be too abrasive.
    • Put on and take off your glasses with both hands to prevent bending or twisting the arms.
    • Glasses should be left on your nose or removed. By putting glasses on your head, you risk misaligning the frames.
    • Store glasses with lenses facing upward in a hard-shell case to keep them from being damaged. Never leave them loose in a pocket or bag..

  • Contacts:
    • Bacteria can build up in contact cases over time, so make it a habit to clean and replace yours often.
    • Never top off old contact solution with new contact solution when storing lenses in their case.
    • Listen to your eye care provider – don’t keep your contacts in longer than recommended.
    • Dry eye patients may be able to make wearing contacts for extended periods more comfortable by using specially formulated eye drops.

Vision Care Benefits Will Come in Handy When You Need a New Prescription

Even with the best cleaning and care, there comes a time for every glasses and contacts wearer to update their prescription. A vision care provider can determine your current needs and ensure you’re able to get an appropriate eyewear solution.

But without the proper vision care benefits, you may not be covered for the quality eyewear your vision warrants. Before your prescription expires, make sure you have a vision care plan you don’t have to think twice about.

Reach out to a vision care benefits specialist to start exploring your enrollment options.