Contact Lens CareWednesday, May 27th, 2015, 1:15 pm
The 10 Commandments of Contact Lens Care
- Always begin by washing your hands with soap and water, then rinse and dry them. Never touch your contacts or eyes before washing!
- Cut down on underwater exposure - take your contacts out before going swimming or jumping in the hot tub.
- Water (tap or sterile) should not be used to rinse your contacts.
- Do not put your lenses in your mouth to wet them. Saliva is full of germs that belong in your mouth, not your eyes!
- Do not use saline solution and rewetting drops to disinfect lenses. Neither is an effective or approved disinfectant.
- Wear and replace contact lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your doctor. If you wear your contacts too long, it will show! Eyes will look red and tired, and may be damaged by overwear. Do you find yourself forgetting to switch to a new pair? Try setting an alarm on your calendar or phone to remind you!
- Clean the lenses regularly - things like dust, pollen, and protein can gunk up the lens making them uncomfortable and unsafe for use. Follow the specific contact lens cleaning and storage guidelines from your eye care professional and the solution manufacturer.
- During cleaning, rub your contact lenses with your fingers, then rinse the lenses with solution before soaking them. This “rub and rinse” method is considered by some experts to be a superior method of cleaning, even if the solution you are using is a “no-rub” variety.
- Rinse the contact lens case with fresh solution — not water. Let the case air dry to avoid getting lint from your towels on your contacts.
- Clean your case and replace it regularly, at least every three months. Lens cases can be a source of contamination and infection. Do not use cracked or damaged lens cases.
There are rules for properly using your contact lens solution as well:
- Do not re-use old solution. Each time you take your contacts out of the case, rinse and put in new solution.
- Transferring contact lens solution into other containers can affect the sterility of the solution, which can lead to an eye infection.
- Protect the tip of the solution bottle and keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
- If you store your lenses for an extended period of time, you may need to re-disinfect the lenses before you wear them. In no case should you wear your lenses after storage for 30 or more days without re-disinfecting.
Some experts recommend that if you use contact lenses sporadically you consider using single-use daily disposable lenses.
As Dr. Pasion says, “Don’t be a contact lens abuser!” If you are a contact lens wearer and you experience discomfort, give us a call and we will help you determine if you need to come in for an appointment.