Contact lenses have advanced in the past few decades to be used by many individuals in the general public. Along with this wonderful device comes the responsibility of maintaining good cleanliness and hygiene.
Here are a few tips that will ensure the best comfort, health, and vision with your lenses.
Each type of contact lens is designed and approved for a specific amount of wear time.
Daily disposable means that the lenses are to be worn during the day then thrown away at the end of the day.
No storage is needed for use of these lenses. Monthly or bi-weekly lenses are stored for a month or two weeks, respectively.
Making sure not to overwear these lenses is key as lenses are designed with the length of wear in mind. For example, monthly lenses are made to be thicker compared to daily disposables.
In addition, the number of hours worn during the day is also important. Our optometrists recommend that you wear the lenses while completing important tasks then take them off after arriving home.
Ideally, have a pair of glasses that you wear while at home and winding down from the day, such that your eyes have a chance to breathe.
This is an important step in cleaning your reusable contact lenses, such as monthly or bi-weekly lenses.
After removing the lenses from your eyes, make sure to use some saline and rub both sides of the lens in small circular motions to remove debris and protein build-up. Follow this with a saline rinse.
There are many solutions available for cleaning soft contact lenses. Tap water should never be used as it is not sterile and microbes could cling onto your lens and, therefore, onto your eye to cause infection.
Saline should also be used as an alternative for rinsing, storing or cleaning.
Hydrogen peroxide is another alternative for storing the lenses. A peroxide cleaner is a stronger solution than saline to store the lenses overnight and allows for improved cleaning.
Take caution in using this solution as the lenses must be left in it and the designated case for a minimum of six hours to allow for the solution to neutralize and become water so that it is safe to use on the eyes.
The peroxide will help to remove protein build up. Also take note that the peroxide is only for storing and not for rinsing. It is important to remember that if the lenses touch peroxide, they must be thoroughly rinsed with saline.
While hydrogen peroxide is less convenient than other solutions, when used properly it is absolutely the most healthy for the eyes by keeping the lenses extremely clean.
An often forgotten step of the hygiene process, the contact lens case is a common culprit for corneal infections. It is recommended that you change the contact lens case every three months.
When purchasing a new saline or peroxide solution, it will come with a new case. Switch them! Although washing the cases with hot water daily helps, a brand new case is the best way to ensure that you have gotten rid of microbial biofilms.