How to properly care for contact lenses
Help prevent contact lens induced eye infections
Here are some tips on how to properly care for contacts and lower your risk of infection.
Clean Your Contact Lenses With Care:
Do ask your eye doctor what cleaning method is best. Most contact-lens wearers are familiar with easy-to-use multipurpose contact lens cleaning solutions. But another chemical system, in which lenses are placed in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and later neutralized with a special solution, has fewer preservatives and may be better for sensitive eyes or people with allergies. Some research has suggested this two-step hydrogen peroxide system may also have a higher bacteria kill rate. Be sure to discuss what might work best with your eye doctor. If you have any immdiate questions then feel free to call the eye care professionals at Family Vision Centers 1.877-972-2020.
Don’t ever put any contact lens solution directly into your eyes while wearing your contact lenses, unless it’s specifically formulated for that purpose. Moreover, you should never allow the tip of the contact lens solution bottle to touch your eye, since the bottle could become contaminated. Repeated use in this manner may increase the chance of an unwanted eye infection.
Store Your Contact Lenses Correctly:
Do check your contact lens solution’s label to see how long you can store your contact lenses. The amount of time a solution will remain effective varies between manufacturers. Some solutions continue to kill bacteria for up to 7 days others contact lens solutions will continue to kill bacteria for up to 30 days. Clean your lenses and lens case with a fresh squirt of contact lens cleaning solution as soon as your window for safe storage has expired.
Do replace your case at least every three months. Keeping it for longer could lead to a buildup of bacteria, Schaeffer says.
Don’t forget to use disinfecting solution to clean your contact lens case. Leaving even a drop or two of tap water in your case could allow bacteria to accumulate. Unless you’re going to be diligent about air drying after you rinse a case out with water, use the disinfectant solution itself to clean it. Neglecting to properly disinfect your contact lens case is a common mistake that leads to eye infections.
Everyday Contact Lens Cautions:
- Don’t put your contact lens in your mouth or moisten it with saliva; it will only transfer bacteria from your mouth to your lens leading to a nasty eye infection.
- Don’t wear your contact lenses if your eyes are red or irritated. If there’s an eye infection, using your lenses will only worsen the problem. See your eye doctor immediately and wear your glasses until the problem has been properly diagnosed and treated.
- Always wear your contacts as instructed. Contacts are to be disposed of according to your doctors and/or the contact lens manufacturer’s recommendation. Stretching out the wear time not only can cloud your vision, but is one of the easiest ways to pick up an eye infection. Treating an eye infection can cost a lot more than what you think you are saving by extending the wear time. If you are looking to save money on brand name contact lenses, then check out our online store at famvision.com which sells all the popular brand name contacts at discount prices.
- Make sure you setup an appointment and visit your eye doctor every year, or more often if you have extended-wear lenses or a special circumstance, such as an ocular or systemic disease like Sjogren’s syndrome or Diabetes.
- Don’t switch contact lens brands without informing your doctor of your intention. If your neighborhood store has a sale on contact lens solutions you’ve never used before, is there any harm in trying out a new product? Maybe. Different solutions have different preservatives, detergents, and wetting agents that may affect your eyes in distinct ways, even if the ingredients are similar. And some studies suggest certain contact lens cleaning solutions don’t work well with certain types of contact lenses. If you want to change solutions, check with your eye doctor first.
- Don’t ignore product directions. Disinfecting solutions have to meet a certain bacteria kill rate to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but product tests are based on how a contact lens solution was designed to be used by the manufacturer, which could be different from what you’re actually doing at home. Follow the directions to the letter to help minimize complications and prevent getting an eye infection.
- Do rub soft contact lenses for 20 to 30 seconds. No-rub multipurpose contact lens cleaning formulations allow you to skip this step. Continuous rubbing wipes off bacteria and may make multipurpose solutions more effective. With all but daily disposable lenses, squirt a few drops of solution or cleaner on the surface of the lens and gently rub it with a fingertip in the palm of the hand (be sure to wash your hands with soap and water and dry thoroughly first). Rinse with Solution afterward.