How to Maintain Your Contact Lenses
Many people don't realize how important proper contact lens maintenance really is.
The idea of willingly placing a foreign object into your eyes is a bit of a strange concept and when you really think about it, wearing contact lenses isn't natural.
You wouldn't normally put something into your mouth that wasn't sanitary, yet people place dirty contact lenses into their eyes all the time!
Does that sound like you? Stop immediately!
If you find that cleaning your contacts too time consuming then you need to either change your contact lens prescription to disposable lenses which require little or no maintenance, or you need to have your eye doctor remind you of the steps involved in proper contact lens maintenance.
Following the opthalmologist's recommendations is the key to successful contact lens wear because contact lenses and cleaning products are not created equally.
Again, your eye doctor is the person who should advise you on a suitable maintenance routine and to whom you should turn when questions arise.
Because the maintenance steps were so frequently being skipped, it was important to devise ways to make cleaning your contact lenses as quick and as simple as possible. The simplest way to maintain your contacts properly involves using one of the commercially-available multi-purpose contact lens solutions that take care of cleaning, disinfecting, rinsing and storage.
- Wash your hands with a non-moisturizing soap.
- Remove your lens
- Shoot the lens with a stream on multi-purpose contact solution for a minimum of 20 seconds - be sure to rinse both sides.
- Some solutions require that the contacts be rubbed in the palm of the hand using a clean fingertip to help loosen dirt, protein, cosmetics and other debris. Be sure to rinse each lens as directed as this is an important step in helping rid the lens of foreign matter.
- Fill a clean lens case with that same solution and place the cleaned lens into the appropriately labeled storage container.
- While the lenses are being stored, the solution will disinfect them.
- Repeat these steps for the other lens.
Good to know...
Maintenance procedures for soft contacts or gas permeable lenses are usually the same.
For those of you wearing daily contact lenses that aren't disposable, you will usually need to add an extra step to your maintenance routine, especially if you wear soft lenses or older styles of gas permeable lenses that are more prone to protein build-up.
As an extra precaution, using an enzyme cleaner weekly (or as directed) is highly recommended.
Everything that may come into contact with your contact lenses must be kept clean. That includes fingers, hands, tips of solution bottles and storage containers.
Never use water for cleaning. It may contain contaminants and it's too harsh for some lenses.
Develop a cleaning routine and stick with it. Never change without first checking with your eye doctor or opthalmologist.
If you still can't practice good maintenance, switch to disposable lenses. You're the type of person for whom these lenses were invented!