It seems like the whole world is getting contact lens these days. I can only count three friends who is not myopic and who doesn’t own contact lenses.
If you wear contacts like me, you know how important it is to keep you lenses clean to prevent infection.
If you have daily disposable lenses, you don’t need to read this. That’s probably the easiest lens to care for, because you just need to take out a new pair everyday. But for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly lenses, you really need to read this.
Washing Your Hands
Remember your mother telling you this when you were young? Well, it’s still relevant today. Wash your hands in lukewarm water with a mild soap before handling your lenses to get rid of any harmful bacteria on your hands.
Don’t use a cosmetic soap with perfumes or oils, because they tend to leave behind residue on your hands, which could irritate your eyes. Dry your hands with a clean cotton towel before handling your lenses.
Depending on the type of lenses you have, you will need different types of cleansing solutions. Consult your eye care professional first as to what type of cleansing routine you need for your lenses.
For my monthly disposables, I use Bausch and Lomb’s ReNu “No Rub” solution. Before wearing my lenses, I take one out of the case with my index finger and put it into the palm of the opposite hand (i.e. if it is your right lens, take it out with your right index finger and place it gently into your left palm). Then I squeeze a couple drops of solution into the left palm and rub it gently into the lens. This ensures the lens is free from any remaining enzymes that might be left from the day’s soaking.
Comfort and Safe Wearing
Ask your eye care professional how long you should be wearing your lens everyday. Create a calendar for yourself or mark your contact lens case to remind yourself when to dispose your contacts.
Wash your hands before taking your contacts out. After taking them out, gently rub them in your palm with your contact solution, then deposit them into your lens case. Fill 3/4 of the lens case with contact solution, and leave overnight with the covers on to get rid of the bacteria and enzymes. For sensitive eyes, try Renu’s sensitive multipurpose solution.
If you have monthly disposables like me, rotate between two pairs in any given month. This reduces the wear for any particular pair of lens and gives your eyes maximum comfort when you are wearing them.
I try to keep a bottle of eye drops or lubricating solution on hand at all times to avoid my lenses from drying up during the day. Especially in the winter when the air tends to be drier, it is important to lubricate your lenses regularly throughout the day to allow oxygen flow into your eyes.
Cleaning Your Contact Cases
Clean your contact cases daily by rinsing it in lukewarm water and letting it air-dry. I have several contact cases on rotational use so that I don’t use any particular one for a long period of time. It is a good idea to replace your lens case every 3 months.
Dos and Don’ts
- Keep your fingernails short to avoid getting bacteria in your eyes or scratching the lens
- Apply makeup after wearing your contacts and take off your contacts before applying makeup remover
- Wear sunglasses to avoid damaging the lenses under intense sunlight
- Take off your lenses and visit your eye doctor if any irritation occurs
- Spray hair spray after wearing your contacts
- Stick your hands into your eyes because of irritation
- Rub your eyes with your lenses in your eyes
- Sleep in your contacts unless it is recommended by your eye care professional
- Wear someone else’s lenses