Basic Care of Contact Lens
Take Proper Care of Your Contacts
You must clean and disinfect any contact lens you remove from your eye before you put the lens back in. There are many types of cleansing systems. The choice depends on the type of lens you use, if you have allergies or if your eyes tend to form protein deposits. Ask your eye doctor what kind of cleaning solutions you should use.
Take special care to clean and store your lenses correctly to avoid dangerous eye infections.
Here is what you should do:
- Follow the schedule your eye doctor gives you for wearing and replacing your lenses. You should not wear daily wear lenses while you sleep.
- Remove contact lenses before taking a shower, using a hot tub, swimming, or doing anything where water gets in your eyes.
- Before touching your contact lenses, wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a lint-free towel.
- Never put contacts in your mouth to wet them. Saliva (spit) is not a sterile solution.
- Do not rinse or store contacts in water (tap or sterile water). Also, never use a homemade saline solution.
- Do not use saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect your lenses. They are not disinfectants.
- Follow directions from your doctor and from the lens cleaning solution manufacturer to clean and store your lenses.
- No matter what type of lens cleaning solution you buy, use a “rub and rinse” cleaning method. Rub your contact lenses with clean fingers, then rinse the lenses with solution before soaking them. Use this method even if the solution you are using is a “no-rub” type.
- Use new solution each time you clean and disinfect your contact lenses. Never reuse or “top off” with old solution. Also, do not pour contact lens solution into a different bottle. The solution will no longer be sterile.
- Make sure the tip of the solution bottle does not touch any surface. Keep the bottle tightly closed when you are not using it.
- Rinse your contact lens case with sterile contact lens solution (not tap water). Then leave the empty case open to air dry.
- Keep your contact lens case clean. Replace the case at least every 3 months, or right away if it gets cracked or damaged.
- If you store your lenses in the case for a long time, check the contact lens instructions or the lens solution directions to see if you should re-disinfect them before wearing them. Never wear your contact lenses if they have been stored for 30 days or longer without re-disinfecting.
Contact lenses can warp over time, and your cornea can change shape. To make sure your lenses fit properly and the prescription is right for you, see your eye doctor regularly.
Lens Case Care
It is essential that you follow your eye care professional’s directions and all labeling instructions for proper use of lenses and lens care products, including the lens case. Contact lens cases can be a source of bacteria growth. Lens cases should be emptied, cleaned, rinsed with solutions recommended by the lens case manufacturer, and allowed to air dry each time you remove the contact lenses from it. Lens cases should be replaced at regular intervals as recommended by your eye care professional.