When it comes to eye care, proper hygiene is an absolute necessity. Even entry of a minute-sized, dust particle disturbs normal vision, and we end up rubbing our eyes until the fine particulate matter is removed. Similarly, extra care is needed if you wear contact lenses on a regular basis. They should be cleaned properly, and one needs to follow the suggested lens care tips without fail. But, do you know how to care for your contact lenses? The upcoming paragraphs deal with contact lens care instructions.
Importance of Contact Lens Care
Using contact lenses puts the eyes at risks for various eye conditions, like dryness, keratitis and itchiness. Since lenses are directly positioned over the cornea, any impurity present in the lenses are passed on to the eyes. Thus, improper care of contact lens increases the chances for eye infections and other vision problems, which every user should be aware of. The two commonly reported contact lens infections related to poor hygiene include corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis (pink eye). So, take proper care of contact lenses to lengthen their durability and minimize eye problems.
Taking Care of Contact Lenses
First of all, consult the eye doctor before purchasing contact lenses. In the market, you will find soft, hard, extended wear and specialized contact lenses. Each of these contacts have their own pros and cons, so selecting the best type that suits your eye condition can be a tricky task. Before handling and putting contact lenses, always clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, followed by drying with a lint-free cloth. Also, don't use skin moisturizer on washed hands prior to putting contacts. Here's how to take care of your contact lenses.
Selecting Lens Solutions
For cleaning contacts, use solutions that are recommended by the doctor. Never use homemade saline solutions for lens cleaning. Preferably, you should try the suggested brands first, and see for any signs of allergy. Once you are confirmed about the safety of a lens solution, you can continue using the same for cleaning your contact lenses. The same selecting tips are applicable for eye drops too.
Cleaning Contact Lenses
Based on the product, you can rinse contacts with or without rubbing, to get rid of protein buildup and debris. So, always follow the contact lens cleaning guidelines mentioned on the product label. Never wear contact lenses beyond the time frame that is recommended by your concerned eye specialist. For most cases, it is suggested to remove lenses after 7-8 hours of continuous wearing.
Disinfecting Contact Lenses
Talking more about how to care for your contact lens, this step is crucial to exterminate harmful microbes that adhere to the lenses. While putting the solution, ensure that the tip of the bottle is positioned away from the case (or any other surface) to avoid contamination. After the disinfection procedure is over, discard the solution from the case.
Lubricating Contact Lenses
Consider lubricating your contact lenses, if you experience dry eye symptoms. For this, you will need a re-wetting solution for the lenses. At any point of time, avoid using saliva to wet or lubricate your contact lenses. Though it sounds weird, saliva and inside of mouth contain many strains of bacteria and microbes. So, wetting lens with saliva runs the risks of contaminating them.
Storing Contact Lenses
Proper storage of contact lenses is equally important for increasing lens durability and improving eye health. The disinfected lenses should be kept in a clean case, filled with a fresh solution. To clean the case, you can use either hot water or sterile solution. After thorough rinsing, allow it to dry properly. Replacing the lens case should be done after using for 3-6 months.
Remove Contacts Before Sleeping
It is not recommended to sleep with the contact lenses on, even if you are using the improved lenses that can be worn for an extended period. Otherwise, extended wearing may cause the lenses to dry out, causing eye discomfort. If, by any chance, you forgot to take out contacts before sleeping, put a few eye drops, and remove them with your thumb and index finger. You can learn more on contact lens problems.
As for replacing contact lenses, their durability depends upon the type and quality. For most cases, replacement of contacts is necessary after a specific period, which differs according to the lens type. Also, go for follow-up visits once or twice in a year to monitor eye condition. If required, the doctor will change your contact lens prescription.