Wearing contact lenses is so convenient. It is easy to overlook that they are medical devices that need extreme care. Sanitize your contact lenses after every wear or any time they fall off or get dirty.
Whether your contact lenses are rigid, soft, or disposable, you must remove, clean, and store them properly. You must also follow your eye doctor's instructions to keep them clean. Contact lens hygiene is vital in preventing eye infections and other issues that can hurt your vision and eye health.
Here are some do’s and don'ts to cleaning or sanitizing your contact lenses.
Clean your hands with mild soap and warm water before removing the lenses to avoid leaving bacteria on them. Bacteria can trigger eye infections, and lotions and other stuff on your hands can cause eye irritation. Use a towel that does not leave any lint or fluff to dry your hands.
Use one finger to remove one contact lens by gently touching it, dragging it down to the foot of your eye, and pulling it out. If you wear rigid contact lenses, use a suction cup to remove them. Ensure the suction cup sits directly over your contact lens. Rinse the cup with your contact lens solution after every use.
After removing your contact lens, inspect it for any scratches, stains, or damage. For example, you may see a small tear or streak of mascara on the lens.
Place the contact lens gently on the palm of your hands. The part that goes over your eye should face up, making the lens look like a tiny bowl on your palm. Spray your contact lens cleaning solution on both sides of the lens. Use your finger's pad to gently wipe your lens, moving it around gently in your palm. The liquid should be both on the lens and your hand.
If your contact lens has so much dirt, you may turn it over and wipe both sides. Never use saliva or water to sanitize your contact lenses. Always use the recommended contact lens solution. After gently rubbing the contact lens, rinse it with the cleaning solution to remove any dirt residue. Make sure to do that on both sides of the lens for a proper rinse.
If you notice any grime or dirt on the lens after rinsing, repeat the steps to clean the lens. If the lens cannot get clean, throw it away.
Place the rinsed lens on its side. Each lens should have a side. Because the prescription may vary for each eye, you should store the lenses separately to avoid mixing them. Mixing your contact lenses can cause infection even if your eyes have the same prescription.
Fill your contact lens case with a fresh solution and ensure the solution fully covers your lens. Then, remove the second contact lens and follow the steps to clean and store it. Close your contact lens case and keep it safely away until your next wear. Remember to clean the case with the contact lens solution daily. Again, never use water.
Remember to discard and replace your contact lenses as often as recommended. Also, replace your contact lens case every three months or as instructed.
For more on cleaning or sanitizing your contact lenses, call Optical Masters at our offices in Denver, Colorado at (720) 807-7300 or (720) 807-7600 to discuss any questions or to book an appointment today.