Best Tips for Proper Contact Lens Care
After your consultation with an eye care professional, the first thing you should learn is proper contact lens care. Despite how common they are, contact lenses are considered a medical device by law and should be treated as such to reduce the risk of eye damage and infections.
Nowadays, cleaning and caring for your contact lenses is easier than ever before, thanks to the invention of multipurpose contact lens solution and daily disposable contact lenses. However, you still need to make sure you understand the dos and don'ts of contact lens care.
Contact Lens Cleaning: Best Practices
Try to get into the habit of cleaning your contact lenses immediately after removal, even if you end up doing it multiple times a day. Your lenses are at an increased risk of contamination each and every time they're exposed to the air, so you can't go wrong with cleaning your lenses more often. Just make sure to follow the proper guidelines.
- Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses, contact lens solution, and accessories.
- One eye at a time, remove the lens and place it in the palm of your hand.
- Without touching the tip of the bottle, squeeze out enough lens solution to completely cover the lens. Be sure to use non-expired lens care solution.
- Use the "rub and rinse" method to get the best clean, even if your lens solution is marketed as "no rub".
- The "rub and rinse" method involves using your fingers to rub both sides of the lens inside of your palm to dislodge any grime or mineral deposits.
Clean, Rinse, and Disinfect Your Contacts
While multipurpose contact lens solution is the most popular option among contact lens wearers, some people may be sensitive to the preservatives found in this type of solution. If this is you, not to worry, as there are other steps you can take to ensure you are in compliance with the guidelines for proper contact lens care.
Cleaning, rinsing, and disinfecting contact lenses without multipurpose solution is broken down into several steps using several different products: daily cleaner, saline solution, and hydrogen peroxide solution.
Cleaning Your Contact Lenses
Daily cleaner is used to clean your contact lenses. Just as you would with multipurpose solution, squeeze out some daily cleaner into the palm of your hand and use the rubbing method to clean off any debris on both sides of your lens. The accumulation of deposits can lead to bacteria growth on the surface of the lens, so skipping this step, even occasionally, could cause eye irritation, blurry vision, and even eye infections. Be sure to wash and dry your hands before cleaning contact lenses or touching your eyes.
Rinsing Your Contact Lenses
After you've cleaned your lenses, rinse them with saline solution. It is not recommended to use homemade saline solution. Stick to optometrist-approved commercial saline solutions to avoid potentially damaging your contacts, and more importantly, your eyes.
People with sensitive eyes should seek preservative-free saline solutions. Although these solutions have a shorter shelf life and tend to be a little more expensive, your eyes will thank you for it.
To rinse your lens, moisten it with an ample amount of saline solution and rinse off any remaining debris. You also want to wash off the daily cleaner, as this product should never be in contact with your eyes.
Disinfecting Your Contact Lenses
Hydrogen peroxide solution is the alternative to multipurpose contact lens solution. Despite the need for more steps, a hydrogen peroxide cleaning system is still preferred for people who suffer from allergies to preservatives or other eye sensitivities. Hydrogen peroxide is also known to achieve a deeper clean than multipurpose solution, making it more effective against some bacterial eye infections. To use a hydrogen peroxide cleaning system, you will need hydrogen peroxide solution, neutralizing tablets, and two baskets in their cases (for your right and left lenses).
- As always, wash your hands before touching your eyes, contact lenses, or cleaning accessories.
- One at a time, place your right and left contact lenses in their designated baskets.
- Fill each of the cases with hydrogen peroxide solution, then place the right basket inside the right case, and the left basket inside the left case. Ensure that the cases are securely closed and left in an upright position.
- The lenses should be left to soak in the hydrogen peroxide solution for at least six hours prior to removal.
- Some hydrogen peroxide cleaning systems come equipped with a neutralizing agent. If not, you will have to add a neutralizing tablet to each of the cases. Hydrogen peroxide is chemically damaging to your eyes, so the neutralizing tablet makes it safe for you to put your contact lenses back into your eyes.
Dos and Don'ts of Contact Lens Care
- Wash your hands with mild soap, rinse completely, and dry your hands with a lint-free towel before handling your contact lenses.
- Use the soft pads of your fingertips to handle your lenses. Keep your fingernails short.
- Always use non-expired contact lens solution.
- Clean your contact lens case everyday. Replace the case every three months.
- Remove your contact lenses before showering, swimming, or sleeping.
- Follow the lens replacement schedule prescribed by your eye care professional.
- Use lotions and creams before touching your contact lenses.
- Apply cosmetic products after you put your contacts on.
- Combine different brands, different types of solution, or cleaning systems.
- Use anything that is not contact lens solution to clean, rinse or disinfect your lenses, including tap water, saliva, and eye drops.
- Reuse or "top off" old solution in your case.
- Let the tip of the contact lens solution bottle touch anything to avoid contaminating the solution.
- Put your contacts in if your eyes feel dry, irritated, or abnormal in any way.
Buying Contacts Online in Canada
With the ability to buy almost anything with a click of a button, buying contacts online is just another example of this convenience. As with all things on the internet, you will need to take specific precautions to ensure the legitimacy of the websites you are considering making a purchase from. And be sure to follow our best contact lens care tips, to keep your eyes healthy and beautiful.