If you’re wearing monthly or bi-weekly lenses, establishing a proper, healthy contact lens care routine is critical. It’s tempting to take shortcuts in our busy lives, but adequate care of your lenses can help prevent discomfort and possible eye infections. Your optician can provide you with specific instructions based on your eyes and the type of lenses you wear, but if you need a reminder (and we all do, from time to time), here are our tips to help you clean and care for your contact lenses.
They may seem obvious, but here are our top 5 dos and don’ts to remember when handling your contact lenses. For more detailed information, refer to our extended Dos and Don'ts guide.
| • Wash your hands before inserting and
• Rinse & rub the lens with solution before and after wearing
• Always use a proper contact lens case for storage
• Use fresh solution every day
• Buy a travel-sized bottle of solution for your travels
| • Expose your lenses to tap
• Touch the tip of the solution bottle
• Use saliva to moisten your lenses
• Insert your lenses after doing your makeup
• Transfer solution to a smaller bottle
Rubbing the lenses with solution is an important step. Put the lens in your palm and rub it gently with your finger. This significantly decreases the amount of deposits that remain on the lens after disinfection. There are many “NO RUB” multipurpose solution on the market that promise instant disinfection on contact, but the benefits of giving your lenses a quick rub are undeniable. It’s an easy habit to adopt that can help keep your lenses cleaner and clearer and your eyes healthier.
Do not use home remedies when cleaning your lenses. Don't try to clean contacts with vinegar, alcohol, baking soda, or any other substance. Use only proper and professionally made solutions for your lenses. Also, don't wear your lenses longer than the prescribed period or past the expiration date to avoid discomfort or potentially serious health complications.
Contact lens solution is an integral part of lens care, and some people may find one brand or type more tolerable over others. If you experience any discomfort when inserting or wearing lenses, one option is to change to an alternate lens solution. Your optician can always advise you if you develop a minor allergy to your current solution.
Please note that no solution can completely clean or protect against bacterial infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye). If you suspect your lenses may have been contaminated, discard them immediately and consult your ophthalmologist.
Multipurpose solutions are the most popular option for lens cleaning and storage. These solutions can be used to clean, rinse, disinfect, and store all types of soft contact lenses. Usually, they contain some wetting agent to increase moisture, as well as trace amounts of preservatives to maintain sterility and shelf life. Many of these solutions are touted as “no-rub” solutions, but most opticians still recommend including this simple rubbing step in your routine to remove as many impurities and protein deposits as possible.
Hydrogen peroxide solutions require slightly more effort, but also provide effective disinfection. These solutions require the use of a special case, which contains a catalytic disc. When the hydrogen peroxide solution comes into contact with the disc, a chemical reaction is set in motion, and the peroxide is eventually neutralised, reducing it to a simple saline solution by the end of the storage period. Without being neutralised, the hydrogen peroxide can cause a great deal of pain and irritation, so it’s critical to allow the lenses to soak for at least 6 hours. One benefit of peroxide solutions is that they are completely preservative free, thanks to this chemical reaction. Ask your optician if this method of cleaning is right for you.
A clean, fresh contact lens case is an essential part of your lens-care routine. The case should be replaced at least every three months, and it’s a good idea to rinse it and clean the exterior regularly. Using fresh solution every day and never “topping up” yesterday’s liquid will also help keep the interior clean. Alensa offers a wide selection of contact lens cases and contact lens kits that contain everything you need to keep your lenses clean while travelling.