Wearing and caring for contact lenses can sometimes be a chore. But if you want to reduce the risk of eye infections and other sight problems occurring, it’s important you know how to deal with the lenses and solution properly. The condition of your eyes must never be taken for granted.
If you wear contact lenses on a daily basis, you’ll know that cleaning and caring for them is essential in order to avoid eye infections or contamination. Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure that it’s done safely and with the minimum of fuss. Here’s a how to guide to make sure you’re using your contact lens solution safely and carefully!
Tips for using contact lens solution safely:
1.) Always make sure your contact lens solution is within its use by date and never use it if it has expired. It helps to make a note on the bottle or container of the date it was opened, especially if you have to use the product within a certain number of days/weeks. Once it has passed its expiry date or has been open for longer than the recommended time, discard and start a new bottle.
2.) Never leave your lenses soaking in the solution you have used to clean them with. Always rinse and leave in clean, fresh solution from the bottle. Leaving your lenses soaking in “dirty” solution creates an environment in which germs and bacteria multiply, raising the risk of eye infection.
3.) Ensure that your contact lens container and any equipment used to clean your lenses is sterile, clean and dry at all times to prevent the growth of harmful micro-organisms in there.
4.) Once your contact lens fluid has been used, always discard it and never re-use it for any purpose.
5.) Use separate fluid to clean each lens. This is to stop the risk of any dirt or bacteria being transferred from lens to lens and is especially important if you have an eye infection.
6.) Ensure that your hands are washed with soap and hot water and dried thoroughly before you touch your contact lenses or the solution. It’s preferable to also use a lint free towel to dry anything that will be coming into contact with either the solution or your eyes to prevent fluff or threads coming into contact with the lens, the solution or your eyes.
7.) Don’t be tempted to clean disposable contact lenses such as 1 day acuvue Trueye in contact lens solution. They are designed to be worn once and disposed of straightaway.
8.) If any irritation of the eye area occurs after cleaning your lenses in the solution and then re-wearing them even after following the above steps carefully, you may well be allergic to the solution itself. If you think this may be the case, speak to your optometrist.
9.) Never use contact lens solution as a means of lubricating your contact lenses. There are special drops available on the market designed for this.
10.) If you feel your contact lens solution isn’t cleaning your contact lenses thoroughly or properly it may be because of a build up of protein deposits on them from your eyes. If this is the case, speak to your optometrist who will be able to provide you with a separate cleaner to help remove any excess protein.
Points to note
Following these steps is of paramount importance to ensure the continued good health of your eyes and cut the risk of any infection occurring. It’s more common nowadays for people who wear contact lenses to be given an all in one cleaner that removes the hassle of having two or three different cleaners all with different purposes. A multipurpose cleaner will cut lens cleaning time down and also reduce risk of confusion as to which product should be used for what element of the cleaning process. Wearing contact lenses needn’t be a chore if you’re prepared and know what you’re doing!
If you think you might have an eye infection as a result of either your lenses or your solution, seek advice from a qualified optometrist or doctor for help and advice. Never risk the health of your eyes.
Shannen D. writes regularly on eye health and a range of ophthalmic products such as 1 day acuvue Trueye. She contributes to a range of health themed websites and blogs.