Contact Lens Care
Contact lenses are safely used by millions of people and thousands of our patients. These medical devices carry a risk of eye infection and permanent vision loss that every patient must be aware of. The following are some contributing factors:
- Use of overnight wear contact lenses
- A lens that was fitted to tight or to loose
- Use of a lens material that is outdated and has poor oxygen transmission
- Poor hygiene
- Improper use of contact lens cases and cleaning solutions.
The following are some general tips and guidelines for the care of your lenses:
- Wash your hands with soap and water, then rinse and dry them with a lint free towel before handling your contact lenses.
- Minimize contact with water, including removing lenses before going swimming or in a hot tub.
- NEVER store your lenses in water (sterile or tap).
- NEVER disinfect using re-wetting drops or saline.
- Wear and replace the contact lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your eye doctor.
- Follow the cleaning and storage guidelines from your eye doctor and the solution manufacturer.
- Always rub and rinse your lenses with solution even if the solution says no rub and rinse.
- Keep the contact lens case clean and replace regularly, approximately every 3 months.
- Do not re-use old solution or top off the solution in your lens case.
- Keep the contact lens solution bottle tip clean and keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Eye infections can lead to serious and permanent vision loss. Proper care of your eyes is just as important as proper lens care.
- Remove the contact lenses and consult with your eye doctor immediately if you experience symptoms such as redness, pain, tearing, increased light sensitivity, blurry vision, discharge, or swelling.
- Beware of using decorative lenses, like those sold at costume shops. These lenses have the potential to damage your eyes permanently.
- If you wear contact lenses, your eye doctor should examine you at least once a year and more often as needed.
As with any medical prescription, contact lens prescriptions do expire, typically within one year. You should see your eye doctor yearly to ensure you continue to have an accurate and appropriate prescription. New and healthier materials are constantly emerging so this allows you to wear the best and healthiest lenses available as well.
The best way to avoid an eye infection and its devastating consequences is to follow proper lens care guidelines as prescribed by our doctors or your own eye care professional. In addition, including the rub and rinse step in the lens cleaning process, minimizing contact with water while wearing contact lenses, replacing the lens case frequently and replacing the lenses at manufacturer recommended intervals can help reduce the risk of infection.