Contact Lens Care
It is important to note that some products are not compatible with one another or with certain contact lenses. Cleaning rinsing and disinfecting contact lenses with a recommended solution can significantly reduce complications associated with contact lens wear. This includes eliminating the build up of protein and bacteria that tends to bind to the lens. Multi-purpose solutions are a convenient method of caring for contact lenses.
It is important to note however that some products are not compatible with one another or with certain contact lenses. Your eyecare practitioner should first verify your contact care regimen.
Regardless of the chosen products to care for contact lenses there are certain essential steps to follow when cleaning them.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the contact lenses so that you do not transfer dirt and germs to your eye
- Do not let the solution bottle's tip come in contact with any surface as this can contaminate the solution
- Clean and disinfect the lenses every time they are removed
- Wash clean and air-dry your contact lens case regularly
- Replace the contact lens case every 3 months or as directed to reduce the risk of infection
- Avoid touching the contact lenses after using cream or moisturizing soaps as this will increase the risk of infection
- Never rinse the contact lenses with saliva or tap water as both contain bacteria and infection-causing microbes
Cosmetics can also cause eye irritation. You should therefore take the following precautions to protect your contact lenses.
- Insert soft contact lenses before applying cosmetics
- Insert rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses after applying cosmetics
- Remove contact lenses before removing cosmetics
- Apply hairspray before inserting contact lenses
- Consult a cosmetician before selecting mascara products as some types can cause irritation when worn with contact lenses
Additional Steps for RGP Lenses
In general rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGPs) are easier to care for than soft contact lenses as they tend to attract fewer proteins and other micro-organisms. As with soft contact lenses use either a multi-purpose cleaner or separate products for the cleaning rinsing and disinfecting stages.
An eyecare practitioner might recommend an enzymatic cleaner to help remove protein deposits. Use it approximately once per week. It is not necessary to use it every time you remove your contact lenses.
If the typical cleaning regimen is unsuitable another method of cleaning is to polish the RGP lenses. Consult your eyecare practitioner regarding this option.
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