Although contact lenses are small, they can cause damage when not taken care of or handled properly. Whether you’re a daily, monthly, or two-weekly lens wearer, you should correctly handle and look after your lenses to maintain good eye health.
There are many types of contact lenses. However, regardless of what type of lenses you wear, good eye hygiene practice should be followed to enjoy healthy vision. Below are some general guidelines, a contact lens wearer must follow:
Always wash your hands
The first step towards looking after your eyes is to wear your contact lenses correctly. Before handling your lenses, make sure you have washed your hands thoroughly and dried them with a lint-free cloth. It is important you dry your hands with a lint-free cloth to prevent lint from transferring to the lens.
One eye at a time
Whether you’re about to wear your contacts, take them out or clean them, always do one eye at a time. Say, you’re cleaning your lenses, start with your right lens, clean it, store it in the lens case and then do the same for the left lens.
Clean your lenses
It is essential to clean your lenses, just like anything else; contact lenses (two-weekly, monthlies) are meant to be cleaned after you take them off. However, daily contact lenses can be disposed of at the end of the day and therefore do not require a lens cleaning routine.
Don’t use water for cleaning
Although tap and bottled water is safe to drink, using water to clean or store your lenses (or clean your lens case) is a big NO. This is because water contains bacteria and micro-organisms, when this comes into contact with your lenses it can cause eye diseases and harm your eyes. In a nutshell, never use water to clean your lenses or your lens case.
How to look after your lenses
Daily contact lenses
Daily contact lenses are for one-time use only; use them for a day and then throw them away at the end of the day before your bedtime. Hence, there is no need to clean them. These lenses are best suited for people with busy lifestyles.
Two-weekly and monthly contact lenses
These lenses require a daily cleaning routine. The below steps will help you follow a hygienic cleaning routine:
- Wash and dry your hands
- Place one lens in the palm of your hand
- Apply a few drops of contact lens solution
- For 10 seconds, rub the lens gently with the pad of your finger
- With a few more drops of solution, rinse your lens, just to make sure the lens is cleaned properly
- Place your lens in a clean contact lens case. Remember to clean your case first
- Repeat this process for the other lens
- Let your lenses soak in solution for as longs as recommended on the product packaging
Often, lens case care is overlooked by people. However, cleaning your lens case is as important as cleaning your contact lenses. After all, your lens will be soaking in a lens case for a long time. If the case isn’t kept clean, it can lead to eye infections.
How to clean your contact lens case:
- Empty your contact lens case. Do not use the old solution
- For at least 5 seconds, scrub the inside of the case, including the lid. Clean the case using a lint-free cloth or a clean finger. It is important that lint or any other particles do not get transferred to the lens case
- Use fresh multipurpose solution to rinse out the case and the lid. Remember, don’t use water to clean your lens case
- Let your contact lens case dry by placing it face down on a clean tissue or cloth
How long can you use a contact lens case for?
It is recommended to replace your contact lens case every three months. By replacing your case regularly, you are reducing the risk of any infection or microbial biofilms. Biofilms is a substance which is produced by bacteria and microorganisms, that helps them to hide from disinfectants in the contact lens solution. So, if you’re not keeping your contact lens case clean, it will definitely have a domino effect, ultimately affecting your eyes. If you have a busy lifestyle or think it would be hard for you to keep up with the lens cleaning routine, you can always switch to daily disposable lenses.
Dailies provide convenience but are a bit pricier than monthlies. What you choose, should take into consideration your need, budget and suitability.
You can buy your contact lenses for less from Feel Good Contacts and save up to 50% compared to high-street retailers. Learn more about the benefits when you shop with them.
Some more tips for contact lens care
- When washing your hands before wearing your contacts, avoid moisturising soaps as these can leave a residue on your lenses
- Say no to water, when it comes to contacts. Whether it’s tap water or distilled water, no water should come in contact with your lenses and lens case. Only use cleaning solution
- Always wear/remove your contacts before putting on/removing make-up
- If you’re planning to travel, do not transfer your lens solution into another bottle, as this effects the sterility of the solution. A good idea would be to purchase a travel pack solution bottle
- Get your eyes tested every two years or as suggested by your optician; this will ensure that you’re opting for the correct prescription lenses for you
Remember, from handling your lenses to cleaning them, it is essential to follow good hygiene. Look after your lenses to enjoy healthy, comfortable vision.