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Proper Care Of Contact Lenses

Introduction

Wearing contact lens offers a lot of advantages and it is easy to use. Following some simple advices and precautions can make sure you get the best out of your lenses.

Start-off right by going to your optometrist or contact lens practitioner to get a thorough eye examination. This examination includes :

  • Vision test
  • Eye health examination and measurement of refractive error
  • Evaluation of suitability to wear lenses
  • Examination of lens specifications and trial fitting
  • Follow-up schedule

Lens Selection And Risk Of Infection

Risk of infection depends on the lens type. The rigid gas permeable lens is the safest lens regarding the risk of infection. But it’s hard to handle due to hardness of the lens. Soft daily disposable lens is another safe alternative. Silicone hydrogel lens allows longer wearing hours with minimal risk of infection or inflammation of the eye.

Purchasing Contact Lens

Do not buy your contact lenses over the counter or on the Internet without current prescription. Contact lens should only be prescribed by optometrist or licensed practitioner.

The following guidelines are recommended by the American Ophthalmology Association, American Optometry Association and the British Contact Lens Association.

Contact Lens Care

  • Wash and dry your hands before touching your lenses
  • Never use tap water on your lenses or lens cases
  • Don’t moisten your lenses with saliva
  • Rub and rinse your lenses with your fingers before wearing and before storing them in multipurpose solution overnight
  • If you store your lenses in the case for an extended period of time, refer the instructions stated on the solution to determine if re-disinfecting the lenses is appropriate before you wear them
  • Don’t wear dirty or damaged lenses
  • Always wear the right lens first to avoid mixing the lenses
  • Check the right side of the lens before applying the lens
  • Avoid sharing lenses with others or changing lenses that’s not suitable for you
  • Follow strictly the wearing schedule and lens replacement frequency

Contact Lens Solution Care

  • Discard expired contact lenses and solution
  • Storage solution of unused contact lens should be replaced every two days
  • Do not transfer contact lens solution into smaller travel-size containers. This can affect the sterility of the solution, which can lead to an eye infection
  • Do not allow the tip of the solution bottle to come in contact with any surface, and keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use
  • Never re-use or top-up solution – empty case and replace it with fresh solution for storing purpose
  • Don’t switch solutions unless recommended by your optometrist or practitioner

Care For Lens Cases

  • Replace the lens case regularly, at least once every 3 months
  • Empty the lens case after each use. Clean the lens case with solution, not water. Then let it air dry with face down and caps off
  • Store your lens case in a clean and dry environment. Do not keep the lens case in the bathroom

Contact Lens Wearing In Different Situations

Situation Action
Showering Remove lens
Swimming/water sports/entering hot tubs Remove lens or wear goggles over lens
Travelling in airplane

Safe to wear lens. Use re-wetting drops to avoid dryness

Pregnancy Safe to wear lenses. Hormonal changes can cause temporary shift in cornea sensitivity and thickness which cause contact lens intolerance
Use rewetting drops or wear glasses instead.
Sleeping at night Remove contact lens
Napping Permissible to wear lens during short naps. Better to remove lens to avoid corneal swelling.
Wearing Make-up Apply contact lens before wearing make-up. Remove lenses before removing make-up.
Applying eye drops medication Instill eye drops 10 to 20 minutes before wearing lenses or after removing them to allow absorption of the medication

Always Ask Yourself These Three Questions Everytime You Wear Contact Lens,

  • Do my eyes FEEL GOOD?  Comfortable wearing the lens
  • Do my eyes LOOK GOOD? No redness
  • Do I SEE WELL? No unusual blurring of vision

Discontinue wearing your lenses if you don’t feel good, look good or see well. Always consult your optometrist or practitioner for your lens care.

 

Last Reviewed : 19 March 2014
Writer : Pn. Azalia Binti Razali
Accreditor : Pn. Noor Zahirah Binti Husain