Millions of Americans rely on prescription lenses to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Many of these people wear contact lenses.
Contact lenses are the most discreet option for vision treatment. Many patients prefer contact lenses because they find them to be more convenient than glasses. No matter the reason for choosing contact lenses, it is important that patients take good care of them.
Here, Dr. Gordon Wong offers tips and guidelines for keeping contact lenses clean and functional. Proper contact lens care can ensure that our La Jolla, CA patients maximize the lifespan of their particular contact lenses while protecting the eyes against irritation or infection.
Contact lenses go directly from a person’s hands to the lens of their eyes. Since there are germs and bacteria on the hands and fingers, it is important that they are clean before handling contact lenses. Even if the hands don’t feel dirty, always wash them immediately prior to inserting contact lenses or handling them in any way.
The hands should be washed with soap and water, rinsed thoroughly, and then dried with a lint-free towel. This can drastically reduce the risk of germs or other foreign materials getting into the eyes.
Many people think that rinsing contact lenses with purified water is a good way to clean them, but that is not the case. Contact lenses should be exposed to water as little as possible.
Not only should patients avoid rinsing their contact lenses or soaking them in water, but they should also be removed when the patient will be in the water for an extended period of time. To be safe, we recommend removing contact lenses prior to swimming, going into a hot tub, or even taking a shower.
Contact lenses should be cleaned every time they are removed. The rub and soak method is considered to be the superior cleaning method.
First, the contact lenses should be rinsed with a sterile contact lens solution. Next, gently rub the contact lenses with the fingers. Finally, the contact lenses should be placed in a case with fresh, sterile cleaning solution where they can soak until they are worn again.
To further ensure that lenses remain clean, the lens case should be emptied out each time the contact lenses are removed, and left open to air dry. Even with proper care, contact lens cases should be replaced once every three months.
There are many options available when it comes to contact lenses. Some lenses are meant to be disposed of after a single use, while others can last for weeks or months. It is important to replace contact lenses according to the recommended schedule for your unique type of lens.
Prolonged use of a contact lens could lead to damage of the lens or an injury or infection in the eye.
If you have questions about proper contact lens care, contact us at your earliest convenience. Dr. Gordon Wong offers a comprehensive range of treatments to preserve the health and function of your eyes.