|caring for your contacts|
Follow this new contact lens care guideline to ensure optimum maintenance and hygiene
Contact lens cleaning
Safety is enhanced significantly by rubbing and rinsing contact lenses both prior to and following storage. Do not use water or peroxide based solution to rinse lenses before inserting – ask your eye care practitioner if in doubt.
If you drop a lens, clean and rinse before reinserting.
Lens case cleaning
Lens case hygiene is extremely important! The inside of your contact lens case should be cleaned with your disinfecting solution and left to air dry after every use. When using peroxide based solution, avoid getting solution on the outside of the lens case.
Dispose of your old case and replace at least every month.
Never top up, that is, add additional solution to the solution already in the lens case.
Replace open bottles of solution monthly
Never reuse the solution in a contact lens case.
When lenses have been stored for more than seven days, regardless of whether peroxide based or multipurpose solutions are used, lenses should be effectively redisinfected before use.
Wash your hands
Contact lenses should always be handled with cleaned, washed, dry hands. Preferably use an appropriate (non-moisturising, non-residue) soap or disinfectant and dry your hands with lint free tissues or cloths.
Never use tap water to store, clean or rinse your contact lenses or lens case. Water is a common source of infection and can cause sight-threatening infections.
Avoid splashing water directly into your eyes while wearing your contact lenses.
Storing your contact lenses and lens case in the bathroom carries a high risk of airborne contamination with bacteria.
Holidays and swimming
One of the high risk occasions is going on holidays. An appropriate travel kit should be carried and used. Make sure you have enough solution, a spare case and a spare pair of spectacles when ever you travel.
Always keep your spectacles up to date in case of a broken or lost lens or if an adverse response occurs.
Another high risk occasion for contact lens wearers is exposure to potential contaminants from beach, swimming pool or spa water. Goggles should be worn while swimming with lenses or lenses should be removed.
After swimming, lenses should be cleaned and disinfected before reinserting.
Do not allow saliva to come into contact with your lenses, lens case or swimming goggles as it is a potential source of contamination.
Sleeping with contact lenses
Never sleep in your contact lenses unless advised by your eye care practitioner. If you have been advised by your eye care practitioner that you are able to sleep in your contact lenses:
Check that your eyes look good, feel good and see well. If not, contact your eye care practitioner immediately.
Ask your contact lens practitioner if you have any questions about your lens care.
Seek professional advice immediately and remove your contact lenses if your eyes become red or sore.
These patient guidelines have been adapted from the Asia Pacific Summit on Contact Lens Care 2007, made possible through an educational grant from Advanced Medical Optics. The guidelines will be available this month to download from the LER website www.ler.org