Wearing contact lenses is amazing as it makes you forget you have them on during the day. While the alternative is either wearing glasses or getting LASIK eye surgery. Wearing glasses is not preferable to everyone and could also cause some hassle.
While surgery is not an option for everyone, contact lenses sure are. But the downside is that you need to give it special care, add their cleaning and disinfecting to your daily schedule, and take more time off your daily routine to put them on and take them off properly.
Cleaning your contact lenses is probably the most boring chore you have to do throughout your daily routine, which is why most people do not clean their contact lenses properly. Neglecting the cleanliness of the lenses and constantly wearing them could be harmful to your eyes.
Unlike daily disposable lenses, monthly or extended contact lenses need to be cleaned thoroughly after each and every use, as well as stored properly until they are used again.
While it might sound like a little hassle, it is actually easy and simple to do. Here are the steps to having clean, sterilized, and comfortable contact eye lenses.
How to Thoroughly Clean Contact Lenses?
The first and most important step is to clean your hands using soap and water. Try avoiding strong scented or moisturizing soaps as they can irritate your eyes, then dry your hand thoroughly with a lint-free towel.
To properly clean your contact lense, you need to place the lens in your palm, then add a convenient amount of solution, make sure that the lens is soaked in solution from all sides, and then you can nicely rub the lens against your palm in a back and forth motion using your finger.
When you are done with the previous steps, it is time to rinse the lens using solution, which is a very essential step as while you rinse the lenses, you remove the loose debris in the process. Continue rinsing for as long as the package instructions suggest.
And for the final step, you will need to place the clean lenses in their case and soak them up in solution. However, keep in mind that you cannot add more solution to the existing bit in the lens case, you will need to get rid of the old solution and replace it with a fresh one.
What Could Make Contact Lenses Uncomfortable?
For a few reasons, your contact lenses might get uncomfortable. On the bright side, it can be fixed with the proper routine and with using the correct products to maintain the lenses. Here is a list of the reasons why your contact lenses might suddenly feel uncomfortable:
- The protein your eyes produce: While cleaning the contact lenses removes some of the deposited protein in them, it could differ from one person to another depending on the type of lens they use as well as the amount of protein produced by their eyes.
Some people’s eyes produce more protein than others, and the higher the protein level is, the more uncomfortable they might feel. And as protein is deposited in the lenses, the longer you keep using the same lenses, the more uncomfortable you might feel.
Your doctor might also recommend a protein remover such as an enzymatic cleaner or other protein daily removal liquids. Keep in mind that this issue can only occur with extended use lenses and not daily disposable lenses.
- If your eyes are dry or irritated: This occurs to almost all contact lens users at some point. However, it is easy to fix with lubricant eye drops for contact lenses. With regular use, you shouldn’t experience dryness or irritation.
- Allergy to the lenses solution: It is quite uncommon for lens wearers to develop an allergic reaction to the solution chemicals. But thankfully it can also be easily fixed by changing the type of solution to a “preservative-free” one.
Is it Important to Clean Your Contact Lens Case?
Most people know that they must clean their contact lenses, but not all of them know that cleaning the lens case is as important as cleaning the lenses themselves. This is because the lens case might easily become a breeding environment for bacteria.
Cleaning the contact lens case should be a part of your daily lens care because if it is not thoroughly cleaned, it can easily transfer bacteria to your eyes which could result in irritation and infections.
How to Clean the Contact Lens Case?
To properly and thoroughly clean your contact lens case, you first need to wash your hand with soap and water, then get rid of the old solution in the case. Then, use the lens solution to rinse and clean the case while using your finger to clean thoroughly.
Put the lens case upside down and let it dry in the air without placing the caps on it. However, if your lens case has a silver nitrate lining, then you should leave the caps on.
To disinfect and sterilize your lens case, you can put it in boiling water for a few minutes or in the dishwasher every now and then. Keep in mind that lens cases should be replaced every three months to ensure it stays clean and ready to maintain your lenses.
Do’s and Don'ts of Wearing Contact Lenses
- Don’t wet the lenses with saliva as it is not sanitary and could harm the lens.
- Don’t use eye drops or saline to disinfect the lenses as none of them is effective.
- Don’t wear the lenses for longer than prescribed and replace them right after they have expired.
- Follow the instructions on disinfecting, cleaning, and storing the contact lenses according to your doctor and to the guidelines provided by the product manufacturer.
Wearing eye contact lenses while maintaining the proper routine of cleaning, disinfecting, and storing will make your eyes feel comfortable, refreshed, and a lot less uncomfortable. Make maintaining your contact lenses a priority to ensure fresh and healthy eyes every day.