Last updated on April 23rd, 2017 at 06:49 am
Get in the contact lens care aisle of a lot of grocery stores and drugstores, and you’ll discover a complicated selection of products. Though intimidating, it’s vital to comprehend lens care: Not caring for your contact lenses appropriately can result in a range of eye infections, consisting of some that cause loss of sight.
How to Care For Soft Contact Lenses
Actually, contact lens care is easier than ever. One-bottle care systems and disposable contact lenses indicate that proper lens care involves much less time, expenditure and trouble than it did years earlier.
Prior to we get started, comprehend that you must not change care regimens without asking your eye doctor first. Some items are not suitable with each other, or with specific contact lenses. Using incompatible items can destroy your contact lenses or hurt your eyes.
To make sense of all the bottles and boxes, it assists to understand what actions are required to care for soft contacts.
It’s especially crucial to follow standards for safe handling of soft contact lenses due to recent outbreaks of major fungal eye infections associated with a popular (now terminated) brand of contact lens cleaning/disinfecting solution.
The Basics Of Soft Contact Lens Care: Clean, Rinse And Disinfect
- Wash your hands so that you do not transfer dirt and germs to your eye. Try to prevent moisturizing soaps, as they are not good for contact lenses. Dry your hands with a lint-free towel.
- Remove one lens and clean it with the suggested solution. Cleaning up gets rid of eye-produced accumulation, cosmetics and other debris that hinders lens comfort. The FDA suggests that you rub the lens in the palm of your hand with a few drops of solution, even if you are utilizing a “no-rub” product.
- Wash the lens again to get rid of the loosened up debris, ensuring to take as long as the plan directs: Rinsing is an important step.
- Location the lens in your tidy lens case or lens holder and fill with fresh service; don’t “complement” your old option. Disinfecting eliminates microorganisms on the lens. Disinfection time varies from item to item; examine the plan for information.
- Repeat actions two through four for your other lens.
Beyond Clean, Rinse And Disinfect
Protein. Depending upon what sort of contact lenses you wear and how much protein your eyes deposit on your contacts, your doctor may suggest you use an item for protein removal.
While cleaning them does get rid of some protein, it can still build up on your lenses and make them uncomfortable. That’s why the longer you wear lenses before replacing them, the most likely you are to require a protein eliminator.
For example, if you wear disposables, you most likely won’t need one; but if you wear the sort of lenses that are replaced just once or twice a year, you absolutely will. Products for removing protein include enzymatic cleaner and daily protein removal liquids.
Eye dryness and inflammation. Use contact lens eye drops to oil your eyes and rewet your lenses.
Eye level of sensitivity and allergies. A small portion of lens wearers establish an eye allergic reaction to the chemicals present in contact lens solutions. If this is the case with you, you don’t require an additional product: You simply need to change items to those marked “preservative-free.”
The Products: Cleaning, Rinsing And Disinfecting Solutions
Saline solution is for washing and storing contact lenses, when you’re using a heat or UV disinfection system. You likewise might need it for use with enzymatic cleaning tablets or cleaning/disinfecting devices. Never ever use saline items for cleaning and disinfection.
Daily cleaner is for cleaning your contact lenses. You put a few drops in the palm of your hand and thoroughly rub the lens for as long as directed, usually around 20 seconds, ensuring to clean up both sides. Use other products for rinsing and disinfection.
Multipurpose option is for cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting and saving your contact lenses. Tidy your lenses as you would with daily cleaner, then wash (as long as directed) and decontaminate, all with the same option; or rinse the lenses twice, then position them in the tidy lens case with option to clean and disinfect. When you are ready to wear the lenses, wash them once again. With multipurpose options, no other lens care items are necessary.
Hydrogen peroxide option is for cleansing, sanitizing, washing and keeping your contact lenses. With this item, you put your lenses in the supplied basket and rinse them, then position the basket in its cup and fill the cup with option to clean and disinfect your lenses.
Some lens holders for hydrogen peroxide systems have a built-in neutralizer (to transform the hydrogen peroxide to water, so it does not sting your eyes), but with others you have to add a reducing the effects of tablet.
After the disinfection and neutralizing action is completed, you can get rid of the lenses from the case and put them on.
Never ever wash your contacts with hydrogen peroxide solution and use them directly to your eyes without completing the entire disinfecting and neutralizing action. Doing so can cause a painful chemical injury to the eye.
Brand names of hydrogen peroxide care systems for soft contact lenses include Clear Care (Alcon) and PeroxiClear (Bausch + Lomb).
Cleaning/disinfecting devices will, as you would anticipate, both clean and disinfect your contact lenses. Depending on how the brand is developed, cleansing is accomplished with either ultrasonic waves or subsonic agitation, whereas disinfection happens by means of multipurpose solution or ultraviolet light.
The directions for the devices are all a little various. In basic, you first wash the lenses, utilizing either saline or multipurpose solution as directed. One brand needs rubbing with the saline, but the majority of are no-rub.
Then, put your contact lenses in the device and fill it with the very same kind of solution when it comes to the rinse. Place the cover on the device and plug it into tidy and decontaminate your lenses.
The Products: Protein Removers, Eye Drops And Options For Sensitive Eyes
Enzymatic cleaner is for eliminating protein from your contact lenses, generally on a weekly basis. You use the tablets with saline service or decontaminating service (multipurpose or hydrogen peroxide), as directed.
Before using enzymatic cleaner, tidy and rinse your contacts using other products. Fill your lens case or vials (as directed) with solution, then drop an enzymatic tablet in each lens well or vial. Await them to liquify, then include your contacts. Leave them in for the needed time, usually 15 minutes.
Later, sanitize with another product if needed. Certain enzymatic cleaners permit you to avoid the disinfection step if you use decontaminating service rather than saline, however that’s not always the case; check the enzymatic cleaner packaging to discover.
Everyday protein remover likewise gets rid of protein from your lenses, but it’s in liquid kind and you use it daily. You use it during disinfection with multipurpose option.
Before using a day-to-day protein remover, you clean and wash your contacts utilizing other products. Fill both wells of your lens case with multipurpose service, then add a drop of daily protein cleaner to each. Disinfect your lenses as usual.
Eye drops for contact lenses are for lubricating your eye and rewetting your contacts. Ensure to choose a brand name that is safe for contact lenses. Eye drops that aren’t indicate for contact lenses can momentarily change how a lens fits your eye, or blemish the lens.
Products for sensitive eyes assist individuals who have allergic reactions to call lens services. These allergies can surface even if you’ve been using the exact same items for years without problem. Symptoms might consist of itching, tearing, foreign body feeling, burning, soreness and eye discharge. It’s essential to see your eye doctor if you’re experiencing these symptoms, as they can have many causes.
A preservative called thimerosal was discovered to cause issues in about 10 percent of patients, so most brands do not use it nowadays. Thimerosal-free saline is usually marked “for sensitive eyes.”
However, people do have responses to other preservatives as well and have to change to preservative-free care products. Some of these have what’s called a “disappearing” preservative that’s preceded the solution is available in contact with your eyes.
Be sure to pay very close attention to the expiration dates on all contact lens options, especially preservative-free solutions. Non-aerosol preservative-free saline, for instance, ought to be disposed of within two weeks after you open it to lower the risk of contamination.
What’s Most Popular? Alleviate Of Use
The majority of soft contact lens wearers nowadays choose multipurpose solutions for their contact lens care routines due to ease of use — only one item is required for cleaning, decontaminating and washing the lenses.
However hydrogen peroxide care systems (although they are a little more cumbersome) in some cases are a much better choice — especially if you establish discomfort issues with silicone hydrogel contact lenses.
In a recent study released by Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, utilizing a hydrogen peroxide lens disinfecting system everyday significantly lowered mucus and lipid deposits and increased the surface area wettability of silicone hydrogel lenses compared with utilizing a multipurpose option — aspects typically associated with higher wearing convenience.
You might have discovered that stores like your pharmacy and grocer offer store-branded contact lens care items, likewise referred to as “private label” items. Often they are considerably more affordable than name-brand items. Should you use them?
These products are safe and FDA-approved, or they could not be sold. However there are potential issues. In some cases personal label items are made from older formulas, which do not use the same benefits as more recent products.
However here’s a bigger problem: As you understand, you shouldn’t change items without consulting your doctor to make sure the new service works with your lenses. Let’s state that you purchase a bottle of Store-brand X, bring it to your doctor, and he gives you the OKAY. You use the product, and whatever is dandy.
Next time you buy Store-brand X, it might not be the same product. That’s because the shop doesn’t, naturally, make its own solution. They purchase it from a provider. If a better offer comes along, they may switch providers — as well as formulas — but still offer the revised product under the “Store-brand X” name. And the revised formulation may or might not be right for your eyes or your particular contact lenses.
Contact Lens Care Must-Knows
As soon as you’ve decided which item you’d like to attempt, discuss your strategies with your eye doctor. Do not change brands till you figure out that the new brand name works with your other items and with your contact lenses.
No matter which care regimen or brand names you use, remember:
- Never ever touch service bottle ideas to any surface, including your body: this can cause contamination of the solution.
- Prevent getting tap water on your contact lenses and accessories, as it can bring a bacterium called Acanthamoeba that causes severe eye infections.
- Keep in mind to clean your contact lens accessories (lens case, cleaning/disinfecting devices, enzymatic cleaner vials and so on) as directed.
- Lens cases need to be washed with hot tap water and dried when not in use. (Because Acanthamoeba cysts might be present in tap water and can make it through for years after drying, some eye doctors recommend utilizing just contact lens decontaminating or multipurpose service for this action.).
- Current studies recommend that cleaning your case with a clean tissue and/or putting it upside-down on another tidy tissue may be additional good steps in keeping bacteria biofilms off the case. Ask your optometrist what she or he thinks.
- Throw away your contact lens case once a month, or as directed, to decrease your risk of infection.
Most notably, clean and decontaminate your contact lenses as soon as a day. If you use extended wear contacts, clean and sanitize the lenses as soon as you eliminate them, unless they are developed to be discarded immediately after use. Not only will your eyes be safer and healthier, but your contact lenses will be more comfy to use, too.