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Cleaning and Disinfecting Solutions

There are a variety of solutions available from many different manufacturers. The important thing to remember is that not every solution is right for every type of contact lens or patient. Most soft contact lenses and patients are compatible with multipurpose solutions. However, some patients may require separate solutions for disinfecting, cleaning and rinsing because of a tendency for lens deposits or sensitivity to certain solutions. Use only the lens solutions that are recommended by your eye doctor. If you wish to change brands, feel free to check with our office.

Contact Lens Care Made Easy!

contact carrying caseFew things affect the quality of your life more than your eyes--never put them at risk. Contact lenses are prescription medical devices. To make sure your eyes and vision stay healthy while wearing contact lenses, please follow these important guidelines or the instructions recommended by your doctor.

Warning: Ocular complications (infection, ulceration, giant papillary conjunctivitis) and/or long-term corneal damage (scarring, distortion) are the consequences of contact lenses that are worn longer than recommended, contaminated with pathogens or dirty with deposits. Oftentimes, your lenses will still feel good even when you are over-wearing them. Do not wear your lenses overnight unless they are approved for extended wear and your doctor has discussed this with you. Overnight wear increases the risk of infection and other complications. Hygiene is critical to prevent dirty or contaminated contacts. Always clean your lenses when you take them out at the end of the day by rubbing them on both sides with your index finger in the palm of your hand for 20 seconds with a daily cleaner or multipurpose solution. This removes dirt, mucous, protein, fatty deposits and pathogens that build up day after day if the lenses aren’t rubbed clean. Simply soaking your lenses in disinfecting solution does not remove deposits. Also clean your contact lens case weekly with soap and water and allow your case to air dry.

Wearing Schedule

It will take at least a few days for your eyes to get used to wearing contact lenses if you’ve never worn them or haven’t worn them in a while. The best way to insure maximum visual comfort and keep your eyes healthy is to patiently and faithfully adhere to this wearing schedule.

Day Gas Permeable Lenses Soft Lenses
2 6 hours 8 hours 
3 8 hours 10 hours
10 hours  12 hours 
12 hours  12 hours 

DON’T wear your lenses longer than 12 hours a day until your first follow-up visit with your doctor or unless the doctor has specifically told you otherwise.

inserting contact lensDON’T continue use of contact lenses if your eyes become red, irritated, painful, or if your vision gets worse while wearing lenses. Immediately take out the lenses and clean them. Let your eyes get back to normal and if the problem persists, contact our office.

DON’T exceed the wearing times suggested, even if your lenses still feel comfortable. Studies have proven that the eye needs time to adapt to contact lenses, and your wearing schedule is based on those studies.

DO always remove your contact lenses at least two hours before going to bed to give your eyes a break from wearing the contacts and allow for proper oxygen nourishment to the cornea. Putting your contacts on first thing in the morning and taking them out just before you go to bed (and close your eyes to sleep) does not give the cornea the relief it needs after having the lens on all day.

DO schedule and keep follow-up appointments with your eye doctor.

DO wear your contact lenses for at least 4 hours the day of your follow-up appointment unless you are experiencing discomfort.

Caring For Your Contacts

Deposits and infectious organisms such as bacteria can build up on the surface of all contact lenses during the day. For this reason, it is very important to keep them clean and disinfected.

There are four steps in contact lens care--follow the care prescribed for your lenses:

  1. Cleaning removes dirt, mucous, oil, protein, fatty deposits, pathogens and other debris that stick to the lenses during wear and can build up day after day if not cleaned. Cleaning requires rubbing each side of the lens in the palm of your hand with your index finger for about 20 seconds using a daily cleaner or multipurpose solution when you take them off your eye. 
  2. Rinsing using saline or multipurpose solution for 10 seconds removes the debris you’ve rubbed off the lenses or the daily cleaner/disinfecting solution you've used during the cleaning/disinfecting process. Rinsing prepare the lenses for wear or disinfection at the end of the day.
  3. Disinfecting kils germs (bacteria) on the lenses. Disinfecting is essential to prevent serious eye infections by soaking the lenses in the disinfecting solution every night.
  4. Enzyming uses enzyme drops or tablets to remove protein and other deposits that build up over time on the lenses.

The best way to properly care for your lenses is to develop a care regimen and then sticking to it! Remember to:

  • Follow the directions outlined by your eye doctor. Oftentimes instructions are also listed on the packaging or the package insert for the contact lens solutions prescribed for you.
  • Multi-purpose solutions can be used for more than one step in contact lens care. Read the label to see which functions the solutions can be used for.
  • Many solutions cannot be used together, and not all solutions are appropriate for all types of lenses. Only use solutions recommended by your eye doctor, and check with your eye doctor if you want to switch brands.
  • When you remove your lenses, they must be cleaned, rinsed, and disinfected before they are worn again. Rinsing the lenses before you put them on is a good habit.
  • Enzyming and cleaning are not a substitute for disinfecting.
  • Lenses that have been stored for more than 12 hours may need to be cleaned, disinfected, and rinsed again.
  • Make sure solution containers are kept closed tightly, stored upright, and kept in a clean, dry, cool place when you are not using them. Keep your case clean by washing it with soap and water weekly, letting them air dry, and replacing them every 2-3 months to prevent bacterial growth. Lens cases are a common place for growth of pathogens.
  • Don’t touch container bottle tips to any surface to prevent them from becoming contaminated.
  • Throw away expired solutions. (Look on the bottle for the expiration date!)
  • Always use new solution in your contact lenses case every day.
  • Discuss with your eye doctor the care for your lenses if you wear them while swimming in a pool or hot tub.
  • Only use approved rewetting drops for lubricating or wetting your lenses. Never place the lenses in your mouth.
  • Do not use tap water to rinse soft contact lenses. Tap water may have contaminants.
  • Be careful with makeup, lotions, creams and sprays--consider putting on lenses before makeup and remove them before removing makeup. Also, water-based makeup is less likely to damage lenses than oil-based.

Here’s what you need to watch for: Redness, blurriness, irritation, pain, or light sensitivity. Remove your lenses if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. If your eyes have not returned to normal within 3 to 4 hours, please contact our office at 702-734-9600 to talk to a doctor.

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