Wearing contact lenses is now so commonplace that we often forget that they are corrective medical devices that require a prescription and guidelines for proper care. We consulted with licensed Optician, Claudia Rojas, for some of her top contact lens care guidelines.
Remember, your eye care professional may have additional instructions based on your specific eye care needs.
What are the essential guidelines for proper contact lens care?
1. Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses.
Throughout the day and night our hands pick up microbes. Without proper hand washing, bacteria will transfer from your fingers to the contact lenses and, ultimately, to your eyes.
2. Clean your contact lenses every day (ideally upon removal to create a habit) with the contact lens solution prescribed by your Eye Care Professional.
If cleaning with a multipurpose type of contact lens solution, make sure to gently rub lenses to remove biofilms of bacteria, protein, and lipid deposits.
3. Replace your contact lens case at least every 3 months.
Clean your contact lens case for every use and allow to completely dry prior to adding your contact lenses and solution. Keeping the case clean will help prevent bacteria from settling on your contact lenses.
4. Comply with wearing schedule provided by your Eye Care Professional. Dispose of contact lenses according to lens type i.e.: daily, bi-monthly, and monthly.
Your prescription, personal eyewear needs, and lifestyle can all factor into the contact lens type and brand prescribed by your eye health professional.
5. It is key for eye health that you do not overwear your lenses.
It is recommended to wear contact lenses less than 12 hours per day, ideally 8-10 hours, in order to maintain healthy corneas.
6. Avoid water activities in contact lenses to avoid dirty water settling between the contact and eye. This especially applies to hot tubs and pools.
It is never a good idea to wear contact lenses where there is water as bacteria can accumulate and cause infections. Prescription swimming goggles are the best eyewear solution if you are involved in water sports.
Have a valid contact lens prescription?