If you’re new to contact lenses, you might have questions about correctly cleaning them. Since proper hygiene is critical for infection prevention and other issues that can arise from a subpar cleaning, knowing the right technique is important. If you want to make sure you are handling your contact lens cleaning the best way possible, here’s what you need to do.
Wash Your Hands
Before you hand your contact lenses, you need to wash your hands. Use an antibacterial soap and make sure to rinse thoroughly. Also, dry your hands with a lint-free towel to make sure you don’t get any fabric particles on your lenses or in your eyes.
Use the Rub and Rinse Method
Even if your solution says that it’s “no rub,” the rub and rinse cleaning approach is still a better option. It ensures that debris that may be stuck to each lens is removed, providing a superior clean.
Begin by taking one lens and placing it in the palm of your non-dominant hand. You want to edge of the lens to be up, like an upright cup.
Place a few drops of fresh cleaning solution (not just saline) on your palm next to the lens as well as directly on the lens. Next, use the fingers of your dominant hand to gently rub the contact. Make sure you don’t use your fingernails when you rub as that can damage the lens.
Then, rinse the lens with fresh, sterile solution. Finally, put the lens in the case to soak and repeat the process with your other lens.
Long-Term Contact Lens Storage
If you are going to keep your lenses in a case for an extended period, then you may need to re-disinfect them before you wear them. Review the instructions that came with your contacts and your solution to see if they have a timeline for re-disinfection.
No matter what, if your lenses have been stored for 30 days or more, go through a re-disinfection process. Or, if you are using disposable lenses that are designed to last a month or less, switch to a new pair and throw the old ones out.
Replace Your Lenses According to the Instructions
Even if you are exceptionally good at cleaning your lenses, you still need to throw them away and open a new pair according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The material is only designed to handle so much wear and tear, so waiting could mean putting a damaged lens in your eye. Plus, soft contact lenses can end up with deposit build ups or other forms of contamination, increasing your risk of infection if you exceed the recommended amount of time.
Keep Your Case Clean Too
Proper contact lens care also includes cleaning your case. Otherwise, the case can become a source of contamination, potentially leading to an infection. You can use sterile solution to clean your case every time you remove your lenses. Then, leave it open so that it can dry during the day.
Additionally, replace your case every three months. If it becomes cracked or damaged, start using a new case right away.
If you are interested in getting contact lenses or your prescription may be out of date, schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today. Our skilled team works diligently to ensure your eye health by performing thorough exams, correcting vision issues, and providing customized treatment options designed to meet the needs of our patients.