Proper Contact Lens Care
Patients love contact lenses because it provides the freedom from glasses. It is ideal for sports, for people with high prescriptions or thick lenses, and for patients who want to change the colour of their eyes. However, it is important to remember contact lenses are a medical device and can cause serious harm -- including permanent visual loss -- if not taken care of properly.
Soft Contact Lens Care
Soft contact lenses come in either disposable or extended wear modalities and can be replaced daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly. Our optometrists strongly recommend that patients do not wear any one lens longer than the timeframe specified within the brand's wearer guide. Daily lens wear is hygienically better because you never reuse your lenses. You get to wear a brand new pair of lenses each day, limiting the chance of contamination.
Weekly and biweekly lenses are made with more breathable material and, therefore, can be worn 7 to 14 times respectively within a reasonable time frame. The monthly lenses are the most economically feasible lens, but they require proper cleaning and storing as each lens lasts 30 days or 30 wears. The optical care team at Metro Eye Care recommends that lenses not be worn longer than 8-12 hours/day. Also, patients should always take out their lenses before going to sleep. It is believed the cornea swells while the eye is closed, and when wearing contacts this percentage is doubled.
To enhance their experience with contact lenses, we teach our patients the 3-S safety rule:
If you accidentally shower or swim with your contacts in, you should throw them away immediately because the chance of infection is very high. Avoid contact and rinsing the lens with tap water, as it vastly increases the risk of eye infections such as Acanthamoeba Keratitis.
For patients who want to sleep in their contact lenses and for those who it may medically be necessary for, there are Night & Day lenses. These are FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approved for 30 continuous days of wear time. During this time, we still recommend the patient to remove them once a week to let the eye breath and to clean the lenses.
How to keep your lenses clean
There are many multi-purpose disinfecting solutions out in the market (Opti-Free, Renu, SoloCare Aqua, Bio true, etc.) The proper protocol for cleaning and storing your lenses include:
- Place the lens in the palm of the hand and put disinfecting solution on the lens
- Using one of your finger rub up and down, not in a circular fashion.
- Rinse off with solution
- Store in a clean case with fresh solution (ensure that each is suited to the other)
There are also the hydrogen peroxide cleaning systems such as Clear Care. When using these systems, the contact lenses need to be soaked in contact lens cleaning solution for a minimum of 6 hours for the solution to neutralize. After 6 hours, you will be able to wear the lenses again. If you remove the lenses before that time or if you get the peroxide in your eyes, it will cause extreme discomfort and burning. If this happens, immediately wash the eye with water and go see an eye care professional to ensure no damage has occurred.
Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses (RGP)
Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are also known as hard lenses. They are sturdier than soft contact lenses. RGPs are more resistant to deposit buildup and produce clearer crisper vision. One lens can be used for a longer period of time than its soft lens counterpart. It is the recommended type of lens for certain corneal conditions such as keratoconus. The drawback of the lens is the comfort, as they take a few weeks to get used to. The cleaning
No matter what lenses you wear, it is important to take care of them to keep your contact lenses and eyes healthy. Feel fresher longer wearing the right contact lenses in the correct manner. Contact Metro Eye Care if you need advice regarding quality care for your contact lenses and vision.material is different as well. You cannot use soft contact lens cleaning solution to clean RGP lens. However, the safety precautions mentioned above still hold true.