Not caring for your contact lenses properly can lead to a variety of eye infections, including some that cause blindness.
Actually, contact lens care is easier than ever. One-bottle care systems and disposable contact lenses mean that proper lens care involves much less time, expense and trouble than it did years ago.
Before we get started, understand that you should not switch care regimens without asking your optometrist first. Some products are not compatible with each other, or with certain contact lenses. Using incompatible products can ruin your contact lenses or harm your eyes.
To make sense of all the bottles and boxes, it helps to know what steps are required to care for soft contacts.
It’s particularly important to follow guidelines for safe handling of soft contact lenses in light of recent outbreaks of serious eye infections associated with a popular (now discontinued) brand of contact lens cleaning/disinfecting solution.
The Basics of Soft Contact Lens Care: Clean, Rinse and Disinfect
- Wash your hands so that you don’t transfer dirt and germs to your eye. Try to avoid 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 recommended solution. Cleaning removes eye-produced buildup, cosmetics and other debris that impairs lens comfort. We recommend that you rub the lens in the palm of your hand with a few drops of solution, even if you are using a “no-rub” product.
- Rinse the lens again to remove the loosened debris, making sure to take as long as the package directs: Rinsing is an important step.
- Place the lens in your clean lens case or lens holder and fill with fresh solution; don’t “top off” your old solution. Disinfecting kills microorganisms on the lens. Disinfection time varies from product to product; check the package for details.
- Repeat steps two through four for your other lens.