Contact Lens Care
The guidelines for care of contact lenses listed below have been developed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Contact Lens Association for Ophthalmologists, the Cornea Society and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. We refer directly to these guidelines in this article Follow these tips to ensure proper contact lens health.
Before handling contact lenses, wash your hands with soap and water, then rinse and dry them with a lint-free towel. Minimize contact with water, including removing lenses before going swimming or in a hot tub. Contact lenses should not be rinsed with or stored in water (tap or sterile water).
Wear and replace contact lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your eye care professional. Follow the specific contact lens cleaning and storage guidelines from your eye care professional and the solution manufacturer.
During cleaning, rub your contact lenses with your fingers, then rinse the lenses with solution before soaking them. This "rub and rinse" method is considered by some experts to be a superior method of cleaning, even if the solution you are using is a "no-rub" variety. Rinse the contact lens case with fresh solution — not water. Then leave the empty case open to air dry.
Keep the contact lens case clean and replace it regularly, at least every three months. Lens cases can be a source of contamination and infection. Do not use cracked or damaged lens cases.
Lens Solution Care
To responsibly handle your contact lens solution, follow these tips:
Do not re-use old solution or "top off" the solution in your lens case.
Do not transfer contact lens solution into smaller travel-size containers. This can affect the sterility of the solution, which can lead to an eye infection.
Do not allow the tip of the solution bottle to come in contact with any surface, and keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
If you store your lenses in the case for an extended period of time, consult the instructions for the lenses or the contact lens solution to determine if re-disinfecting the lenses is appropriate before you wear them. In no case should you wear your lenses after storage for 30 or more days without re-disinfecting.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAOA), eye infections can lead to serious vision loss in some cases. Proper care of your eyes is just as important as proper lens care. The AAOA offers these tips:
Remove the contact lenses and consult an ophthalmologist immediately if you experience symptoms such as redness, pain, tearing, increased light sensitivity, blurry vision, discharge or swelling.
Get regular eye exams. If you wear contact lenses, you should be examined by an eye care provider annually, and more often as needed.
Beware of using decorative lenses, such as those often sold at costume shops. These lenses have the potential to damage eyes permanently.