What You Need to Know: Contact Lens Hygiene & Compliance

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are the perfect alternative to wearing glasses. They are extremely comfortable to wear, easy to handel and have transformed the lives of millions of people. With contact lens you can enjoy the freedom they give you, whether it is for going out , playing sports or just having the confidence to leave the house without your glasses.

When you decided to go for a contact lens trail you should go to your optometrist

Getting started right with your contact lenses involves going to an optometrist  who provides full-service care. This includes a thorough eye examination, an evaluation of your suitability for contact lens wear, the lenses, necessary lens care kits, individual instructions for wear and care and unlimited follow-up visits over a specified time

What You Need to Know About Contact Lens Hygiene & Compliance

Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction when patients follow the proper care and wearing instructions provided by their eye doctor. However, when patients do not use lenses as directed, the consequences may be dangerous. In fact, contact lens wearers could be damaging their eyes by not using proper hygiene in caring for their lenses.

Contact lenses and the solutions used with them are medical devices and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration; therefore, it is extremely important that patients maintain regular appointments to ensure they are receiving clinical guidance from their eye doctor based on individual eye health needs.

Clean and safe handling of contact lenses is one of the most important measures contact lens wearers can take to protect their sight. Exercising optimal care and hygiene with contact lenses can keep the eyes healthy

Recommendations for Contact Lens Wearers from the American Optometric Association

  1. Always wash and dry your hands before handling contact lenses.
  2. Carefully and regularly clean contact lenses, as directed by your eye doctor. Rub the contact lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight in sufficient multi-purpose solution to completely cover the lens.
  3. Store lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace your case every three months or sooner.  Clean the case after each use, and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
  4. Use only products recommended by your eye doctor to clean and disinfect your lenses. Saline solution and rewetting drops are not designed to disinfect lenses.
  5. Only fresh solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. Never re-use old solution. Contact lens solution must be changed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, even if the lenses are not used daily.
  6. Always follow the recommended contact lens replacement schedule prescribed by your eye doctor.
  7. Remove contact lenses before swimming or entering a hot tub.
  8. See your eye doctor for your regularly scheduled contact lens and eye examination
Lens Types Advantages Disadvantages
Rigid gas-permeable (RGP)

Made of slightly flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the eyes.

Excellent vision… short adaptation period… comfortable to wear… correct most vision problems… easy to put on and to care for… durable with a relatively long life… available in tints (for handling purposes) and bifocals. Require consistent wear to maintain adaptation… can slip off center of eye more easily than other types… debris can easily get under the lenses… requires office visits for follow-up care.
Daily-wear soft lenses

Made of soft, flexible plastic that allows oxygen to pass through to the eyes.

Very short adaptation period… more comfortable and more difficult to dislodge than RGP lenses… available in tints and bifocals… great for active lifestyles. Do not correct all vision problems… vision may not be as sharp as with RGP lenses… require regular office visits for follow-up care… lenses soil easily and must be replaced.
Extended-wear

Available for overnight wear in soft or RGP lenses.

Can usually be worn up to seven days without removal. Do not correct all vision problems… require regular office visits for follow-up care… increases risk of complication… requires regular monitoring and professional care.
Extended-wear disposable

Soft lenses worn for an extended period of time, from one to six days and then discarded.

Require little or no cleaning… minimal risk of eye infection if wearing instructions are followed… available in tints and bifocals… spare lenses available. Vision may not be as sharp as RGP lenses… do not correct all vision problems… handling may be more difficult.
Planned replacement

Soft daily wear lenses that are replaced on a planned schedule, most often either every two weeks, monthly or quarterly.

Require simplified cleaning and disinfection… good for eye health… available in most prescriptions. Vision may not be as sharp as RGP lenses… do not correct all vision problems… handling may be more difficult.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Types of Contact Lense

 Reasons To Consider Contact Lenses

  • Contact lenses move with your eye, allow a natural field of view, have no frames to obstruct your vision and greatly reduce distortions.
  • They do not fog up, like glasses, nor do they get splattered by mud or rain.
  • Contact lenses do not get in the way of your activities.
  • Many people feel they look better in contact lenses.
  • Contact lenses, compared to eyeglasses, generally offer better sight.

Some Things To Remember About Contact Lenses

  • Contact lenses, when compared with glasses, require a longer initial examination and more follow-up visits to maintain eye health; and more time for lens care.
  • If you are going to wear your lenses successfully, you will have to clean and store them properly; adhere to lens wearing schedules; and make appointments for follow-up care.
  • If you are wearing disposable or planned replacement lenses, you will have to care
  • If you are wearing disposable or planned replacement lenses, you will have to carefully follow the schedule for throwing away used lenses.

Do’s and Don’ts

Get started off right with your contact lenses by going to a doctor who provides full-service care. Full-service care may include the following items: a thorough eye examination, an evaluation of your suitability for contact lens wear, the lenses, necessary lens care kits, individual instructions for wear and care, and follow-up visits over a specified time. The initial visit and examination can take an hour or longer. Here is a list of other specific do’s and don’ts to lead you to successful wear

Do:

  • Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses.
  • Carefully and regularly clean contact lenses, as directed by your optometrist. If recommended, rub the contact lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight in sufficient multi-purpose solution to completely cover the lens.
  • Store lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace the case at a minimum of every three months. Clean the case after each use, and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
  • Only fresh solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. Never Re-use old solution. Contact lens solution must be changed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, even if the lenses are not used daily.
  • Always follow the recommended contact lens replacement schedule prescribed by your optometrist.
  • Remove contact lenses before swimming or entering a hot tub.
  • Avoid tap water to wash or store contact lenses or lens cases.
  • See your optometrist for your regularly scheduled contact lens and eye examination.

Don’t:

  • Use cream soaps. They can leave a film on your hands that can transfer to the lenses.
  • Use homemade saline solutions. Improper use of homemade saline solutions has been linked with a potentially blinding condition among soft lens wearers.
  • Put contact lenses in your mouth or moisten them with saliva, which is full of bacteria and a potential source of infection.
  • Use tap water to wash or store contact lenses or lens cases.
  • Share lenses with others.
  • Use products not recommended by your optometrist to clean and disinfect your lenses. Saline solution and rewetting drops are not designed to disinfect lenses.

Contact Lenses and Cosmetics

Here are some tips to help you wear your contacts and your cosmetics safely and comfortably together:

  • Put on soft contact lenses before applying makeup.
  • Put on rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses after makeup is applied.
  • Avoid lash-extending mascara, which has fibers that can irritate the eyes, and waterproof mascara, which cannot be easily removed with water and may stain soft contact lenses.
  • Remove lenses before removing makeup.
  • Choose an oil-free moisturizer.
  • Don’t use hand creams or lotions before handling contacts. They can leave a film on your lenses.
  • Use hairspray before putting on your contacts. If you use hairspray while you are wearing your contacts, close your eyes during spraying and for a few seconds afterwards.
  • Blink your eyes frequently while under a hair drier or blower to keep your eyes from getting too dry.
  • Keep false eyelash cement, nail polish and remover, perfume and cologne away from the lenses. They can damage the plastic.
  • Choose water-based, hypo-allergenic liquid foundations. Cream makeup may leave a film on your lenses.

Monovision is a treatment technique that is often prescribed for people age 40 and older who are affected by presbyopia. Presbyopia occurs when, as part of the natural aging process, the eye’s crystalline lens loses its ability to bring close objects into clear focus.

Monovision means wearing a contact lens for near vision on one eye and, if needed, a lens for distance vision on the other eye.

Most people who try monovision are able to adjust to it.

Alternative treatments for presbyopia include a combination of contact lenses and reading glasses, or your doctor may also prescribe bifocal contact lenses

Signs of Potential Problems

It is generally not difficult to wear contact lenses. Following your doctor’s advice and regular follow-up care will prevent most problems.

However, here is a list of some signs that things may not be going well. If you experience any of these, contact your optometrist as soon as possible.

  • Blurred or fuzzy vision, especially of sudden onset.
  • Red, irritated eyes.
  • Uncomfortable lenses.
  • Pain in and around the eyes.

Finally visit your optometrist at least once a year in the single most important way to identify any eye problems and maintain good vision and healthy eyes

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