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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Basic Tips for Proper Contact Lens Care

Contact lenses have been proven to be a safe and efficient means of vision correction, but even still, it is crucial that contact lens wearers follow the instructions of their eye care practitioner in order to optimize their eye health. Properly caring for and maintaining contact lenses is a key component of eye care and the prevention of eye infections and other problems.

Multipurpose solutions simplify caring for contact lenses by combining three steps – cleaning, rinsing, and disinfecting. Some people may find it preferable to further clean their lenses by rubbing them. To do this, apply three drops of multipurpose solution to the lens and rub from the center outward, but not in a circular motion. This action wipes away any dirt or debris from the lens surface. After rubbing the lens, rinse the lens with more solution and return it to its case and fill the case with fresh solution.

Be sure not to top off solution; use fresh solution each time you clean and disinfect your lenses. Also, don’t touch the tip of the solution bottle to your hands or the lens, and tightly recap the bottle after each use.

Don’t wear contact lenses when swimming in a pool or hot tub. Some scientists have found that this contact with water can allow bacteria to gain access to the contact lenses and the eyes.

The most important aspect of contact lens maintenance is hand washing. One’s hands come into contact with numerous germs every day; it is therefore essential that wearers thoroughly wash their hands before handling their lenses. If hands are not properly washed before handling contact lenses, wearers run the risk of contaminating their lenses and their eyes. Cream soaps are less desirable, as they tend to leave a film on the hands, which can then be transferred to the lenses, causing temporary decreased visual comfort.

It is also very important that lenses be regularly disinfected with the appropriate solution as recommended by your eye care practitioner. Each time that lenses are cleaned, fresh solution should be used. Follow the solution instructions carefully, as some brands require different steps.

To ensure that makeup products such as mascara or cover up do not get stuck on the surface of a contact lens, it is important to insert contacts before applying makeup. Also, use oil-free moisturizers and don’t apply hand lotions or creams before handling lenses in order to minimize the risk of oily deposits on the lens surface.

Contact lenses should be properly stored in a case that is regularly cleaned. Storage cases should be cleaned with the recommended disinfectant solution, not tap water, in order to kill any microorganisms that could be on your lenses. This should prevent the risk of eye infection. Leave the cover off the case and allow it to dry before putting lenses back in it.

Steer clear of putting contact lenses in your mouth or using saliva to moisten lenses. Saliva contains a robust bacteria flora, which is foreign to your eyes and could lead to a variety of eye infections.

Visit your eye care practitioner regularly and follow a replacement contact lens schedule that you and your practitioner agree upon.

Additional information regarding contact lenses and eye care is available from Contact Lens King,

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