Taking care of your contact lenses properly is important for a number of reasons. The main reason is to decrease your risk for serious eye infections. Proper contact lens care will also ensure that your lenses are as comfortable as possible when you are wearing them and will prevent the build up of deposits on the lenses which can degrade the quality of your vision with lens wear.
Key points to remember with proper contact lens care are as follows:
1. Be sure to rub your lenses before storing them in solution! This is one of the most important steps in removing microorganisms and deposits from your lenses. Place the lens in the palm of your hand and add about 5 drops of contact lens solution. Gently rub both sides of the lens for about 10-15 seconds using your index finger then rinse the lens with contact lens solution and your lens is ready to store in solution overnight.
2. Always fill your contact lens case with fresh solution for lens storage. Never re-use solution, as it will not be as effective at fighting off bacteria that can accumulate on your contact lenses.
3. Store your contact lenses in solution overnight for adequate lens cleaning. You should never sleep with your contact lenses on your eyes because it increases your risk for eye infections.
4. Replace your contact lenses according to your prescribed replacement schedule. For example, if you have 2-week disposable contact lenses, they should be thrown away after two weeks of wear. Wearing the lenses longer can increase your risk for eye infections.
5. Replace your contact lens case every 90 days. Your contact lens case can harbor harmful bacteria, so to minimize the risk of infection, throw away a case after about 3 months of use and start using a new one.
6. You should avoid swimming in pools, hot tubs, or lakes when wearing contact lenses. Your lenses should be thrown away after being worn while swimming because certain organisms that can adhere to the lens while swimming cannot be eliminated with usual lens care procedures. Daily disposable lenses are a good option for swimming or perhaps you might be interested in refractive surgery to decrease your dependency on contacts—ask your eye care provider if interested.
Be sure to contact your eye care provider if you have any questions about caring for your contact lenses. Caring for your contact lenses properly can minimize your risk for eye infections that can permanently damage your vision.