“I’m looking for contact lenses near me, but I’m not sure how to take care of them.” We hear this a lot. Taking good care of your contact lenses safeguards your eyes against pathogens, irritants, infections, and disease. Hygiene is important when it comes to maintaining your contacts. So is following the instructions that your lens care provider gives to you. There are plenty of options for cleaning contact lenses on the markets, but they are not all the same. This guide will help you learn how to properly clean and care for your contact lenses to maintain optimal eye health.
No matter what type of lenses you have or what kind of solution you use, you should follow the guidelines below when handling your contacts.
Don’t soak your contacts in the solution that you stored them in the night before. Always use fresh solution to cleanse and store your lenses.
Even if you clean your contact case every day, you should replace it every three months or so. As buildup develops in the old case, it is more likely to attract germs.
Most contact lens solutions will indicate how long you should soak your contacts in them. This time frame is generally 4 hours. However, some solutions, such as hydrogen peroxide options, require you to soak your contacts for 6 hours.
Consider soaking your new contacts in a multipurpose solution before inserting them into your eyes. The liquid in the blister package is typically a saline solution, which does not include a disinfectant. Although it may be safe to insert contacts directly from the package into your eyes, you’ll get better results by soaking them in a case with a multipurpose solution for 6 to 8 hours first. You should also do this if your new contacts sting when you put them in without soaking them first.
There are different types of contact lens cleaning solutions. Some are intended to be used with specific types of contacts. Always read the label and instructions before handling contact lens solution.
Hydrogen peroxide solutions work with a neutralizer. The hydrogen peroxide bubbles up and cleans the lenses. The neutralizer transforms the solution into water and oxygen, which makes it harmless to insert into your eyes once the cleaning and storing process has been completed.
It’s important to follow the instructions for these types of solutions. Some are approved to work with soft as well as rigid gas permeable contacts. Many have a neutralizer in the case, which makes cleaning and neutralizing a one-step process. Others require you to add a tablet to the solution to neutralize it. If you don’t neutralize the hydrogen peroxide, it can harm your eyes.
Some solutions are designed specifically for rigid gas permeable lenses. These contacts tend to develop protein deposits on the surface because they are worn for longer periods than soft contacts. Again, it’s vital to follow the instructions, which may involve a one or two-step cleansing process.
Saline solution is made of pH-balanced saltwater. It’s designed to be gentle on your eyes when you use it as a rinse before inserting your contacts.
However, the saline solution does not contain disinfectants or cleansing agents. Therefore, you should not use it to clean or store your lenses.
Most users don’t need to use saline solution. Multipurpose cleaning systems can often be used for rinsing, which eliminates the need for saline liquid. Still, some multi-step contact solutions come with saline liquid. Follow the instructions to use this correctly.