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Contact Lens Care

During normal wear, dirt, protein particles, and germs can get on contacts. Proper cleaning of your contact lenses kills the germs that can cause serious eye infections and a possible loss of sight. Cleaning also protects your eyes from irritation and removes substances that may shorten the life of the lens.

Contacts must be disinfected every time you take them out. If you have daily wear soft contacts, you should clean and disinfect them every night. Most eye care providers recommend that all contacts be taken out and cleaned each night, even those called extended wear contacts. Daily disposable contacts should be thrown away and not cleaned and reused.

To clean and disinfect your lenses properly, follow the instructions of your cleaning system. Always handle your lenses gently, as soft contacts can tear. Be sure to keep track of which is the right lens and which is the left. It may help if you always handle the right lens first.

Make sure that your solutions are clearly marked so that you do not confuse the different bottles. Some solutions can be irritating or harmful if they are put directly in the eye.

To help remove protein deposits, your eye care provider may recommend enzyme cleaning.

Your eye care provider will advise certain products based on what is best for your contacts and safest for your eyes. Using different solutions may irritate your eyes or discolor your lenses. Always check with your eye care provider before you switch contact lens solutions. Always read the instructions that come with your products.

Finally, to prevent infection:

  • Wash your hands before you put in or take out your lenses.
  • Do not use homemade or nonsterile saline solutions.
  • Never store contact lenses in tap water.
  • Do not wear your lenses while swimming.
  • Do not sleep with your lenses in your eyes unless you have extended wear lenses and your eye doctor approves.
  • Use aerosol sprays, such as deodorant and hair spray BEFORE you put in your lenses, and
  • Put in your contact lenses BEFORE you put makeup on. Eyeliner applied between the lashes and the eyes may permanently discolor soft lenses.

Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

HIA File opth4205.htm Release 13/2010

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