Proper contact lens care can be learned best through a comprehensive eye check-up. During an eye check-up, the optometrist tells you the “do’s and don’ts” of contact lens wearing and cleaning. Given that you’ve listened carefully to your assigned eye doctor at that time and fired away questions while you’re inside the examination room, you can make use of your paid 45-minute appointment efficiently and worthwhile!
Once you entered the eye doctor’s den or exam room, do you know what questions to ask? Or are you just going to sit there in silence and let the doctor tinker with your eyes and give you a standard prescription? Have no idea at all? How about try asking…
Do I have to wash my hands before handling my contacts?
Whether you’re cleaning it or about to wear it, the answer is: YES. Even you’re just going to put in your lens case, washing your hands is a must. What are the consequences if you stubbornly say “whatever” to this? According to Optometry Times, “there is a 1.5 times increased risk for developing microbial keratitis and 2-times greater risk for developing sterile keratitis.” Mayo Clinic defines keratitis as “an inflammation of the cornea” and can cause “eye pain, blurred or decreased vision, and sensitivity to light.”
How do I clean my contacts?
Family Eyecare Specialists provided a 5-step guide as follows:
- Wash and dry your hands before handling your lenses.
- Rub and rinse your lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution.
- Rub and rinse your case with solution after each use.
- Dry your case with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off after each use.
- Soak your lenses overnight with fresh solution.
Or you may commit to memory the image below:
Never use water or saliva as “cleaning” agents. Water can damage the lenses, while saliva… seriously?! Another thing, don’t top off the solution in the case because Optometry Times says it can “contribute to ocular infections.”
Do I have to clean the contact lens case, too?
Fact check: the contact lens case is the common source of contamination, Optometry Times reveals. So, even if you don’t top off the solution and regularly drain the contents ‘til the last drop, the residue of bacteria is still there. Optometry Times instructs to “rinse it out daily with storage solution—never water—then wipe it with a clean tissue and allow it to air dry.” Take a look again at the image above, step number four. Why not water? Tap water has Acanthamoeba cysts. Acantha…what? All About Vision describes it as an amoeba or a parasite. Also, replace the storage case every 1-3 months.
How do I deal with my contacts when traveling?
Here are the five tips from Optometry Times:
- Pack your contact lens gear in your carry-on bag, not checked baggage.
- Recommend patients travel with daily disposables.
- Get a copy of your Rx from your eye doctor and bring it with you.
- Provide trial-sized products for ease of travel.
- Recommend wearing glasses on the airplane.
Is it safe to transfer a big bottle of solution into a smaller one? Nope. This practice may cause infections so better buy smaller sizes to carry with you while traveling.
These are only basic questions. Feel free to ask your optometrist during your eye check up things you don’t understand or know about contact lens care and maintenance. It is better to ask the experts than to google it online where wannabe doctors roam in every web page.