Keeping contact lenses clean is the most important step for lens wearers. It doesn't make a difference whether you wear lenses for vision correction or just for a cosmetic color change the steps for cleaning the lenses are exactly the same and need to be followed very carefully and precisely.
Why Is This So Important?
An eye infection called Acanthamoeba Keratitis can occur in contact lens wearers who don't clean and disinfect on a regular basis. The tiny parasites called acanthamoeba are naturally occurring amoeba found in water sources, such as tap water, hot tubs, swimming pools etc. They can infect the eye and are extremely difficult to treat and may even require a corneal transplant! So please read on to learn exactly how to avoid this extremely dangerous parasite.
What Causes This Infection?
- Using tap water on contact lens
- Using a home made solutions to store and clean contacts
- Wearing contacts to a hot tub or swimming pool
- Taking a shower while wearing contact lenses
- Dirty lens cases
- Not thoroughly cleaning and storing contact lenses (for at least 6 hours) after removal
- Relying entirely on “no-rub” lens care systems and solutions that could result in less effective contact lens cleaning and disinfection
Contact Lens Cleaning Solution
There are two types of contact lens cleaning solutions on the market: hydrogen peroxide based solutions and ones that are composed of a variety of sterile ingredients. Both of these types of solutions require that you soak your lenses in them for at least six hours for them to be fully effective.
What these solutions do is break down and dissolve protein build-up that naturally forms on contact lenses after you wear them. Makeup and our tears contain a range of compounds that will adhere to contact lenses and if these deposits aren’t removed properly lenses become cloudy and very uncomfortable.
Important Steps To Always Follow
- Speak to an eye doctor before wearing contact lenses for the first time.
- Never use tap water (or any water!) on your contacts.
- Never wear your contacts when swimming or taking a shower.
- Soak your lenses in fresh disinfecting solution every night.
- Do not use a lubricating or saline solution that isn't intended for contact lens disinfecting purposes.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your contact lenses.
- Unless you use daily disposable contact lenses, always clean your contact lenses immediately after removing them; rub them on your hand with multipurpose solution even if it is a “no-rub” solution, and store them in a clean case with fresh disinfecting or multipurpose solution.
- Remember to clean and disinfect your contact lens case as well. A dirty case will increase chances of eye infection.
- Always refer to the exact care specifications for your lenses, as printed on the case of your lenses.
- Replace your lens care solution regularly.