People who decide to wear contact lenses must know that contact lens care systems are critical to the overall condition of their contact lens and the decrease of infection risk. They will need the professional assistance of an optometrist in choosing the contact lens care system most compatible with your lens materials. If you’re a new contact lens wearer, you have to learn about the importance of contact lens care.
In the following paragraphs, you will find some important reminders in wearing contact lenses and the proper way of caring for them.
Types of Contact Lens Care Systems
Although you can choose from many different contact lens care systems, the two most common are multipurpose and hydrogen peroxide care solutions. Depending on the manufacturer, each solution has a separate set of instructions for use.
Multipurpose solutions are designed to be used with various contact lens materials, such as polymacon and silicone hydrogel. These solutions are made to last longer—up to six months or a year—and require monthly disinfection in a fresh solution. On the other hand, hydrogen peroxide solutions are also available for daily use. They contain antimicrobial agents and are manufactured to be used once and discarded.
Take Note of Your Contact Lens Solution’s Expiration Date
You should never use your contact lens solution after the expiration date on the packaging. As an added reminder, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended that solution manufacturers start labelling solution bottles with a discard date, indicating when the solution should be discarded after it has been opened. It usually takes 90 days, but it can take longer depending on the manufacturer and solution type.
For directions and discard dates, consult the solution’s package insert, and ask your optometrist if you have any questions about how to use your prescribed care solutions. It should be noted that contact lens solutions without preservatives should be discarded within 24 hours of opening.
Be Careful When Using Eye Drops with Your Contact Lenses
Generally, preservative-free eye drops are highly safe to use with contact lenses. However, Avoid eye drops that claim to remove redness since they often contain chemicals harmful to your long-term eye health. Preservative-containing eye drops can be hazardous to the eyes as well.
Because any eye drops that are not approved for contact lenses might harm the contact lens and the eyes, it’s best to consult an optometrist for advice on the best eye drops to use.
Don’t Ever Use Tap Water on Your Contact Lenses
Never use tap water for any aspect of lens maintenance, including rinsing the lenses or the lens case. Microorganisms like Acanthamoeba found in tap water can cause significant eye infections and vision loss. Acanthamoeba is a microscopic, free-living single-celled organism that can infect the cornea, the eye’s clear outer covering where contact lenses are worn. It’s common in nature and can be found in bodies of water, which is why it is recommended to avoid the use of water with lenses.
Remember to consult with an eye care professional if you have a change in your vision or eye health. If you use disposable contact lenses, always follow the manufacturer’s directions and contact your optometrist to discuss any concerns. If you use reusable contact lenses, check with your eye care professional to help determine if you should be concerned.
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