LENS INSERTION AND REMOVAL
- Wash hands using non-cosmetic soap; towel lint-free: film/debris will otherwise be transferred to the lenses, causing irritation.
- Keep fingernails trimmed and clean (long fingernails can tear a lens or make insertion awkward).
- Close the sink drain if inserting over a sink
- Remove the lens from the case or package (case markings to identify right and left lens)
- Verify that the lens is not inside out (the “taco test” or vase vs. bowl)
- Insertion: lift upper lid up and lower lid down; insert lens on to eye (white part); then look towards contact lens; release lower lid slowly and then upper lid slowly. Close eyes and pat top of eyelids to remove air bubbles.
- Removal: lift upper lid up and lower lid down; move lens to outside corner of eye; pinch lens with the pads of the index finger and thumb; remove lens from eye.
CLEANING, CARE AND REPLACEMENT
WHY: Contact lenses collect deposits of mucus and protein from the eye. A build-up of these deposits can cause dryness, irritation, and even foggy vision limiting wear time and enjoyment of the lenses. Bacteria also adheres to contact lens materials and can put a person at risk of infection if not addressed. Contact lens associated infections are notoriously difficult to treat and can be sight-threatening.
- ABSOLUTELY NO USE OF TAP WATER OR BOTTLED WATER TO CLEAN OR HANDLE THE LENSES
- Cleaning EVERYDAY (a few drops of solution, rub both sides x 20 seconds): removes protein, oil and makeup. Empty the lens case of solution EVERYDAY. Never add more solution to solution that is already there.
- A specific contact lens solution has been recommended. Do not switch without consulting the prescribing doctor. Always recap the solution bottle. Discard expired solutions. Be aware of the expiry date of contact lens solutions “on sale.”
- Cleaning/replacing the lens case: wash the case out with the prescribed solution, not tap water; uncap and let air dry face down on a paper towel daily. Boil cases in hot water weekly. Replace the case at least every 3 months. Cases are a common site for bacteria and fungus (the latter is notoriously difficult to treat as the cause of many eye infections).
- It is important to follow the prescribed wearing and replacement schedule. Contact lens materials and coatings break down after a period of time. This period of time is well studied before a contact lens reaches the market. If a person insists on wearing a lens on which material has broken down, it can cause irritation and discomfort. Also, careful cleaning and rubbing of a contact lens is only 90% effective. Remaining deposits will eventually accumulate, and so too will the associated bacteria, putting the wearer at serious risk of sight-threatening infection.
- Initial wearing schedule
- Day 1: 4 hours
- Day 2: 5 hours
- Build by an hour until you reach 8.
- Hold at 8 until the follow-up appointment.
- Arrive at next appointment wearing the contact lenses (try for at least 3 hours of wear)
- Sunglasses with no prescription should be worn for protection from the sun.
- Having a back-up pair of glasses is necessary to give your eyes a break from your lenses.
- Be sure to keep your fingernails clean and short.
- Be careful when unfolding a stuck lens; use plenty of solution.
- If a lens becomes dried-out, soak overnight in lens solution and clean well before use.
- Limit the use of sprays and cosmetics (use water-based mascara) when wearing lenses.
- Showering while wearing lenses is possible if eyes are kept closed.
- Swimming with lenses increases the chance of infection. Contact lenses have “pores” that can collect bacteria and fungus. The risk is reduced with disposable lenses.
- If vision is blurred, check that the lenses are not in the wrong eyes.
- IF IN DOUBT, TAKE THEM OUT. There should not be any redness, discomfort or visual disturbance with lens wear. If so, contact the prescribing doctor immediately