Wearing contact lenses can be a great alternative to glasses, providing people with the opportunity to improve their vision without the need for heavy frames. Soft contact lenses, in particular, are a popular choice for those who find traditional lenses uncomfortable or for those who have a more active lifestyle. However, if not properly cared for, contact lenses can lead to eye infections and other eye-related problems. In this article, we’ll explore the steps you can take to take proper care of your soft contact lenses.
Step 1: Wash Your Hands
Before coming into contact with your contact lenses, make sure your hands are clean and free from any dirt or bacteria. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, dry them with a clean towel, and avoid using any products that could leave a residue on your hands, such as lotions or creams. This is a crucial step in maintaining good eye health and hygiene.
Step 2: Remove Your Lenses
Always begin by removing your lenses before giving them a thorough clean. To do this, start by looking upwards and gently pulling down on your lower eyelid using your fingers so that you can see the contact lens. Next, use your other hand to pinch the lens gently and lift it off the surface of your eye. Do the same for the other eye, always starting with the same eye to avoid mixing up your lenses accidentally.
Step 3: Clean Your Lenses
Once you have removed your lenses, it’s time to give them a thorough clean. You should never skip this step, as failing to clean your lenses regularly can lead to a buildup of bacteria, which can cause eye infections. There are several different types of cleaning solutions available on the market, so make sure you choose one that’s suitable for your specific type of contact lens.
You can use either a multi-purpose solution or a hydrogen peroxide-based solution for cleaning your lenses. Multi-purpose solutions are easy to use and can be used for disinfecting, rinsing, and storing your lenses. Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions are more challenging to use but may be more effective for people with sensitive eyes. These solutions require a longer soaking time, so it’s crucial that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Step 4: Rinse Your Lenses
After cleaning your lenses, it’s essential to rinse them thoroughly to get rid of any remaining cleaning solution. To do this, hold your lens in the palm of your hand and add a few drops of sterile saline solution. Rub the lens gently between your fingers for a few seconds, then rinse it with more saline solution before placing it into your storage case. Repeat this process with your other lens.
Step 5: Store Your Lenses
Once you have cleaned and rinsed your lenses, it’s time to store them. Always use a clean, dry storage case to store your lenses. Never reuse an old solution or add new solution to the old fluid in your storage case. This can lead to the growth of bacteria, which can cause eye infections. Make sure you change your storage case every three to six months to avoid build-up of bacteria.
Step 6: Replace Your Lenses Regularly
Soft contact lenses have a limited lifespan, so it’s essential to replace them regularly to maintain good eye health. Your eye care professional will advise you on how often to replace your lenses, but most soft contact lenses will need to be replaced every two weeks to one month.
Step 7: Never Share Your Lenses
Sharing your lenses may seem like a convenient option, but it can lead to eye infections and other eye-related problems. Contact lens prescriptions are specific to the individual wearer, and the lenses should never be shared with anyone else. Sharing contact lenses can also lead to the transmission of bacteria and germs from one person to another.
Taking proper care of your soft contact lenses is crucial for maintaining good eye health and hygiene. Always begin by washing your hands before touching your lenses, remove your lenses, and clean them thoroughly before storing them in a clean and dry case. Rinse your lenses with saline solution, and replace them regularly. By following these simple steps, you can keep your eyes healthy and enjoy the many benefits of wearing contact lenses for years to come.