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How to Clean Contact Lenses

by | 26 Sep 2020 | Contact Lenses, Eye Health, Eyewear, News

Time needed: 6 hours and 2 minutes.

Clean contact lenses and healthy lens wear will help you avoid infections. Contact lenses are a fantastic alternative to glasses. There is strong evidence to show that these steps are important:

  1. Wash your hands

    Before handling lenses or touching your eyes, wash your hands thoroughly.

  2. Rub your contact lenses in fresh solution

    Only use fresh solution prescribed by your Optometrist. Not all solutions are the same. Rubbing helps to mechanically remove deposits on the lenses.

  3. Rinse your lenses with fresh solution

    Wash away the deposits and organisms removed in step 2 above.

  4. Soak your lenses in fresh solution

    A minimum of 6 hours is recommended to properly sanitise your contact lenses. Do not top up your soaking container, replace used solution with fresh solution. Between soakings, wash and air dry your soaking container upside down.

  5. Repeat steps 2 & 3 prior to inserting reusable lenses

    Your contact lenses will be cleaner and contaminated soaking solution is washed away.

  6. Don’t and Avoid

    Don’t use water with lenses or cases. Avoid sleeping in your contact lenses as prolonged wear increases your risk of infection.

Furthermore, contact lens wearers should visit an Optometrist for a complete eye health checkup every 12 months.

Lady wearing contact lenses

Why are clean contact lenses important?

Acanthamoeba keratitis is an organism that will feed on the front of your eye. It’s also found in water in Australia and is shown to be in around a third of bathroom sinks in Sydney.

Every year in Australia, a number of contact lenses wearers will be affected by this condition. Some will require a corneal transplant to replace the front of their eye while others undergo more than a year of intensive treatment.

While Acanathamoeba infections are particularly severe and difficult to treat, they are rare. However, general bacterial infections are common and can still result in significant loss of vision.

Infection risk factors

You are more at risk of an eye infection related to contact lens wear if:

How do I know if I have a problem?

A golden rule of contact lens wear is:

If your eyes sting, become red, watery, blurry or uncomfortable while wearing contact lenses – REMOVE THEM!

conjunctivitis
Red eyes are a warning sign if wearing contact lenses.

If your symptoms get worse or persist, make an appointment. GPs don’t generally have equipment to diagnose serious eye infections such as Pseudomonas. Furthermore, this organism is resistant to the strongest over-the-counter drops, chloramphenicol (Chlorsig).

Our Optometrists can treat eye infections by prescribing eye drops and can refer you to an ophthalmologist (specialist eye doctor) if needed.

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