Dr. Raymund Garza, Therapeutic Optometrist, Raymund Garza, O.D. – 777 N TEXAS BLVD ALICE, TX 78332

Proper Contact Lens Care: Everything You Need to Know

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A person putting a contact lens on her eye, Proper Contact Lens Care: Everything You Need to Know

If you wear contact lenses, proper contact lens care is paramount for ensuring the health of your eyes. At Alice Family Eye Center, we understand the importance of contact lens care in preserving optimal eye health. Our comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about proper contact lens care. We will also provide tips on avoiding common mistakes that could lead to eye infections and discomfort. Whether you wear soft or rigid gas-permeable lenses or disposable or extended-wear lenses, we will help you navigate the world of contact lens care with confidence and ease.

Why Proper Contact Lens Care is Important

Proper contact lens care is crucial for maintaining healthy eyes and preventing eye infections. When you wear contact lenses, they come into direct contact with your eyes, creating a potential pathway for bacteria and other microorganisms to enter and cause infections. Following the proper care guidelines can minimize the risk of eye infections and ensure your eyes stay healthy.

One of the most common contact lens-related eye infections is microbial keratitis, caused by bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms. If left untreated, this infection can lead to redness, pain, and even vision loss. Proper contact lens care can significantly reduce the risk of developing this infection.

Additionally, you must clean your contact lenses and keep them debris-free to optimize clear vision. Over time, proteins, lipids, and other substances present in your tears can build up on the surface of the lenses, leading to blurry vision. Regular cleaning and disinfection help remove these deposits and maintain the clarity of your lenses.

Understanding The Different Types of Contact Lenses

Before diving into the specifics of contact lens care, it is essential to understand the different types of contact lenses available. There are various options to choose from, each with its care requirements.

  • Soft contact lenses: Soft contact lenses are made of a flexible plastic material that conforms to the shape of your eye. They are comfortable to wear and come in various options, including daily disposables and bi-weekly, monthly, and extended-wear lenses. Soft lenses require daily cleaning and disinfection, except for daily disposables, which you discard after a single use.
  • Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses: RGP lenses are made of a rigid, oxygen-permeable material. They provide excellent vision correction and are more durable than soft lenses. RGP lenses require daily cleaning and disinfection and can last longer with proper care.
  • Extended-wear lenses: Extended-wear lenses are designed to be worn continuously, including while sleeping. They are available in both soft and RGP materials. However, they carry a higher risk of eye infections and complications. Follow your Alice Family Eye Care doctor’s recommendations and replace these lenses as instructed.

Each type of contact lens has its own set of care instructions, so it is essential to consult your eye care professional and read the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific lenses you wear.

Common Contact Lens Care Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding common contact lens care mistakes is essential to ensure your contact lenses’ longevity and maintain your eyes’ health. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Going To Sleep While Still Wearing Your Contact Lenses: Remove your contact lenses before going to bed, even if they are extended-wear lenses. Sleeping while wearing your lenses reduces the oxygen supply to your cornea and increases the risk of eye infections.
  2. Using tap water to clean or store your lenses: Tap water contains microorganisms that can cause serious eye infections. Always use the recommended contact lens solution and avoid exposing your lenses to water, including showering or swimming. If you want to wear your contact lenses while swimming, use goggles to protect them. Ensure the goggles have a good seal and won’t let water near your eyes. Additionally, do not go underwater or get splashed while you are above water and not wearing your goggles.
  3. Wearing your lenses beyond their recommended replacement schedule: Different contact lenses have specific replacement schedules, such as daily, bi-weekly, or monthly. Following these guidelines and replacing your lenses as recommended to prevent complications and maintain optimal eye health is essential.
  4. Neglecting to wash your hands before handling your lenses: Clean hands are essential when handling contact lenses to prevent transferring bacteria and other contaminants to your eyes. Always wash your hands with soap and water before touching your lenses.
  5. Using expired contact lens solution: Contact lens solutions have expiration dates for a reason. Expired solutions may lose their effectiveness in disinfecting your lenses, putting your eyes at risk. Always check the expiration date and replace your solution when necessary.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can significantly reduce the risk of eye infections and ensure the longevity of your contact lenses.

Daily Contact Lens Care Routine

A daily contact lens care routine is essential for maintaining clean and comfortable lenses. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow:

  1. Wash your hands: Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. Be sure to rinse off all soap residue to avoid irritation.
  2. Remove your lenses: Gently remove one lens at a time with clean, dry fingers or a specialized contact lens removal tool. Avoid using your nails or any sharp objects that could damage the lens.
  3. Clean your lenses: Place the lens on your palm and apply a few drops of the recommended contact lens solution. Gently rub the lens with your fingertip in a circular motion for about 20 seconds. This cleaning helps remove debris, protein deposits, and microorganisms.
  4. Rinse your lenses: After cleaning, rinse the lens thoroughly with the contact lens solution to remove any remaining debris or cleaning solution.
  5. Store your lenses: Place each lens in its dedicated contact lens case and fill it with fresh solution. Close the case securely to avoid contamination. Ensure that you use the correct case side for each lens to prevent mix-ups.
  6. Repeat for the other lens: Follow the same steps for the other lens, using a fresh solution and a clean case.

This daily contact lens care routine will help ensure your lenses stay clean and comfortable. This routine applies to soft contact lenses and RGP lenses that require daily cleaning and disinfection. Daily disposable lenses, however, are discarded after a single use and do not require cleaning or storage.

Tips from Alice Family Eye Center for Handling and Storing Contact Lenses

Proper handling and storage of contact lenses are essential for maintaining cleanliness and preventing contamination. Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid touching the tip of the solution bottle: When applying contact lens solution to your lenses, avoid touching the tip of the bottle with your fingers or any other surface. This caution reduces the risk of contamination.
  2. Replace your lens case regularly: Contact lens cases can harbor bacteria and other microorganisms if not cleaned and replaced regularly. Replace your lens case every three months or as your Alice Family Eye Center optometrist recommends.
  3. Store your lenses in fresh solution: Always use fresh contact lens solution when storing your lenses. Do not reuse or top off the solution in your lens case, as it may not effectively disinfect your lenses.
  4. Keep your contact lens case clean: Clean your contact lens case after each use and allow it to air dry. Store it upside down with the caps off to promote air circulation and prevent bacterial growth.

Conclusion: Maintaining Healthy Eyes with Proper Contact Lens Care

At Alice Family Eye Center, we emphasize the importance of proper contact lens care for maintaining healthy eyes and clear vision. By following our guidelines and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure your lenses remain safe and comfortable. Remember, proper care and attention to detail are essential for optimal eye health. Trust our team at Alice Family Eye Center to provide expert guidance and support for all your contact lens needs.

Call Alice Family Eye Center today at (361) 668-3937 for more information or to schedule an eye exam.

Alice Family Eye Center
Alice, TX.

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