bookmark_borderContact Lens Maintenance

  • Wash your hands. While this might seem like common sense, it’s important to note that before you put in or remove your contact lenses you should wash your hands so that they are free of dirt, germs and debris. When you do this step, however, avoid using a moisturizing soap since this is not good for contacts. After washing, use a lint free towel to dry your hands.
  • Remove one of your lenses and clean it as recommended on the bottle of solution that you use as per your eye care practitioner’s recommendation. Cleaning per the instructions is important because this will remove the protein deposits as well as other debris that build up on your lenses and can cause discomfort as well as impair the way you see through them. Some solutions will have you rubbing the lens and others will just have you rinsing it.
  • Rinse the lens per instructions. This is important because this will wash off the loosened debris.
  • Make sure your contact lens holder is clean and fill one side with your soaking in disinfecting solution in place the lens in the case. Disinfecting your lenses for the recommended amount of time is important because this will kill the microorganisms that could be growing on the lens and will help you avoid infection.
  • Repeat for the other lens.

In addition to these steps, your doctor may recommend an enzymatic cleaner that removes proteins build up. This typically is not needed for disposable lenses, but if you have lenses that you wear for a year or more the protein buildup can make them uncomfortable in impair your vision.

bookmark_borderToric Contact Lens

An astigmatism for those who are not familiar with the term is a curvature of the eye creating blurry vision. This problem can be corrected by surgery along with your other vision problems, but surgery is expensive and may not be an option for you right now. This is where a Toric contact lens can be important.

A Toric contact lens is different from regular soft contacts. First the contact lens is weighted so it will sit on your eye properly and keep the correction in place. With normal soft contact lenses you can put the lens in any way as long as it is not inside out and be comfortable. With Toric contact lenses the weight will position the contact on your eye and may cause discomfort or blurry vision for a few seconds while your eye blinks the Toric contact lens in place. The Toric contact lens has a small line on the lens near the identifying numbers to indicate the bottom of the lens. If you orient the lens properly you can avoid the uncomfortable feeling. The Toric contact lens is also heavier in weight so it can take up to a week or more to find comfort when you are first trying them.

There are also a few brands of Toric contact lenses so you might try the different brands before settling on a certain brand to find maximum comfort. Expense may lead you to one brand over another though they are most usually with in five dollars of each other.

Another option your eye doctor may suggest is a Toric contact lens with a special material. Often those with an astigmatism need a higher prescription to correct their vision problems and the heavier weight of the Toric contact lens may be restricting oxygen flow to the eye. If this is the case they may offer a thicker more rigid Toric lens with a special material allowing more oxygen flow. This can help with the extreme dryness that results from having a heavier lens like the Toric contact lens as a secondary effect.

bookmark_borderExtended Wear Contact Lens

Before even wondering if they were safe for me I would consider if they were more expensive than regular contact lenses. I was surprised when I found out that they are not that much more expensive. They are cheaper than daily disposable contacts and are not that much more expensive than weekly or monthly disposable contacts. In fact, in the long run extended contacts may even save you money because you will not have to buy contact solution.

Now that we know that they are not that much more expensive and you may actually save money in the long run, lets look at the safety of them.

Contact lenses that are worn daily are required to be taken out at night, but why? The reason you must take the lens out is because the lens blocks the flow of oxygen to your cornea so your eyes need a break from the lens. This is a problem that contact lens manufacturers have been trying to fix so that contact wearers do not have to have the problem of dealing with removing and inserting their contacts daily.

Thanks to modern technology contact lenses are now able to allow through about six times as much oxygen and the original contact lenses. Extended contact lenses are now made of extra-permeable silicone hydrogel materials which allows the contacts to let enough oxygen in that it is no longer a problem for you to wear the contacts for several days in a row.

What does that mean though? It means that these new extended contact lenses are safe to wear as long as you follow your doctor’s instructions. The only problem is because you do not clean them every day particles of dust can build up on them, so follow the following rules:

  • Avoid dusty rooms and cigarette smoke.
  • Keep water out of your eyes when you shower and wear goggles when swimming.
  • Wear the contact lenses only for the time they are meant to be worn. This means only wear extended contact lenses meant for a week only for one week and those meant for 30 days only for 30 days.

If you do not like to remove, clean, and insert your contact lenses every day and night then you should consider extended wear contact lenses which are safe to wear provided you listen to what your doctor says.