The importance of contact lens hygiene

Thursday, 27 September 2018
The importance of contact lens hygiene

Despite various horror stories about contact lenses in the news, the chances of infection whilst wearing lenses are still incredibly low, and almost always caused by poor hand hygiene.

They can also be caused by not efficiently cleaning, storing and disinfecting lenses properly, or wearing lenses whilst in water and failing to remove them immediately. Most people will never have any issues with infections whilst wearing contact lenses and aren’t any more or less likely to get an infection as someone that doesn’t wear lenses. A simple daily cleaning routine and common sense will prevent any issues whilst wearing contact lenses.

Here are our top pointers on contact lens hygiene to ensure you don’t have any issues whilst wearing them.

Follow good hand hygiene

Before inserting or removing your contact lenses, you should wash your hands with mild soap and clean water each and every time you handle them, then dry your hands with a lint free towel/tissue paper. 

If the seal of your contact lens blister is already broken before you attempt to open it, do not use the lens as it will not be sterile.

You can read our full guide on how to properly insert and remove your contact lenses here.

Only wear your lenses for the wearing time suggested

The wearing cycle for each lens will be fully stated on the packaging. Most daily contact lenses can be worn between 10-12 hours a day, with some silicone hydrogel lenses such as Dailies Total 1 suitable for wear for up to 16 hours. If you fall asleep in your lenses, avoid trying to remove them immediately. Give your eyes a few moments to create tears, and drink some water to rehydrate yourself.

Those who wear weekly contact lenses or monthly contact lenses should wear them for their respective wearing cycles, remembering to clean, disinfect and store them every evening during that time with solution.

If you wear extended wear lenses, you should only wear them for as long as is stated on the packaging, or suggested by your optician. Regardless, however, of which lenses you wear, if you experience discomfort, redness, itchiness or irritation, it’s advised you remove your lenses and seek the advice of an optician.

Use the correct solution when storing lenses

If you wear a two weekly or monthly lens, you’ll need to clean and store your lenses every day, so it is important that you use the correct solutions to clean your lens.

The most convenient and hassle-free form of contact lens solution is multi-purpose solution. These all-in-one formulas will clean, rinse, disinfect and store your lenses overnight, without you having to purchase multiple products. stocks a wide variety of contact lens solutions, including our value for money comfi All-in-One Solution, which comes in a one month supply, three month supply and handy travel pack.

An alternative to a multi-purpose solution is to use both a peroxide solution for disinfecting and storing, and a saline solution for rinsing. You must always remember to thoroughly rinse your lenses of peroxide solution with saline solution before inserting them into your eyes to prevent irritation.

If you wear rigid gas permeable lenses, you should use solution that is specially made for these lenses, as most solutions are made for soft hydrogel lenses. Boston Simplus and Total Care are the two main brands for those who wear rigid gas permeable lenses.

Replace your contact lens case

Your contact lenses should be stored in a clean contact lens case, and you should replace your case every 3 months. Many manufacturers include a contact lens case with solution, or you can purchase our very own Feel Good Contact Lens Case.

Most eye infections are minor and can be treated with mild eye drops or anti-biotics. More severe conditions such as Acanthamoeba Keratitis  (although incredibly rare) need more intensive treatment and can cause permanent eye damage.

Prevention is always better than a cure, and following basic hand hygiene will ensure that your eyes have no troubles when wearing contact lenses.

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