Advances in contact lens technology have made contact lenses an option for virtually everyone.
There are two main types of contact lenses that can be divided further. These two main groups are gas permeable (hard) lenses and hydrogel (soft) lenses. Such lenses can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
Multifocal contact lenses provide distance, near, and intermediate vision while maintaining depth perception.
Colored contact lenses are available with and without prescriptive power. Federal law requires a prescription for all contact lenses, whether for cosmetic appearance or as a medical device (vision correction).
Proper care of contact lenses includes good hygiene, the use of appropriate products, and adherence to the prescribed lens care instructions. Hand-to-eye contact increases the risk of developing an eye infection. By washing your hands with soap and water prior to handling your lenses, you limit this risk. Proper care of solution bottles and lens cases is critical as well. Be careful not to touch the tip of the solution bottle or leave it open, both of which can contaminate the solution. Your lens case should be replaced every 6 months or when you begin using a new bottle of solution, whichever occurs first.
Step 1 Begin by washing your hands and removing your contact lenses.
Step 2 Cleaning: Place the lens in the palm of your hand and wet it with a solution. Use the bottom of your finger to rub the lens, cleaning it. Rinse it with a solution.
Step 3 Disinfecting: Put the contact lens on the appropriate side of the case and cover it with solution, capping off the case. This begins the disinfecting process, which should be at least 6 hours. Soft contact lenses re-hydrate during this process as well.
Step 4 Rinse: Once again, wash your hands prior to handling the lens. Remove it from the case and place it in your hand, rinsing it with the solution. Once your contact lenses have been inserted successfully, rinse your case with the solution or tap water and allow it to air dry, leaving the caps off and the case open.
You will begin by wearing your lenses up to four (4) hours the first day, increasing two (2) hours each day until you are up to 10-16 hours, depending on your schedule and ability to wear the lenses.
The following will help you adjust to wearing your contact lenses now and in the future:
Rewetting Drops-may be used to improve moisture retention and/or clean the lens while wearing: Clerz Plus, Blink-N-Clean, Blink Contacts, Refresh Contacts are a few examples.
Enzymatic Cleaners-may be used to help remove protein build-up. These work by placing one or two drops in the lens case during overnight soaking: Boston Liquid Enzymatic Cleaner and SupraClens are two examples.
Mild lens sensation, tearing, sensitivity to sunlight, and mild redness may be normal during the first week of lens wear.
Severe burning, irritation, pain, persistent redness and light sensitivity, or blurred vision may indicate something more serious. Remove your lenses and contact our office for further instructions.
Saline solution for rinsing and storing contact lenses when using a heat or UV disinfection system. You may also need it for use with enzymatic cleaning tablets or cleaning/disinfecting devices. Never use saline products for cleaning and disinfection.
Daily cleaner-for cleaning your contact lenses. Place a few drops in the palm of your hand and carefully rub the lens for 20-30 seconds, making sure to clean both sides. Use other products for rinsing and disinfection, such as saline or a multipurpose solution.
Multipurpose solution for cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting, and storing your contact lenses (i.e. Aquify, Optifree, Renu).
Hydrogen peroxide solution-for cleaning, disinfecting, rinsing, and storing your contact lenses. With this product, you place your lenses in the provided basket and rinse them, fill the cup with solution, then place the basket in its cup to clean and disinfect your lenses. Some lens holders for hydrogen peroxide systems have a built-in neutralizer (to convert the hydrogen peroxide to saline, so it doesn’t sting your eyes), but with others, you need to add a neutralizing tablet. Rinse your contacts with saline or multipurpose solution before placing them in your eyes (i.e. Clearcare, Pure Eyes, AOSept). For sensitive eyes.
Store brands-stores such as pharmacies and grocers sell store-branded or generic contact lens care products, also known as “private label” products. Often they are considerably cheaper than name-brand products. Should you use them? These products are safe and FDA-approved or they couldn’t be sold. There are potential problems in that private label products are often older formulations, which don’t offer the same advantages as newer products. Further, because these contact lens solutions, for example, Target Brand Contact Lens Solution, aren’t actually made by the company that sells them, what is inside the bottle can be changed without changing the name. This is often the case as the supplier offers a solution for less from one time to the next. What is inside the privately labeled bottle can be changed without notifying the consumer. The point here is to always know what solution you use.