Do’s and Dont’s of contact lens care

Courtesy of Ramstein Clinical Optometry

In recent months, the Ramstein Optometry Clinic has seen an upsurge of contact lens-related eye infections. In most of these cases, patients were wearing their lenses on an extended wear basis, for example, sleeping in contact lenses, contrary to clinic recommendations for daily wear of contact lenses. Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction, but only when patients follow the proper care and wearing instructions provided by their eye doctor.  When patients don’t use lenses as directed, the consequences may be dangerous, including  permanent scarring and blurred vision or even loss of the eye.

According to the American Optometric Association, clean and safe handling of contact lenses is one of the most important measures Americans can take to protect their sight. Exercising optimal care and hygiene with contact lenses can keep the eyes healthy. Here is a list of other specific do’s and don’ts to lead you to successful wear.

Do: Always follow the recommended contact lens replacement and follow-up schedule prescribed by your optometrist. It is extremely important that patients maintain regular appointments to ensure they are receiving clinical guidance from their eye doctor based on individual eye health needs. 

Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses. Carefully and regularly clean contact lenses. Rub the contact lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight in sufficient multi-purpose solution to completely cover the lens. 

Never re-use old solution. Only fresh solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. 

Don’t: Put contact lenses in your mouth or moisten them with saliva, use tap water to wash or store contact lenses or lens cases, share lenses with others, and use products not recommended by your optometrist to clean and disinfect your lenses.

Here are some common warning signs that may tell you that you are having problems with contact lens wear: blurred or fuzzy vision of sudden onset, red or irritated eyes, uncomfortable lenses, and pain in and around the eyes. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your local emergency room or optometrist as soon as possible.