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How to clean a contact lens case

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When you remove your contact lenses, you may store them in plastic cases. The plastic case can harbor bacteria over time, which can contaminate your contacts. Contact lens cases need replaced two to three times a year, but they need to be properly sanitized monthly to kill the bacteria. Rinsing and cleaning the cases after each use will help to minimize the risk of contaminating your contacts.

Wash and dry your hands with an antibacterial soap. Remove the contact lenses from the case and set them aside in a clean bowl with contact solution.

How to Save a Dried Out Contact

Empty any remaining contact solution from the case. Wash the case with warm water and liquid dish soap to remove dirt and debris.

Fill a cooking pot with water. Place it on the stove top over high heat.

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Bring the water to a boil. Place the contact case into the boiling water. Boil the case for five to 10 minutes.

Flip the contact lens case over onto a towel to air dry 2. This will allow the water to drain from the case.

Replace your contact cases every three to four months.

You can also boil the cases in the microwave in a microwave-safe glass container for three to five minutes.

Warnings

Always rinse and dry the contact case each time that you use your contacts.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Pretend for a minute that using your contact lenses is like a game of football. (Just roll with it.) Your contacts would naturally take the starring role of quarterback. Your contact lens case, on the other hand, would be more like the water person: a crucial part of the whole operation that sometimes gets unfairly overlooked.

Proper use of everything related to your contact lenses—including the case—is essential for good eye health. Using contact lenses already puts you at an increased risk of issues such as dry eye, according to the Mayo Clinic. Dry eye happens when your eyes either don’t produce enough tears or the tears they do pump out aren’t up to moisturizing par, and its symptoms are the definition of not fun, including dryness (duh), stinging, burning, pain, and more.

On top of the elevated dry eye risk that comes with wearing contacts, failing to clean, store, and otherwise handle your contact lens case as you should can set you up for additional problems, like various infections, Vivian Shibayama, O.D., an optometrist at UCLA Health, tells SELF.

To help you avoid this, here are contact lens case mistakes you might not even realize you’re making that could compromise your eye health.

If you want a gold medal for how you use your contacts, you’ve got to keep anything related to your lenses as clean as possible. That’s why it’s so important to wash your hands with soap and water before handling your contact lens case, Alisha Fleming, O.D., an optometrist at Penn Medicine, tells SELF.

If you don’t wash your hands before you touch your case, you could deposit microorganisms from your hands onto or into it, possibly making it easier for pathogens to get in your eyes and cause irritation or infection, Dr. Fleming says. For example, you could wind up with an issue like pink eye (also called conjunctivitis), which can happen when things like bacteria, viruses, or allergens inflame or infect your conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers your eyelids and the whites of your eyes, according to the Mayo Clinic. This can lead to all sorts of unwelcome symptoms like redness, itchiness, a strange gritty sensation, discharge, or tearing, the Mayo Clinic explains.

Clearly you want to avoid this one at all costs, so be sure to wash your hands before touching your case. Of course, this might not help much if your case itself is grody, which brings us to our next point.

If you’re being totally honest, does your contact lens case have a solid build-up of unidentifiable gunk on it? Or maybe even a light sprinkling of harmless-seeming lint? Yeah, that’s bad.

“Your contact lens case is like a little petri dish,” Jennifer Fogt, O.D., an associate professor in the College of Optometry at The Ohio State University, tells SELF. “Bacteria can get in there and grow, and if you’re not cleaning your case regularly, you’re just reintroducing that back into your contacts when you put them in the case at night.”

There’s no official word on how often you should clean your contact lens case, but the American Optometric Association (AOA) suggests that you follow your solution manufacturer’s guidelines. Many recommend that you clean out your case after every use. That means dumping out the old solution, rinsing the case with fresh solution, wiping it down with a clean tissue, then letting it air-dry with the caps off, the AOA says.

When you think of how to wash something, your first instinct might be to splash on some water as step one. That’s usually a good move, but not when it comes to your contact lens case.

Introducing your contacts to tap water has been linked with an increased risk of developing Acanthamoeba keratitis, a severe corneal infection that can lead to permanent vision loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “It is a scary and very serious infection,” Dr. Shibayama says.

Acanthamoeba keratitis happens due to a microbe that can hang out in tap water (and distilled water, too), stick to your contacts, and cause an infection. If this happens, you might experience eye pain, redness, blurry vision, the sensation that you have something in your eye, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing, according to the CDC.

Since improper contact lens use is a big risk factor for Acanthamoeba keratitis, it’s key to make sure you’re not letting tap water touch anything having to do with your lenses, including your case.

Unless you’ve lost your contact lens case, buying a new one probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list. Still, the AOA recommends that you get a new case every three months, even if your current one looks chef’s kiss-level immaculate.

Bacteria and other microorganisms can produce a substance called biofilm that can form in your case and help bacteria “hide” from the disinfectant in your contact lens solution, the AOA says. That’s. actually kind of interesting, because who doesn’t love scientific subterfuge, but the point is that it can be bad news for your eyes. You can’t actually see this biofilm, so it’s really best to replace your case every three months, whether or not it looks like it needs it.

When it’s full of liquid, your contact lens case is warm and moist. This just so happens to be the kind of environment in which microorganisms like bacteria and fungus typically thrive. When you add more solution to your case, you’re pushing whatever may have been growing in there deeper down, Dr. Fogt says, where it can still glom onto your contacts. “You just create an environment where you’re growing more stuff that’s bad for you in your case, putting your lens into it, and then putting that in your eye,” Dr. Fogt says.

Instead of doing this, make sure you get rid of all the old solution in your case every time, then proceed with washing it out before you eventually add new solution to store your contacts.

Throwing some barely-hanging-in-there lenses into your contact case with fresh solution should help revitalize them, right? Unfortunately, no. “Contact lens solution does not extend the suggested wear cycle of the contact lens,” Dr. Fleming says.

For the record, you should throw out your contact lenses on time whether or not you actually wore them for the full use period. For example, if you break out your 30-day contacts but end up wearing your glasses for 15 of those days, you still should ditch the contacts 30 days after you started using them, Dr. Fogt says.

Proximity to the bathroom sink seems like a good thing, right? Especially since you’re going to actually starting cleaning your case as often as you should? The problem is that your case is at the greatest risk of becoming contaminated when you keep it in a humid environment like your bathroom, the AOA says.

Everyone knows that if you wear contact lenses you are supposed to clean them regularly when you take them out. However, many people do not realize that the case in which the contact lenses go should also be cleaned and sterilized. Bacteria can accumulate in the cases even if you put new solution in them everyday. There are several ways of sterilizing contact lens cases. You can clean it with warm water and soap, clean them in a dishwasher, or boil them in hot water on the stove.

Clean with soap and water

Before you start to clean your contact lens case you should thoroughly clean your hands with mild soap and warm water. One way to clean and sterilize contact lens cases is to wash them with soap and water. You should use the hottest water you can stand. Empty the contact solution and rinse the case for a few minutes. Use an unused toothbrush and antibacterial soap. Only use a bean-sized amount of soap. You should not only clean the inside of the case but the outside as well. Make sure you rinse the soap off thoroughly because if you don’t the soap can cause irritation in your eyes. After you rinse the case thoroughly, dry the case with a lint free towel. It wouldn’t hurt to let the case air dry for 10 minutes before you add contact solution and your contact lenses.

Clean in the dishwasher

An easier way to clean a contact lens case is to put it in the dishwasher. The heat from the dishwasher should sterilize the contact lens case while the soap will clean it inside and out. This way you do not have to spend time scrubbing the lens case.

Boil the contact lens case

Another effective and easy way to clean and sterilize a contact lens case is to boil it on the stove. Simply put a pot of water on the eye of the stove and when the water begins to boil, put in the contact lens case. Make sure you let it boil for 5 to 10 minutes. Remember to let the water cool before you pull the contact lens case out so you do not burn your hand.

When you are cleaning your contact lens case, always remember to clean the caps of the case as well. The caps can carry bacteria that can get into the lens solution and cause irritation in your eyes. To get the most use from your contact lenses you should clean them and the case at least every two days.

Betsy Cline has been a professional house cleaner for 15 years and also a mother of 4 amazing kids (who make lots of messes). She is the founder of How to Clean It and loves to share tips and advice for cleaning up anything life throws at you.

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Betsy Cline has been a professional house cleaner for 15 years and also a mother of 4 amazing kids (who make lots of messes). She is the founder of How to Clean It and loves to share tips and advice for cleaning up anything life throws at you.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing infections and other problems that can affect not only the health of your eyes but also your long-term vision.

Here are some dos and don’ts for cleaning your contact lenses—and the reasoning behind them.

How to clean contacts

Do wash your hands with soap and water before touching your contact lenses.

Use antibacterial soap where possible, and dry your hands with a lint-free towel. Don’t use oil or lotion-based soaps, which can cloud or soil your lenses.

Do use fresh, contact lens cleaning solution every time.

Don’t use tap or sterile water, saliva, saline solution or rewetting drops. None of these serve to disinfect and properly clean your contact lenses.

Do rub your contact lenses with your fingers, and rinse them with fresh cleaning solution afterward.

Studies have shown that “rub and rinse” is the best way of cleaning contact lenses, even with “no-rub” contact lens cleaning solutions. Don’t let fingernails touch your lenses. Nails aren’t only sharp, they’re a great haven for germs and dirt.

Do rinse your contact lens case with fresh solution, and leave it overturned and open to dry.

Don’t clean your case with water, which can contain impurities and microorganisms. Also, don’t leave your case near the toilet or in humid places, which allow mildew and germs to build up.

Other ways to keep contacts clean

  • Don’t transfer contact lens cleaning solutions into smaller containers for travel or storage, which can compromise the sterility of your solution.
  • Keep your solution bottle tightly capped, and avoid contact with surfaces or objects while in use.
  • Replace your contact lens case at least every three months.
  • Never wear your contact lenses more than 30 days after first opening.
  • Avoid air smoke and other pollutants, which can enter your eyes and cause irritation and infection.

Always follow instructions

The instructions that accompany your contact lenses, your contact lens case and your contact lens cleaning solution are, along with your eye doctor’s directions, designed to provide the best care and performance for your particular wearing and cleaning context.

Finally, your eye doctor is your ally in keeping your eyes and vision at their peak. Chat with him or her annually to make sure your contact lenses and care system are still appropriate for your eyes and lifestyle.

Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional. For specific questions, please see your eye care practitioner.

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Multiple ways have been suggested to disinfect a contact lens case. Some have suggested boiling contact lens cases in order to disinfect them, however we would strongly advise against this. We would recommend you sterilize a contact lens case with an effective lens solution. This article includes everything you need to know about looking after your contact lens container as well as how often to change a contact lens case.

Where can I store my contact lenses?

If you wear monthly contact lenses or two weekly contact lenses, using a contact lens container to store your lenses should be second nature to you by now. After taking your lenses out at the end of the day, you can always rest easy knowing they’re being kept safe in your contact lens container.

How do I clean my contact lens container?

These handy tools need to be looked after to make sure they stay safe and hygienic for storing your contact lenses. A popular question is how often to change solution in a contact lens case. If you don’t clean your contact lens container properly after every use, you could be putting your contact lenses and eyes at risk from harmful bacteria. This can cause eye infections and irritation to the eyes.

So, we’ve outlined a few steps for you to make sure you’re cleaning your contact lens containers properly:

  1. Empty the contact lens container and make sure there’s no leftover contact lens solution remaining.
  2. Scrub the inside of the case using a clean cloth or your finger. Just make sure you wash your hands first taking care to dry them thoroughly with a lint free towel afterwards.
  3. Rinse out the case and lid with fresh multi-purpose solution. A multi-purpose solution makes wearing contacts a lot easier as has many uses. Comfi All-in One Solution can not only be used to clean your lenses but will protect you from getting dry eye.
  4. Set your contact lens container face down on a clean tissue or cloth and allow to air dry naturally

How often should I clean my contact lens container?

You should clean your contact lens container with fresh solution after every use to avoid harmful bacteria from spreading. Fortunately, most packs of multi-purpose contact lens solution come with accompanying contact lens containers, allowing you to switch every three months at no extra cost.

Failing to clean and disinfect your contact lens holder can lead to various eye infections including acanthamoeba keratitis. This is an infection of the cornea and can be very painful.

If you experience a painful irritation in your eyes, you should make sure to see your ophthalmologist. A doctor who specialises in ophthalmology and will be able to offer you a diagnosis for various eye problems. When testing for acanthamoeba, they may perform a corneal scrape and culture.

Can I clean my contact lens container with water?

You should avoid cleaning your contact lens containers with water at all costs. Both purified water and tap water can contain bacteria that is harmful to the eye. Find out more about the dangers of contact lenses and water here.

The only way to achieve a hygienic and safe clean of your contact lens container is with fresh solution.

Is boiling contact lens cases ok?

Numerous articles found online have suggested that it is safe to boil your contact lens container in a pot of water. This is not the case and we strongly advise against this.

Some articles suggest you sterilize a contact lens case by running it through the dishwasher. This procedure also uses water and is therefore not recommended due to the risk of bacteria likely to cause infections.

Can I clean my contact lens case with alcohol?

The use of strong chemicals is not recommended to clean your contact case. Whilst alcohol is often viewed as a disinfecting solution, alcohol may also contain impurities that will leave a residue. It’s therefore not recommended as a contact lens case cleaner.

Which solution should I use to clean my contact lens container?

Only multi-purpose solutions can ensure an effective and safe clean of your contact lens box. These solutions can make wearing contact lenses much easier as they are an all in one product designed to save time and money.

Saline solution or wetting solutions won’t offer proper sanitation from bacteria. Whilst hydrogen peroxide solution is a disinfectant, it needs to be neutralised to avoid causing harm to the eye.

How long can you use a contact lens case for?

It is recommended that you replace your contact lens container every three months even if it looks in tip top condition. The reason being that bacteria and microorganisms can produce biofilm. This is a substance which helps bacteria to hide from the disinfectant in your contact lens solution. The biofilm is not visible to the eye which is why it is important to replace your case every three months no matter what.

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Whether you are use daily wear or extended wear contact lenses, and whether you discard them each day or after two weeks or more, it is important to follow your eye-care provider’s instructions carefully regarding cleaning and disinfection.

Keep in mind that rigid gas permeable (RGP) and soft contact lenses require slightly different kinds of care.

Each type of contact lens and care product or solution will have specific instructions for how long to rub the lenses to clean them (or not to rub them at all), how long to soak the lenses, and how long to rinse the lenses and in what type of solution.

Follow these instructions carefully. If you are unsure about any step, you should ask your eye-care provider to further review and explain the process.

Preparing to Insert Your Lenses – Ready, Set, Go!

Before inserting your lenses you should take proper precautions to ensure they are in good condition and ready for wear. Before handling your lenses, always wash your hands using a non-creamy, non-oily soap.

Tip: Most pump soaps contain creams. Ivory and Neutrogena are both appropriate soaps. If your eyes are red or irritated, do not insert your lenses. Wait a few hours or until the symptoms pass. If they do not pass within a reasonable amount of time, call your eye doctor. If you are in pain, call your eye doctor immediately.

If you are going to be inserting your lenses over a bathroom sink, close the drain. Always inspect your lenses before inserting them. If they are damaged—even if they only have tiny nicks or tears—do not use them even if they are clean and ready for insertion.

Instead call your doctor for a replacement pair and use another pair of lenses or your eyeglasses. If your eye doctor believes the lenses are safe and can be worn comfortably, follow his or her instructions.

How To Keep Your Contact Lenses Moist

Most contact lens wearers know it can sometimes be difficult to keep their lenses moist. It is very common for contact lenses to become dry. Environmental factors are usually the culprit, although some people’s eyes have a natural tendency to become dry, which in effect dries out the lenses.

Tip: Never use saliva or tap water to moisten your lenses. Both of these substances contain bacteria that can cause significant damage to your lenses and overall eye health. These substances are a leading cause of eye infections.

In some cases, such as when wearing RGP lenses, it is better to insert the lenses dry rather than moisten them with saliva or tap water. If so directed by your eye doctor, you may be able to use bottled or distilled water to wet your RGP lenses.

Soft contact lens wearers should never use any of the substances mentioned above. Instead, always use a wetting solution such as saline solution or over-the-counter soft contact-lens rinse. It is recommended that soft contact-lens wearers keep some of this solution with them at all times in case of emergencies.

Regardless of which type of lens you wear, never use tap water or saliva. Unfiltered tap water is not clean enough to clean and disinfect your lenses. In fact, any kind of water, including bottled and distilled, gets absorbed by the lenses and may cause the lens material to warp.

How to Remove Your Contact Lenses

Many eye care professionals recommend that you get into the habit of starting with the same eye every time. This is done to avoid accidentally interchanging the lenses. If you are left-handed, start with your left eye first, or vice-versa.

You should begin your routine by removing the lens, cleaning it, and placing it in the proper case chamber before moving on to the other lens.

General Cleaning Instructions For Contacts

Some general guidelines should be followed for all lens types. These include:

  • Always wash your hands before removing or inserting the lens.
  • Always use quality lens-care products instead of homemade solutions, and try to clean lenses as often as possible to remove buildup.
  • Always follow the minimum soaking-time guidelines in the instructions before wearing your lenses again.
  • Never rinse your lenses with tap water.
  • Frequently clean the lens case with solution and replace it regularly.
  • After inserting your lenses into your eyes, rinse the case with fresh solution and allow it to air dry fully.
  • Never sterilize lenses that are designed to be discarded after use.
  • Do not share contact lenses with others.
  • Avoid purchasing bootleg contact lenses.
  • Do not put a lens in your mouth and then your eye.
  • Regardless of where you purchase your lenses, always have them fitted by an eye care professional.
  • Do not switch cleaning-solution brands unless authorized to do so by your eye doctor.
  • Keep your fingernails short and clean.
  • Change your storing solution daily.
  • To clean the lenses, rub them firmly in a straight back-and-forth motion; do not be afraid to rub with pressure—contact lenses are durable and can withstand this process.
  • Make-up wearers should use creams instead of powdered or water-soluble cosmetics; some cosmetics are specifically designed for contact-lens wearers to wash away more easily and not irritate the eyes.
  • Finish your morning routine (showering, hair spraying, etc.) before inserting your lenses. Hairspray is known to ruin lenses on contact.

Your eye care practitioner will advise you how often your case should be replaced. By following the lens care and cleaning instructions, you will have a safe and comfortable lens-wearing experience.

Contact Lens Cleaning Solutions

There are two methods for cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: This method involves two steps; cleaning your lenses, then disinfecting them with a hydrogen peroxide solution. The hydrogen peroxide neutralizes during the disinfection process. Many people believe this method gets the lenses cleaner and leaves virtually no preservatives or deposits on the lenses.
  • Multipurpose Solution: This one-step process is the most commonly used method for cleaning all types of contact lenses. Multipurpose solutions are quick and simple and allow you to clean and disinfect at the same time. Although some people react negatively to these solutions, most people can tolerate them.

Additional Care Tips for Lens Wearers

All contact lens wearers should take extra precautions while wearing their lenses, such as:

  • Avoid smoke, chemicals, and other irritants.
  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors to reduce light sensitivity caused by lenses.
  • Do not rub your eyes while your lenses are in.
  • Remove a lens if it is out of position or becomes dislodged.
  • Do not wear your lenses if you experience discomfort.
  • Do not sleep with your lenses in unless directed to do so by your eye doctor.
  • Do not swim with your lenses in.
  • Contact your eye doctor immediately with any concerns.

Storing your contact lenses in a dirty case is downright gross. It’s kind of like not washing your toothbrush holder often enough and discovering yucky green muck at the bottom. Like petri dishes, both receptacles can harbor millions of bacteria and germs and make you sick. But placing a device in your eye that is potentially crawling with harmful bacteria can result in even more frightening results than brushing your teeth with a dirty toothbrush. Instead of improving your vision, dirty contacts can cause bacterial or fungal eye infections, some of which can permanently damage your eyesight. So today is the day to clean up your daily contact lens routine!

Contact Lenses Cleaner Facts

You are in good company if you reuse your cleaning and storage solution — it’s a common habit you and everyone else needs to break. The minor savings you might realize are hardly worth risking an eye infection. Here are five things you need to know about contact lens solutions.

  1. Throw out your old solution and start with fresh solution daily
  2. Choose a hydrogen peroxide-based solution to reduce bacteria
  3. Don’t put the solution directly into your eye
  4. Don’t rinse the lenses without the proper supplied case
  5. Fill the case wells to the top with the fresh solution so the lenses are completely covered

Replace the Case Often

The American Optometric Association recommends replacing contact lens storage cases at least once every three months, while contact lens solution manufacturers typically recommend replacement every one to three months.

How to Clean Contact Lens Case

Just because you don’t see the same yucky green muck in the case as your toothbrush holder doesn’t mean it’s clean. Bacteria forms biofilm you can’t see with the naked eye, but those nasty little microorganisms in the case can wreak havoc on your vision. Here are seven important things to keep in mind when cleaning your contact lens case.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water before handling your case
  2. Right after removing your lenses, empty all the old solution from the wells of the case
  3. Rinse the case with clean contact lens disinfecting solution
  4. Rub the case with clean fingers for at least five seconds
  5. Wipe case dry with a clean tissue
  6. Air dry the case face down on a tissue with the caps off in a clean, dry location (never the bathroom)
  7. If your case has silver nitrate lining, feel free to leave keep the caps on

Never wash your case with tap water. This increases the risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare but severe corneal infection that can lead to permanent vision loss. Signs include eye pain, redness, blurry vision, the sensation that you have something in your eye, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing.

Following a few easy precautions a day is the best way to protect your investment and your eyesight!

You’re rushing and accidentally drop a contact lens on the bathroom floor. Should you:

  1. run it under the tap and pop it in?
  2. spit on it and do the same?
  3. use the cleaning solution your optometrist insists you use?
  4. replace it with a new lens?
  5. do any of the above. It doesn’t really matter.

Don’t do what champion boxer and rugby league legend Anthony Mundine did in 2007 and go for (b) spit on your lens. He ended up in hospital with a severe eye infection.

If you chose c), it’s true that rubbing your lens with the cleaning solution for 20 seconds will remove some microbes. But you would need to soak the lenses in the solution for a minimum four to six hours to disinfect the lens effectively.

The best answer is (d): replace with a new lens.

Running the lens under the tap, option (a), risks your lens and eye becoming infected with a microorganism found in tapwater that could lead you to losing your sight.

Not all eye infections are harmless

Aren’t all eye infections conjunctivitis? Like the kids get, bit of redness, icky discharge, drops from chemist, all good after a week?

No. If your contact lens mixes with water, you could get a rare but severe infection called acanthamoeba keratitis.

Of the 680,000 contact lens wearers in Australia, we estimate 10-20 a year are affected by the condition.

Of these, we estimate about two to four people a year will need a transplant at the front of their eye to regain vision; about two to five people will need treatment for more than a year.

The condition mostly affects people who wear soft contact lenses, the main type worn in Australia.

We found about one-third of bathroom sinks in greater Sydney contain acanthamoeba. We assume it’s present in other parts of the country but no-one else has studied it so don’t know how common it is elsewhere in Australia.

Acanthamoeba are free-living protozoa (single-celled microorganisms) that feed on bacteria and cells at the front of the eye, the cornea. This leads to inflammation, disorganisation and destruction of the cornea, blocking vision.

The vast majority of acanthamoeba keratitis occurs in contact lens wearers.

But you can minimize your chance of getting it. Avoid exposing your lenses to water, including running them under the tap, in the shower or while swimming.

In fact, many new packs of contact lenses now carry “no water” warning stickers like the one below.

Another of our studies shows this particular warning sticker can change behavior. Contact lens wearers who see this sticker are more likely to avoid water. Their contact lens storage cases were also less likely to be contaminated with bacteria, meaning less chance of bacterial infection and less food for acanthamoeba.

You can catch other eye infections too

While acanthamoeba infections are rare, bacterial eye infections are much more common, estimated to affect around four per 10,000 contact lens wearers a year.

About 13% of people whose eyes or contact lenses are infected with bacteria lose substantial vision. That’s equivalent to two lines or more on the vision chart optometrists use.

Most people’s infections improve in two to four weeks by using antibiotic drops.

However, bacterial infections can be severe and fast-acting. The main bacterium responsible for contact lens related infections is pseudomonas, another water-loving microorganism. It can sometimes burrow through the eye surface in hours.

There is no evidence to suggest wearing contact lenses increases your risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

So how do I avoid all this?

These evidence-based tips for healthy contact lens wear will help you avoid infections:

  • wash and dry your hands before handling lenses or touching your eyes
  • rub, rinse and store contact lenses in fresh disinfecting solution. Topping up old solution with new is an infection risk
  • clean your storage case with the disinfecting solution and leave to air dry upside down between uses
  • don’t use water with lenses or cases
  • avoid wearing your lenses overnight.

How do I know if I have a problem?

If your eyes sting, are red and watery, blurry or are otherwise uncomfortable while wearing your lenses, remove them.

If your symptoms get worse, visit an optometrist. GPs do not usually have equipment with enough magnification to diagnose potentially serious eye infections.

Pseudomonas is resistant to the strongest over-the-counter drops, chloramphenicol. But most optometrists can treat eye infections by prescribing eye drops and can refer you to an ophthalmologist (a specialist eye doctor) if needed.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

How To Clean Contact Lenses

By brian – December 31, 2019

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Contact lenses are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to correct vision, but they can cause eye infections if you’re not careful. That is why it’s so important to know how to clean contact lenses and take care of them the right way.

Wearing clean contact lenses can help reduce irritation and various eye problems. Read on to learn how to properly clean your contact lenses to ensure optimum eye health.

Step 1: Wash Your Hands

Before taking your contact lenses out, you must always wash your hands. This will help prevent bacteria from getting into your eyes and onto the contact lenses. Be sure to use antibacterial soap when washing your hands. Scented and lotion-based soaps can make your contact lenses cloudy and irritate the eyes.

Step 2: Using Contact Solution

Once you’ve washed and dried your hands, take out one contact, and place it in your palm. Then, put a generous amount of multipurpose contact solution on the lens. Next, take your index finger and rub the lens against your palm up, down, left, and right. You never want to rub your contact lens in a circular motion as this could cause damage to the lens.

It’s recommended to rub the lens for about 20 seconds. However, this can differ between brands of solutions. Check your contact solution bottle for directions to see how long it is recommended to clean each lens.

Repeat this step with the other contact lens.

Step 3: Rinse Your Contact Lens

After you’ve rubbed the lens, rinse it with solution in your palm to remove any additional particles and debris. Rinse each side of the lens for a few seconds or as directed on the contact solution bottle.

Step 4: Store Your Contacts Lenses

Finally, fill both sides of your contact lens case with solution and place one contact in each side. There should be enough solution to submerge both lenses completely. Never reuse solution to soak your contact lenses. Always fill the case with new solution each day.

Lens Care Tips

In addition to the steps outlined above, the following helpful contact lens care tips can ensure cleaner contacts and reduce the likelihood of eye infections.

  • Always rub your contact lenses regardless of whether you use a “no-rub” contact solution. Rubbing each contact lens in your palm effectively removes any protein buildup, debris, and particles that can cause irritation.
  • Always use contact solution to clean and rinse your contacts. Water, saliva, and other fluids contain impurities and chemicals that can not only damage the lenses, but can also cause severe eye health issues.
  • Empty, rinse, and air-dry your contact lens case every day to minimize bacteria growth. Plus, remember to rinse the case with contact solution to disinfect it.
  • Bacteria will accumulate in your lens case after some time. Be sure to change the contact lens container every three months or as directed by your doctor.

Cleaning contact lenses will prevent irritation, infection, and other eye problems, but the process can be an inconvenience. So if you want to keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy without having to deal with the chore of cleaning your contacts every day, schedule a free LASIK consultation today.

One of the most overlooked components of good contact lens care — and essential for maintaining good corneal health — is a clean contact lens case. Even the most conscientious hand-washing, rubbing and rinsing can’t combat the pathogens that can grow in a dirty contact lens case.

In this article, I’ll discuss what can happen when a contact lens case isn’t cleaned and replaced regularly. I’ll also review an easy, five-step process you can teach your patients.

Acanthamoebae are more prevalent when patients do not adhere to lens care and storage instructions.

What’s Growing There?

In a 1997 study of 141 new soft contact lens wearers, Lakkis and colleagues (1) reported 70% of contact lens cases were contaminated by bacteria, fungi, yeasts or amoebae. As you might expect, shorter lens wearing times and longer lens storage times did reduce the percentage of contaminated cases. Meanwhile, in a separate study, Caroline and Andre (2) discovered that 42% of contact lens cases cultured positively for bacteria alone.

The bacteria that adhere to contact lens cases undergo a series of transformations, one of which involves releasing an exopolysaccharide glycocalyx biofilm that protects the bacteria and allows them to live off of one another. This in turn creates a strain more resistant to lens disinfection products.

Little-known Facts

Using a fresh, new lens case is a surefire way to eliminate the risk of microbial biofilms, which begin to develop within 1 week of the life of the case. (3) However, there’s another little-known issue with brand new cases.

New plastics actually absorb the preservatives in disinfecting solutions, which hampers disinfection during the first few days of the life of the case. The amount of lost disinfection depends on the solution and the case. The plastic reaches a saturation point after about 7 days, and it’s highly unlikely disinfection rates ever dip below FDA-approved levels. Interestingly, because of this absorption, the FDA regulates the types of plastics that can be used for solution bottles but not for contact lens storage cases.

In general, lower density or softer plastic absorbs more. Therefore, the effect is most pronounced with flat-pack cases — the ones we buy in bulk and hand out free to our patients. The phenomenon is so recognized throughout the eyecare industry that some companies even pre-cycle their cases before performing solution studies.

After rinsing the contact lens case, it’s important to let it air dry with the lids open.

Some plastics also can absorb the color in custom-tinted lenses. In fact, Crystal Reflections Inc. specifically warns against storing its red or black-tinted lenses in flat-pack cases, as the flat-pack cases tend to draw out some of the color. This warning does not apply to printed process lenses, such as CIBA Vision’s dot matrix lens, because the color becomes part of the monomer and will not fade or leach.

Five Steps to Cleaner Cases

You and your staff should reinforce your lens care instructions to patients at each visit. Emphasize the following good habits:

1. Always wash your hands before applying or removing your contact lenses, including when you open or close the lens storage case.
2. Discard used solution immediately after removing your lenses from the case each day.
3. Rinse your lens case thoroughly, including the underside of the lids, with either hot tap water or a disinfecting solution.
4. Air dry your case with the lids open.
5. Replace your lens case at least four times a year.

Antibacterial Case Coming Soon

Wouldn’t it be great if the contact lens case — instead of being a source of contamination — actually contributed to the lens disinfection process? Well, help is on the way.

CIBA Vision has developed the Pro-Guard lens case with antibacterial properties. The storage case, currently available as MicroBlock in Europe and Canada, is made of polypropylene infused with silver, an inorganic antibacterial agent.

Pro-Guard has been clinically proven to reduce the incidence of lens case contamination. The Pro-Guard lens case is FDA-approved and is expected to debut in the United States later this year.

As a practitioner, you may have concerns about case contamination. I’ve found the best way to monitor this is to ask your patient to bring his lens case with him when he comes in for an examination so you can see firsthand what the case looks like.

Take-home Message

Never overlook the value of a clean contact lens case to limit pathogenic growth and reduce the chance of microbial keratitis.

Just as you educate your patients on proper contact lens replacement and disinfection, it’s equally important to educate them about proper care of their contact lens case.

Dr. Susan Gromacki has served as a faculty member at the University of Michigan Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Odds are that’s a nasty dirty lens. Marek Brzezinski/iStockPhoto.com hide caption

Odds are that’s a nasty dirty lens.

People who wear contact lenses say they’re diligent about keeping them clean. But press them for details, and it turns out that hardly anyone is doing it the right way.

“It’s horrible,” says Dwight Cavanagh, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical Center who surveyed contact wearers’ hygiene habits. “It was like, ‘Mom, I cleaned up my room.’ If you go up on the second floor and open the door and look under the bed, what are you going to find?”

In a survey of more than 400 contact lens wearers, Cavanagh found that just 2 percent of them are following the rules for safe contact lens use. Chief among the sins is showering or swimming while wearing contacts, sleeping in them and using them longer than recommended before throwing them out.

People also commit “solution misuse,” topping off the disinfectant solution in the case rather than starting afresh, and 47 percent of the people asked said they never replace their lens case, or only do so when the eye doctor gives them a new one at the annual visit. The research was published in the December issue of Optometry and Vision Science.

A separate new survey found that people have turned to beer, baby oil, Coke, petroleum jelly, lemonade, fruit juice, and butter as oh-so-wrong alternatives to contact lens solution. That was from an August 2011 survey in the United Kingdom by Bausch + Lomb, a lens solution manufacturer.

“Do you want to be one of those people who is going blind and it hurts like hell and you can’t work for three months?” Cavanagh asked Shots. “Once you’ve got a serious eye infection going in your cornea, you’re in trouble.”

Eye infections caused by contact lenses are relatively rare; the risk ranges from 1 in 7,500 for hard-lens wearers to 1 in 500 for people who sleep in daily wear lenses. But multiply that by the 40 million people who put lenses in their eyes every day, and you can see why Cavanagh, a corneal surgeon who has to try to fix the damage, gets agitated.

“We see patients all the time with pseudomonas ulcers, gray green pus, they go blind,” he continues. “We see amoeba infections from people showering in their contacts, going swimming in lakes. These infections are horrible.”

OK, OK, you got our attention. Shots promises to no longer lick a contact lens before inserting. And showering or swimming with contacts is clearly a big no-no. That exposes eyes to Acanthamoeba, an organism that commonly lives in tap water and lakes. Some infections have involved contaminated contact lens solution, but other people have been infected by showering or swimming.

The American Academy of Opthalmology has good information about the pluses and minuses of types of contact lenses, and how to keep lenses clean.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing infections and other problems that can affect not only the health of your eyes but also your long-term vision.

Here are some dos and don’ts for cleaning your contact lenses-and the reasoning behind them.

How to clean contact lenses

Do wash your hands with soap and water before touching your contact lenses.

Use antibacterial soap where possible, and dry your hands with a lint-free towel. Don’t use oil or lotion-based soaps, which can cloud or soil your lenses.

Do use fresh, contact lens cleaning solution every time.

Don’t use tap or sterile water, saliva, saline solution or rewetting drops. None of these serve to disinfect and properly clean your contact lenses.

Do rub your contact lenses with your fingers, and rinse them with fresh cleaning solution afterward.

Studies have shown that “rub and rinse” is the best way of cleaning contact lenses, even with “no-rub” contact lens cleaning solutions. Don’t let fingernails touch your lenses. Nails aren’t only sharp, they’re a great haven for germs and dirt.

Do rinse your contact lens case with fresh solution, and leave it overturned and open to dry.

Don’t clean your case with water, which can contain impurities and microorganisms. Also, don’t leave your case near the toilet or in humid places, which allow mildew and germs to build up.

Other ways to keep contact lenses clean

  • Don’t transfer contact lens cleaning solutions into smaller containers for travel or storage, which can compromise the sterility of your solution.
  • Keep your solution bottle tightly capped, and avoid contact with surfaces or objects while in use.
  • Replace your contact lens case at least every three months.
  • Never wear your contact lenses more than 30 days after first opening.
  • Avoid air smoke and other pollutants, which can enter your eyes and cause irritation and infection.

Always follow instructions

The instructions that accompany your contact lenses, your contact lens case and your contact lens cleaning solution are, along with your optician’s directions, designed to provide the best care and performance for your particular wearing and cleaning context.

Finally, your optician is your ally in keeping your eyes and vision at their peak. Chat with him or her annually to make sure your contact lenses and care system are still appropriate for your eyes and lifestyle.

Articles On Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses – How to Care for Your Contact Lenses and Eyes

Follow these steps to extend the life of your contact lenses and keep your eyes safe and healthy.

Cleaning Tips

The type of lens you have determines how you care for it.

Disposable extended-wear soft lenses need the least care. Conventional soft lenses take the most work. Follow all directions, or you could have vision problems. If you have a hard time with these steps, talk to your eye doctor. You may be able to make the steps easier, or you could switch to daily disposable lenses.

  1. Before you handle contacts, wash and rinse your hands with a mild soap. Make sure it doesn’t have perfumes, oils, or lotions. They can leave a film on your hands. If they get on your lenses, your eyes could get irritated or your vision might be blurry.
  2. Dry your hands with a clean, lint-free towel.
  3. If you use hair spray, use it before you put in your contacts. It’s also a good idea to keep your fingernails short and smooth so you won’t damage your lenses or scratch your eye.
  4. Put on eye makeup after you put in your lenses. Take them out before you remove makeup.
  5. Some contacts need special care and products. Always use the disinfecting solution, eye drops, and enzymatic cleaners your doctor recommends. Some eye products or eye drops aren’t safe for contact wearers.
  6. Never put tap water directly on your lenses. Even distilled water can be home to nasty little bugs that can cause an infection or hurt your vision.
  7. Never put a contact in your mouth to rinse it.
  8. Clean each contact this way: Rub it gently with your index finger in the palm of your other hand. Lightly rubbing your contact removes surface buildup.
  9. Clean your lens case every time you use it. Use either sterile solution.В Let it air dry. Replace the case every 3 months.

Wear Your Contacts Safely

Eye care experts say daily disposable lenses are the safest soft contacts. Ask your doctor for advice on care.

  1. Wear your contacts each day only as long as your doctor recommends.
  2. If you think you’ll have trouble remembering when to change your lenses, ask your eye doctor for a chart to track your schedule. If he doesn’t have one, make one for yourself.
  3. Never wear someone else’s contacts, especially if they’ve already been worn. Using other people’s contact lenses can spread infections or particles from their eyes to yours.
  4. Don’t sleep with your contacts in unless you have extended-wear lenses. When your eyelids are closed, your tears don’t bring as much oxygen to your eyes as when they’re open.
  5. Don’t let the tip of solution bottles touch other surfaces, like your fingers, eyes, or contacts. Any of them can contaminate the solution.
  6. Wear sunglasses with total UV protection or a wide-brim hat when you’re in the sun.В
  7. Use a rewetting solution or plain saline solution — whatever your doctor recommends — to keep your eyes moist.
  8. If you accidentally insert your contacts inside out, it won’t hurt your eye. But it won’t feel good, either. To avoid this, place the lens on the tip of your finger so it forms a cup. Look at the contact from the side. If the cup looks like it flares out at the top and has a lip, the lens is inside out. If it looks like the letter “U,” it’s right side out.
  9. If your eye gets irritated, take your contacts out. Don’t use them again until you’ve spoken to someone at your doctor’s office about the problem. If you keep wearing them, your eye could get infected. When you do start to wear contacts again, follow your doctor’s instructions to prevent an infection.
  10. Go to your eye doctor right away if you have any sudden vision loss, blurred vision that doesn’t get better, light flashes, eye pain, infection, swelling, unusual redness, or irritation.
  11. Don’t swim with your contacts in. Goggles are better than nothing, but there’s still a chance you could get a serious infection if you wear contacts in a pool, or worse, in a lake.

Sources

AllAboutVision: “Torics,” “Orthroscopy.”

Dillehay, SM. Eye Contact Lens, May 2007.

Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists: “Rigid Contact Lenses,” “Soft (Toric) Contact Lenses.”

There is no evidence to suggest contact lens wearers are more at risk for acquiring COVID-19 than eyeglass wearers. Contact lens wearers should continue to practice safe contact lens wear and care hygiene habits. Get answers to other questions about COVID-19 and contact lenses.

You only have one pair of eyes, so take care of them! Healthy Habits = Healthy Eyes. Taking proper care of your contact lenses can help you see better and keep your eyes healthy.

When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a safe and effective way to correct your vision. In fact, more than 45 million Americans wear contact lenses. However, wearing contact lenses can increase your chance of getting an eye infection—especially if you do not care for your lenses the right way.

Contact Lens Health Starts with You

Your habits, supplies, and eye care provider are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Both contact lens wearers and eye care providers play an important role in proper eye care. By following your eye care provider’s instructions on how to properly wear, clean, and store your lenses, you can enjoy the comfort and benefits of contact lenses while lowering your chances of an eye infection.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Follow these healthy habits to safely wear contact lenses and help protect your eyes:

Don’t Sleep in Your Contact Lenses

  • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses unless prescribed by your eye care provider. Sleeping while wearing contact lenses has been shown to cause up to 8 times greater risk of an eye infection.

Wash Your Hands

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling your lenses.
  • Dry your hands well with a clean cloth before touching your contact lenses every time.

Keep Contact Lenses Away From All Water

  • Water can introduce germs to the eyes through contact lenses. Remove contact lenses before swimming and avoid showering in them.

Properly Clean Your Lenses

  • Rub and rinse your contact lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution—never water or saliva—to clean them each time you remove them.
  • Don’t “top off” solution. Use only fresh contact lens disinfecting solution in your case—never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.
  • Use only the contact lens solution recommended by your eye care provider.

Take Care of Your Contact Lens Case

  • Clean your contact lens case by rubbing and rinsing it with contact lens solution—never water—and then empty and dry with a clean tissue. Store upside down with the caps off after each use.
  • Replace your contact lens case at least once every three months.

Talk with Your Eye Care Provider

  • Have a conversation with your eye care provider during your next appointment to discuss your contact lens wear and care habits and to help prevent eye infections.
  • Visit your eye care provider yearly or as often as he or she recommends.
  • Remove your contact lenses immediately and call your eye care provider if you have eye pain, discomfort, redness, or blurred vision.

Be Prepared

  • Carry a backup pair of glasses with a current prescription—just in case you have to take out your contact lenses.

Tips for Hard, or Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP), Contact Lens Wearers

The wear and care recommendations for soft contact lenses also apply to hard, or rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP), contact lenses. Follow these extra tips:

  • Follow the lens cleaning guidance of your eye care provider and the lens solution use instructions. Take care to avoid using tap water to rinse or store your hard contact lenses.
  • Hard contact lenses can last much longer than soft contact lenses if cared for properly. Replace your hard contact lenses when recommended to do so by your eye care provider.

What CDC is Doing

CDC works to increase awareness of behaviors and risk factors that can affect the eye health of people who wear contact lenses. As part of that work, CDC provides clear and consistent recommendations about properly wearing, caring for, and maintaining your contact lenses.

August 17-21, 2020, marks the seventh annual Contact Lens Health Week.

CDC organized Contact Lens Health Week to encourage contact lens wearers to adopt healthy habits that can reduce their chances of getting an eye infection.

A number of tools and materials are available to help promote Contact Lens Health Week and healthy contact lens wear and care throughout the year.

Watch the real stories of three people who got an eye infection due to improper wear and care of contact lenses.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing infections and other problems that can affect not only the health of your eyes but also your long-term vision.

Here are some dos and don’ts for cleaning your contact lenses—and the reasoning behind them.

How to clean contacts

  • Do wash your hands with soap and water before touching your contact lenses.
  • Use antibacterial soap where possible, and dry your hands with a lint-free towel. Don’t use oil or lotion-based soaps, which can cloud or soil your lenses.
  • Do use fresh, contact lens cleaning solution every time.
  • Don’t use tap or sterile water, saliva, saline solution or rewetting drops. None of these serve to disinfect and properly clean your contact lenses.
  • Do rub your contact lenses with your fingers, and rinse them with fresh cleaning solution afterward.

Studies have shown that “rub and rinse” is the best way of cleaning contact lenses, even with “no-rub” contact lens cleaning solutions. Don’t let fingernails touch your lenses. Nails aren’t only sharp; they’re a great haven for germs and dirt.

Do rinse your contact lens case with fresh solution, and leave it overturned and open to dry.

Don’t clean your case with water, which can contain impurities and microorganisms. Also, don’t leave your case near the toilet or in humid places, which allow mildew and germs to build up.

Other ways to keep contacts clean

  • Don’t transfer contact lens cleaning solutions into smaller containers for travel or storage, which can compromise the sterility of your solution.
  • Keep your solution bottle tightly capped, and avoid contact with surfaces or objects while in use.
  • Replace your contact lens case at least every three months.
  • Never wear your contact lenses more than 30 days after first opening.
  • Avoid air smoke and other pollutants, which can enter your eyes and cause irritation and infection.
  • Always follow instructions

The instructions that accompany your contact lenses, your contact lens case and your contact lens cleaning solution are, along with your eye doctor’s directions, designed to provide the best care and performance for your particular wearing and cleaning context.

Finally, your eye doctor is your ally in keeping your eyes and vision at their peak. Chat with him or her annually to make sure your contact lenses and care system are still appropriate for your eyes and lifestyle.

Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional. For specific questions, please see your eye care practitioner.

Keeping your contact lenses clean and hygienic can be as simple as ensuring they stored correctly in solution each night and rinsed off before you place them in your eyes.

The most important steps in keeping your lenses clean

  • Use dry, clean hands to insert your lenses
  • Use the right type of cleaning solution and not water if you do need to clean your lenses
  • Store your lenses in solution each night to keep them fresh for the morning

Why is it important to have a contact lens care routine?

Caring for your contact lenses helps to keep you comfortable when wearing them, and it also helps to prevent damage to your eyes, which could lead to blindness and eye infections.

Thankfully, taking care of your contact lenses is a piece of cake, you just need to get into the routine of washing and storing your contact lenses properly each night.

Establish a regular routine of caring for your contact lenses

  1. Wash your hands well, as dirt easily transfers to contact lenses, increasing risks of eye infections. Avoid moisturising soaps and dry your hands with a lint free towel.
  2. Take one lens out at a time and clean with the recommended cleaning fluid. This removes built up waste produced from eyes as well as debris and cosmetics. Place the lens in the palm of your hand, covering it with cleaning solution. Rub it with your finger to effectively agitate and clean the lens.
  3. Rinse, making sure you remove all the solution and debris.
  4. Put your lens in a clean lens holder and fill up with fresh disinfecting solution. The disinfecting process kills microorganisms, removing them from the lens surface.
  5. Repeat steps from 1 to 5, for your second contact lens.

Cleaning, Rinsing and Disinfecting Products

Saline solution is used to rinse and store lenses with heat and UV disinfection systems. It’s also used in conjunction with enzymatic cleaning tablets or cleaning devices.

Multi-purpose solution cleans rinses and disinfects contact lenses.

Hydrogen peroxide solution cleans rinses and disinfects. Use it to store lenses also. Selected hydrogen peroxide system holders have neutralisers in place, while others are designed for usage with neutralising tablets.

Though less popular than soft contact lenses, gas permeable contact lenses typically provide sharper vision– especially if you have astigmatism or certain higher-order aberrations.

Custom-made from a rigid oxygen-permeable product, gas permeable contact lenses (also called GP, RGP or oxygen-permeable contacts) are more resistant to proteins and other deposits, making them easy to keep clean. Also, GP lenses have the tendency to last much longer than soft contacts, lowering lens replacement costs.

To keep your gas permeable contacts comfortable and your eyes healthy, make certain to follow your eye care specialist’s instructions concerning lens cleaning and replacement.

Caring for Gas Permeable Lens

It is crucial to use the lens care system that your eye care expert advises for gas permeable contact lenses.

Lens care systems for GP lenses are similar to those for soft lenses, and typically include either:

  • The integrated use of different cleaning and disinfecting/storage options; or
  • A single multi-purpose solution for cleaning, sanitizing and storage.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

In the past, GP lenses often were rinsed with tap water after cleaning. Optometrists and ophthalmologists now advise against this practice, since microorganisms in faucet water can cause eye infections, consisting of Acanthamoeba keratitis. In addition, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that no kind of water (other than which contained in approved contact lens options) been available in contact with contact lenses.

Contact Solution for Gas Permeable Lenses

Washing gas permeable contacts ought to be done only with multi-purpose solution or sterile saline. Never ever rinse your GP lenses in tap water or moisten them with saliva.

GP Lens Cleaning Steps

Follow these actions to look after your GP lenses after each using duration:

  1. Completely wash and dry your hands.
  2. Start with your right lens. Remove it and put it in the palm of your hand.
  3. Apply a few drops of cleaning up solution (or multi-purpose solution, if that’s what you’re using). Carefully rub the lens using a back-and-forth movement.
  4. Rinse the lens. Gently rub the lens with your forefinger, then wash once again.
  5. Store the lens in a clean case filled with fresh storage solution.
  6. Repeat this process for your left lens.

In some cases, your eye care specialist might likewise advise adding an enzymatic cleaner to your regular lens care regimen to help get rid of protein deposits. When suggested, enzyme cleaning typically is performed weekly.

You likewise might choose to use a rewetting solution as you use your lenses. These options serve as a lube to increase the comfort of your GP lenses.

How To Clean Your Contact Lens Case

It’s also essential to clean, rinse and air-dry your contact lens case immediately after removing your lenses from the case. Dispose out the old solution and rub the within the case for at least five seconds with clean fingers. Then quickly fill it with fresh multipurpose solution or sterilized saline (not water), discard this liquid, and store the empty case upside down with the caps off.

Since lens storage cases can easily end up being polluted with bacteria and other organisms, most optometrist advise that you replace your GP contact lens case month-to-month or, at a minimum, every three months.

Numerous care solutions developed for soft lenses can not be used on GP lenses. Do not switch options or use an item that was not advised by your eye care specialist.

Using generic or store brand names, for instance, can be a problem. These solutions might be inappropriate for your particular GP lens material and may cause eye soreness, burning and perhaps an eye infection.

Taking correct care of your GP contact lenses will increase the convenience and lifetime of your lenses, decrease the risk of eye health problems and keep your lens-wearing experience enjoyable and stress-free.

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In December 2010 and again in May 2012, Check-Up warned consumers who wear contact lenses about Clear Care, a lens cleaning product from Ciba Vision (a Novartis company) that contains hydrogen peroxide. The product must only be used to soak contact lenses within a special lens case that deactivates the hydrogen peroxide prior to placing the lenses back in the eyes. Unfortunately, the product has repeatedly been used by mistake without the special lens case, causing severe pain and, all too often, an eye injury. Many patients wind up in the hospital emergency room. There are also less expensive generic versions available.

One of the most recent cases was reported to us by a woman whose college-age daughter was spending the night at a friend’s home. The student realized she’d forgotten her contact lens solution so her friend located a roommate’s solution and the contact lenses were soaked in it for the night. It was Clear Care. The next morning, her daughter put her right contact lens in her eye and immediately started to scream out in pain. She removed the contact and, after no relief with flushing the eye with water, she went to a hospital ER. Her eye was flushed with no abatement of symptoms. Staining the eye with a special dye showed corneal damage had occurred. The hospital gave her some antibiotic eye drops and referred her to an eye doctor whom she visited the next day. The eye doctor prescribed an even stronger medication and advised her to return for a follow-up.

This young woman joins hundreds of others who’ve sent us reports after they experienced severe pain and/or eye injuries when using Clear Care. There are many more who’ve complained about the product on the Internet. Unknown is how many actual cases there are that have not been reported. Based on my research on this topic I believe that there are likely hundreds of thousands of people who have experienced burning by getting this product or the generic directly in their eyes. Ask any group of 100 or so people and 3 or 4 will be contact lens wearers who will tell you they’ve done this. I have conducted this experiment multiple times in pharmacy school classrooms or during talks to health professionals. Several people in my office have done this (including pharmacists and nurses), as has my own daughter. Given the number of lens wearers, it could even be millions who’ve had this happen over the years. It’s beyond being careless.

The product is poorly designed and sets people up for making errors. It is not supposed to be used to wet or soak lenses in the usual manner that other lens cleaning products are used. Clear Care has a special lens case with a built-in neutralizer—a ring of platinum that reacts with hydrogen peroxide—that causes the hydrogen peroxide to turn into water. The entire process takes about 6 hours. After this, the lenses can be placed in the eyes. The product label includes several statements to use only the lens case provided, and to not rinse lenses with Clear Care prior to insertion. But for many, the statements have not been noticed given their impaired vision without their lenses in place. For others, the statement may not be a clear warning. Some may think, “Why use the special lens case when I have my own case.” Also, those who do not routinely rinse their lenses with saline prior to insertion may simply ignore this statement, thinking it doesn’t apply to them.

I can’t think of any other ongoing issue like this where a pharmaceutical company for which FDA has not required product redesign. Last April Health Canada came out with a warning to consumers but our FDA has been publicly silent on the matter despite numerous contacts I’ve made, urging that the problem be addressed. In the past we encouraged the maker of Clear Care to redesign the product container in a way that prevents misuse. It should also have a different shape and/or color than typical cleaning or saline solutions and much stronger and more vivid warnings that are clearly labeled as a warning about eye burns. The company did make a few very minor labeling changes but that seems to have had no effect at all in reducing the flow of reports we get. It’s strange that FDA hasn’t addressed this yet, especially when this issue has received national media attention. I’ve been told they are looking into the matter but I’ve been told that for over two years now!

When purchasing your lens care products, READ the package with your contacts in or glasses on to make sure you have the correct product. If you use Clear Care, read the instructions carefully, use the special case provided for soaking your lenses, and make sure the lenses have been soaking for at least 6 hours before placing them in your eyes. Talk to your pharmacist if you have any questions about contact lens care products.

Science-based coverage sent each weeknight to your inbox — all facts, no panic.

More than 32 million Americans wear contact lenses, according to the American Optometric Association, and at some point every one of them has had to learn to clean the lenses 2. Though “no-rub” solutions purport to clean your lenses overnight with no rubbing, some bacteria can form biofilms that are semiresistant to such solutions and can cause eye infection. With just a couple of minutes of care daily, though, you can remove the deposits from your contact lenses.

Gather your contact supplies — a multipurpose solution and contact lens case. Some solutions already include ingredients to remove protein buildup, so check your solution label. There are also products that can be added to the solution made specifically for protein removal.

Wash your hands. To remove lenses, you have to touch your eye. Dirt and germs on fingers open the door to irritation or infection. If you have pieces of dirt on your fingers and handle lenses, you could also scratch them.

Fill both the left and right sides of your lens case with solution, adding a few drops of special protein remover if needed. The lens cups should be filled two-thirds full, enough to cover the entire lenses and prevent their edges from drying out.

Remove one contact lens from your eye gently. If you squeeze too tightly, you could irritate your eye and possibly cause a tear in the lenses. Gently pull down the lower eye lid with your middle finger, and then with your thumb and index finger, grab the lens.

Clean your lens. Different lenses require different cleaning methods. During most contact fittings, these instructions are explained by your optometrist. If you’re not sure how to properly clean your lenses, contact the eye doctor who prescribed them. The standard cleaning method is to squeeze a bit of solution into your palm and gently slide the lens around in the solution with your other hand. Do this to both sides of each lens.

Place cleaned lenses in corresponding sides of your contact case. If you took out the left lens, make sure to put in the case side labeled left, and the same for the right side. When you have the same prescription in both eyes, having a specific side for each cuts down on spreading infection from one eye to the other by cross-contamination.

Close the lid tightly. A tight seal ensures nothing gets into the contact case, such as germs and dirt. It will also keep liquid from spilling out if the case gets bumped or tipped over.

Repeat the removal, cleaning and storing steps for the second eye.

According Bausch and Lomb, you should let lenses soak for at least four hours. This ensures your cleaner has time to take full effect.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Why is it important to look after my contact lenses?

There are many different types of contact lens used in a wide range of situations.

However the one thing that they all have in common is that following the correct cleaning and hygiene measures is vital in order to avoid any serious problems with lens wear.

The two main problems that can be caused by poor cleaning and hygiene with contact lens wear are:

  • risk of an eye infection
  • poor level of oxygen reaching the front of the eye.

Why are these important?

Infections of the eye can range from a mild infection that makes the eye slightly red and uncomfortable, to a very serious ulcer that is very painful and potentially catastrophic to vision and health of the eye.

If the eye doesn’t get enough oxygen through the lens to remain nice and healthy, the eye can undergo long-term changes that could threaten the vision and cause long-term damage to the cornea.

The overall risk of these complications is low provided the cleaning and care instructions are well followed.

This leaflet aims to highlight the important points of good contact lens care.

How do I look after my contact lenses?

The best routine for caring for your contact lenses may depend on the type of contact lenses that you use.

This may be in terms of the material used – perhaps it’s a hard or rigid gas permeable lens or it’s a soft lens.

It will also depend on whether your lens is a daily disposable or a lens which is designed to last for a set period of time, eg a two-weekly lens or a monthly lens.

Daily disposable lenses don’t require any daily cleaning as they are thrown away after one days wear. It is very important that these lenses are never reused.

Because the wearer is always using a new lens, these are very safe in terms of reducing the risk of an infection and can be used in patients who have had problems with other lens types.

However some of the advice below on hygiene measures still applies to these lenses. If you wear contact lenses that are designed to last for a fixed period of time, they will require daily cleaning as instructed by your optometrist, in order to reduce the risk of problems.

Whether you wear a hard lens or a soft lens you will be advised on a suitable contact lens solution that will be used to ‘clean’ the lens after a day’s wear, followed by overnight ‘soaking’ in a clean case.

The solutions may consist of either a ‘multi-purpose’ solution in one bottle or a two bottle system – one for cleaning and one for soaking. These solutions will be specific to either hard lenses or soft lenses.

In general all lenses need to be cleaned after been worn for a day. This involves placing the lens in the palm of the hand, covering it with the cleaning solution and giving it a gentle rub with the tip of your finger for about 30 seconds.

This cleans the surface of the lens of any deposits. The lens should then be placed in the case in fresh soaking solution overnight.

The lens is then ready to be used in the morning without any further cleaning.

It may be useful to have ‘saline’ at hand when cleaning and handling the lens in order to rinse the cleaning solution.

It is very important that fresh solution is used each night. Also if the lens has not been used for a few days, it is important to go through the cleaning routine the night before you plan to wear the lens again.

With all solutions, always read the enclosed instructions on their proper use and discard bottles when they exceed their expiry date.

What if I have problems with my contact lens solutions?

Some people can have an allergic reaction to their lens solutions due to one of the ingredients.

If the eyes become red, watery and burn or itch, it is possible that this is what has happened. In this case take the lenses out and consult your optometrist.

There are other solutions available that don’t contain any preservatives, which your optometrist could instruct you on.

These prevent most allergic reactions. An alternative may be to switch to a daily disposable lens which would remove the cleaning solutions.

What other things do I need to do to make contact lens wear safe?

The following rules of contact lens wear apply to all types lenses regardless of type and material.

  • Handwashing: always wash and rinse your hands thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap before any handling or cleaning of the lenses.
  • Domestic water: do not use tap water to clean or rinse the lenses. Tap water contains small bugs and bacteria that can cause very serious infections and ulcers of the eye. This applies also to showers and swimming pools – contact lenses should not be worn in either of these situations. An infection in this context can cause blindness.
  • Contact lens cases must be cleaned and replaced regularly. A dirty contact lens case is one of the most common sources of serious eye infections/ulcers. The case should be cleaned at least once a week, either with the solutions or with boiling water, and allowed to air-dry.
  • Sleeping in lenses: unless your lens is designed to be slept in and has been arranged under the guidance of your optometrist, do not sleep in your contact lenses. This greatly increases the risk of an infection/ulcer of the eye and other problems associated with a poor level of oxygen reaching the eye.
  • Attend regular contact lens check-ups with your optometrist. The frequency of check-up will be decided by your optometrist. This is typically either once every six months or annually. There are three main aspects that the optometrist needs to check; the vision is the best it can be with the lenses, the lenses are fitting properly and are in good condition, and that the health of the eye is not being compromised by lens wear. Adherence to their advice will greatly reduce the risk of any problems.

If you buy your lenses online, it’s vital important to attend your optometrist for check-ups as there can be subtle long-term changes occurring that you as the patient would be otherwise unaware of.

What if I have experience a problem with my contact lenses?

If you experience any problems, such as redness, discomfort, pain, discharge or reduced vision with your lenses follow the steps below.

  • Remove the lenses and retain them along with their case for your optometrist to examine. Do not reinsert your lenses until you have consulted your optometrist or an eye doctor.
  • Phone your optometrist and report your symptoms. They will arrange to see you as urgently as required. If it is outside normal office hours and you have a major concern in terms of pain or reduced vision, contact your GP surgery or NHS 24 for further advice.

Caring for your eyes

New industry research will have 40 million contact lens wearers scrambling to replace their contact lens cases.

So often contact lens wearers are making a mistake and they don’t even know it.

A contact lens case is designed to hold a special cleaning solution to kill bacteria and clean lenses by remove small protein deposits. However it seems that lens wearers are choosing not to replace their contact lens cases which can actually have the opposite effect and contaminate the actual contact lens.

When the contact lens case in not replace frequently the user is taking a very big risk with their eye health and vision. Just because the case look clean does not automatically mean that is free from nasty bacteria.

What is that growing in your contact lens case?

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

If not replaced regularly it can be the prefect environment for nasty fungi, bacteria and other pathogens. These unseen nasties begin to live off each other and can be transformed into a new bacteria which is resistant to regular disinfection solution. They can attach themselves nicely to your contact lens and then into your eye, and in some cases result in complete vision loss.

So although you may follow your cleaning and rinsing routines and not replace the actual contact lens case, the bacteria will eventually find a way to multiply.

Do not put your case in the dishwasher, do not wash with hot water – replace it and keep your vision.

When using your case remember to rinse the lid with your lens solution and air dry. Keep your case away from water.

Nearly all eye related complications such as discomfort, itching and even blindness can be tracked back to a dirty contact lens case. So replace it every 3 months at the minimum.

Optometrists now recommend replacing the case monthly, with a clean, new contact lens case, as its better to be safe than blind. So enjoy more comfortable hygienic contact lens wear and replace that case often.

To protect yourself we recommend a new case every 30 days.

Here’s a list of the do’s and don’ts of contact lens care.

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Cleaning & Storage Tips

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Wash, rinse and dry your hands
before inserting or removing
your contact lenses.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Only use fresh solution
when cleaning, disinfecting
and storing your contact lenses.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Clean your lens case
daily with solution.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Dry your case with a clean tissue
and store upside down with
caps off after each use.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Replace your case every 3 months.

General Lens Care
Watch Outs

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Do not sleep in your lenses unless your
doctor says it’s OK. Your corneas
need to breathe overnight.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Avoid showering, swimming or going into a hot tub while wearing your lenses.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Keep a backup pair of glasses just in case.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Don’t forget to schedule a yearly eye exam.

They way you clean your contact lenses will depend on the type of contact lens you have. Read on to find out more about proper care and cleaning for your contact lenses.

Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are more likely than hard lenses to absorb pollutants in the air and in the environment including smoke, sprays, fumes and other substances. They can also absorb protein from your tears and have protein deposits. Simply cleaning your lenses daily will help remove build up from these substances and help reduce eye irritation. Any time you remove your soft contact lenses you will need to clean them. There are special lens cleaners designed for these types of lenses.

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Some soft lenses require special cleaning processes. Your eye doctor or eye care provider may at times recommend a heat cleaning process that they can achieve in shop. Be sure to ask your optician what types of lenses may require this process.

Rigid Contact Lenses
If you wear hard contact lenses you will need to clean and disinfect your lenses each time you wear them with cleansing solutions specially designed for your rigid lenses. The type of lens you have will dictate the kind of solution you use and the frequency with which you clean your lenses.

Rigid contact lenses are cleaned just like soft contact lenses only you need to rinse the contact lenses in fresh tap water after rubbing the cleaning solution on the surface of the lens. You will also have to fill the lens case with rigid contact cleaning solution after rinsing.

*** Did you know?

If you don’t rinse cleaning solution from the hard contact lenses completely, the lens will irritate your eye. If this happens flush your eye with water and rinse the lens again.

Tips For Lens Wearers
Here are some tips from other lens wearers that will help the cleaning process:

  • Always start cleaning with the same contact lens (left eye for example) so you don’t mix your lenses.
  • Avoid sleeping with contact lenses in.
  • Sterilize your lens case once a week to help reduce your risk of infection.
  • Lens case should be discarded every 3 months and replaced with a new one.
  • Try plain rather than moisturizing or antibacterial soap when washing your hands to avoid contaminating lens.
  • Avoid wearing lotion on your hands as this may get on your lens when cleaning.
  • Fill your contact lens case with solution before replacing lens in case to help avoid scratching the rigid lenses against the case and damage.
  • Always keep your contact lenses moist.
  • Avoid using permanent or lash building mascaras as these can create deposits on contact lenses that are difficult to remove.
  • Use oil free foundation and other moisturizers when wearing contact lenses.
  • Avoid wearing contacts while swimming. Soft lenses may absorb chemicals from the water and hard lenses may pop out of eye.
  • Avoid touching the tips of cleaning solutions for your lenses as this can contaminate the cleaning solution bottle.
  • Do not use aerosol sprays around contact lenses.

By Allie Johnson

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Whether you’re new to contact lenses or have been wearing them for years, you’ve probably wondered, “How long can I keep my contacts in solution?”

Here’s the answer to that question and a lot more good information about the proper care of your contacts in lens solution.

Depending on the suggested replacement schedule (or wear cycle) of your contacts, you may keep them in contact solution in a tightly closed contact lens case for up to 30 days. However, storing your contacts in solution won’t extend that wear cycle.

For instance, if you open a pair of monthly contacts but only wear them for two weeks (wearing glasses and keeping them in storage for the other two), it’s best for your eye health to throw them out and start with a new pair.

Before putting contacts you’ve stored in your eyes, clean and disinfect them with fresh contact solution. If you feel any unusual irritation, it’s best to throw the old contacts away and start with a new pair.

That’s the general rule — some eye doctors and manufacturers of contact solution and lenses may have different guidelines. Talk to your doctor and check the patient instruction booklet that came with your contact lenses and contact solution to find out what they recommend.

RUNNING OUT OF CONTACTS? Find an optical store near you or shop online.

Do contacts go bad in solution?

While soft contacts don’t exactly “go bad,” contact solution can act as a breeding ground for germs over time. Reduce your risk of eye infection by tossing lenses that have been sitting in solution for more than 30 days. The best plan is to follow the suggested replacement schedule of the lens, whether it’s monthly, weekly or daily.

Also, soft contacts that sit in solution for a long time may eventually dry out as the solution evaporates. Dried-out lenses may be damaged, so don’t try to rehydrate and reuse them. Throw out those shriveled-up lenses and put in a fresh pair of contacts.

Gas permeable lenses should not be left in solution, but gas permeable contacts can be safely stored in a dry case for months or longer. After storing gas permeable lenses, you should clean them with a lens cleaner and rinse them with saline before placing them in your eyes.

Can I wear contacts that have been in solution for a long time?

If your monthly disposable soft contacts have been sitting in solution for less than 30 days, you can clean and disinfect them with new solution before putting them in your eyes.

If they’ve been sitting in solution for several months to a year or longer, it’s safest to throw them away and start over with a fresh pair.

How often should I change contact solution in my contact lens case?

If your contacts are sitting in a case, you should change your disinfecting solution at least once every 30 days.

That’s an absolute minimum — and may need to be more frequent depending on your contacts’ replacement schedule — so talk to your eye doctor to find out what’s right for you. In the meantime, you may want to change the solution every week or two to be on the safe side.

How long do contacts last unopened?

Soft contact lens packages are stamped with an expiration date, and they’re good through that month and year as long as the packaging stays intact.

The expiration date on soft contact lenses is typically about four years from the date of manufacture. After that time, the seal on the package can degrade, potentially exposing the sterile lens to contamination.

So get rid of lenses that are past their expiration date.

Do I need contact lens solution?

If you wear contact lenses, you may need contact lens solution to rinse, clean and disinfect your lenses.

If you wear daily disposable contacts that must be discarded after each use, you don’t necessarily need contact lens solution.

However, if you have sensitive eyes, you may want to buy FDA-approved saline solution to rinse the lenses before putting them in your eyes. Daily disposable lenses should not be cleaned or disinfected.

If you wear other types of soft contact lenses, or gas permeable contact lenses, you may need an FDA-approved multi-purpose solution for rinsing, disinfection and storage. You may also use an enzymatic cleaner to remove buildup.

Ask your eye doctor what kind of contact solution and cleaner you need for your lenses.

How can you store contact lenses without solution?

You can’t safely store contact lenses without the right contact lens disinfecting solution.

If you don’t have solution available, you’ll need to buy some or dispose of your contacts and use a fresh pair next time.

The only safe way to store contact lenses is in a contact case fully covered by fresh contact lens disinfecting solution. You should never store contact lenses in water (neither bottled, distilled nor tap), homemade saline solution, saline nasal spray, eye drops or any other liquid not expressly intended for disinfecting and storing contact lenses.

It should go without saying, but most contact lens patient instruction booklets also warn against using saliva (yes, really!) to store your lenses. Also, never store your contacts in a drinking glass, a jar or anything other than a clean contact lenses case (which needs to be replaced every three months).

Storing your contacts incorrectly can lead to serious corneal infections and even blindness. It’s worth a quick run to the drug store to save your eyes!

Should you change contact solution every day?

It’s important to use fresh contact solution every time you disinfect and store your contact lenses. Never reuse or “top off” contact solution that’s sitting in your contact case.

If you store your contacts for an extended period of time, be sure to clean and disinfect them with fresh contact solution before putting them in your eyes.

Leaving contacts in solution for too long is risky, so follow the same rule with your contacts that you’d use for food safety: When in doubt, toss it out. Then reach for a fresh pair of contacts to keep your eyes safe and your vision sharp.

WHEN WAS YOUR LAST CONTACT LENS EYE EXAM? Find an eye doctor near you and get your vision checked.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Proper contact lens care is essential for the best contact lens wearing experience for anyone but especially for those with keratoconus who rely almost exclusively on their contact lenses.

Contact lenses fall into two basic material types:

  • Soft contact lenses (SCL)
  • Rigid gas-permeable (GP or RGP) lenses.

While rigid gas-permeable lenses are most often worn by those with KC, specialty soft lenses are now available for KC and regular soft lenses are used in piggy back systems. Regardless of lens type, careful attention to lens care instructions can provide good vision and life-long lens wearing comfort.

Proper lens care depends on the lens type, wearing schedule and other factors. Single-use or daily-disposable soft lenses (often used in piggy back systems) are prescribed to be worn once and discarded. This is theoretically the safest lens wearing modality in that no lens cleaning, lens care or storage case is required. Any and all lenses that are removed each day must be cleaned and disinfected prior to their reuse. Your eye care practitioner should provide specific instructions relative to your lens wear and care needs.

A word of caution:

Contact lens wear is quite safe as long as proper lens and storage case care are followed. However, improper lens wear and care can put the lens wearer at risk for serious consequences. Sight-threatening microbial keratitis (corneal ulcer) is the most significant adverse event associated with contact lens wear and is largely preventable. The contact lens storage case is the most likely potential reservoir for contact lens related ocular infections. Therefore, lens storage case care should be high on the list of important lens wearing instructions. Contact lens cases are not meant to be family heirlooms! Cases should be replaced regularly, at least every 1-3 months.

General lens care instructions and Dos and Don’ts:

⇒ Hand washing: Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses. Use mild, basic soap and avoid antibacterial, deodorant, fragranced or moisturizing liquid soaps (many liquid soaps have moisturizers that can contaminate your contacts from handling).

Cleaning, rinsing, and disinfecting: Digital cleaning (rubbing the lens with your finger in your palm) removes dirt and debris and prepares the lens surfaces for disinfection. Rub & rinse thoroughly, even if the product is labeled “No Rub”. Lens storage solutions contain chemicals that inhibit or kill potentially dangerous microorganisms while the lenses are soaked overnight.

  • Contact lenses should be cleaned when removed from the eye.
  • Do not re-use old solution or “top-off” the liquid in the lens storage case. Empty the storage case daily and always use fresh solution.
  • Do not use lens care products beyond their expiration dates. Discard opened bottles after 28 days.
  • Do not allow the tip of the solution bottle to come in contact with any surface, and keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
  • Do not transfer contact lens solution into smaller travel-size containers.

⇒ Keep your contact lens storage case clean (inside and out).

  • All lens storage cases should be emptied, rinsed, wiped, and air-dried between uses.
  • Keep the contact lens case clean and replace it regularly, every one to three months.
  • Do not use cracked or damaged lens storage cases.
  • Take care to remove residual solution from surfaces of lens case and solution bottles.

Related Articles

Blurry contact lenses can have many causes. Dirt on the lenses is the most common cause, especially if oils or other ingredients have left a film on the lenses. Establishing a daily habit of good contact lens hygiene will help prevent blurriness from occurring. Cleaning your contact lenses properly can help make your vision clearer and extend the life of the lenses. Blurry contacts can also be caused by dry eyes, some medications and certain medical conditions. Cleaning the lenses should be the first step to try for restoring clear vision.

Wash your hands thoroughly before handling contacts, using soap and warm water, focusing especially on your fingertips. Avoid using lotion or soaps that can leave a filmy residue on your lenses. Trim your thumb and index fingernails so they do not tear or break the lenses.

Remove the first blurry contact from your eye or take it out of the contact lens case.

Turn the lens right-side-up, so it forms a bowl shape on the tip of your index finger.

Squeeze a drop or two of your doctor’s recommended contact cleaning solution or all-purpose solution on the lens. Squeeze another drop under the lens so that the solution is on both sides of the contact.

Gently rub the lens between your thumb and index finger, making sure the solution covers both sides of lens. Rubbing gently to clean is recommended, even for “no rub” solutions, which can leave stubborn protein deposits if the lenses are not rubbed. If you’re using a disinfecting solution that’s not meant to go in your eye, rinse the lens with a wetting or all-purpose solution after cleaning it.

Gently place the cleaned lens into the proper eye. Repeat the cleaning process with the other lens.

Rinse the contact case with more cleaning solution — never use water or saline solution — and let the case and lids air dry.

Do not reuse solutions, nor add new solution to old solution left in the case. Some over-the-counter eyedrops are designed to clean your lenses while you’re wearing them. Follow the directions, and be careful not to touch the dropper tip to your eye or lashes, which can contaminate the drops.

Blurry vision can be a sign of serious illness. If the above steps have not cleared your blurry contacts, call your doctor to determine whether an eye infection or other illness or condition is causing the blurriness.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Though less popular than soft contact lenses, gas permeable contact lenses generally provide sharper vision — especially if you have astigmatism or certain higher-order aberrations.

Custom-made from a rigid oxygen-permeable material, gas permeable contact lenses (also called GP, RGP or oxygen-permeable contacts) are more resistant to proteins and other deposits, making them easy to keep clean. Also, GP lenses tend to last much longer than soft contacts, reducing lens replacement costs.

To keep your gas permeable contacts comfortable and your eyes healthy, be sure to follow your eye care professional’s instructions regarding lens cleaning and replacement.

Gas Permeable Lens Care Systems

It is very important to use the lens care system that your eye care professional recommends for gas permeable contact lenses.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Rinsing your contact lenses with water can actually make them uncomfortable to wear. Tap water also contains microorganisms that cause eye infections.

Lens care systems for GP lenses are similar to those for soft lenses, and usually consist of either:

The combined use of separate cleaning and disinfecting/storage solutions; or

A single multi-purpose solution for cleaning, disinfecting and storage.

In the past, GP lenses often were rinsed with tap water after cleaning. Optometrists and ophthalmologists now recommend against this practice, because microorganisms in tap water can cause eye infections, including Acanthamoeba keratitis. In addition, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that no type of water (other than that contained in approved contact lens solutions) come in contact with contact lenses.

Rinsing gas permeable contacts should be done only with multi-purpose solution or sterile saline. Never rinse your GP lenses in tap water or moisten them with saliva.

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Everclear™ is available in daily, weekly, and monthly varieties at Clearly.ca

How to Clean a Contact Lens CaseHow to Clean a Contact Lens Case

GP Lens Cleaning Steps

Follow these steps to care for your GP lenses after each wearing period:

Watch this video to learn how to apply, remove and clean your gas permeable lenses. (Video: Contact Lens Manufacturers Association)

Thoroughly wash and dry your hands.

Start with your right lens. Remove it and place it in the palm of your hand.

Apply a few drops of cleaning solution (or multi-purpose solution, if that’s what you’re using). Gently rub the lens using a back-and-forth motion.

Rinse the lens. Gently rub the lens with your index finger, and then rinse again.

Store the lens in a clean case filled with fresh storage solution.

Repeat this process for your left lens.

In some cases, your eye care professional may also recommend adding an enzymatic cleaner to your regular lens care regimen to help remove protein deposits. When recommended, enzyme cleaning typically is performed weekly.

You also may choose to use a rewetting solution as you wear your lenses. These solutions act as a lubricant to increase the comfort of your GP lenses.

How To Clean Your Contact Lens Case

It’s also important to clean, rinse and air-dry your contact lens case immediately after removing your lenses from the case. Dump out the old solution and rub the inside of the case for at least five seconds with clean fingers. Then briefly fill it with fresh multipurpose solution or sterile saline (not water), discard this liquid, and store the empty case upside down with the caps off.

Because lens storage cases can easily become contaminated with bacteria and other organisms, most eye doctors recommend that you replace your GP contact lens case monthly or, at a minimum, every three months.

Many care solutions designed for soft lenses cannot be used on GP lenses. Do not switch solutions or use a product that was not recommended by your eye care professional.

Using generic or store brands, for example, can be a problem. These solutions may be inappropriate for your specific GP lens material and may cause eye redness, burning and possibly an eye infection.

Taking proper care of your GP contact lenses will increase the comfort and lifetime of your lenses, reduce the risk of eye health problems and keep your lens-wearing experience pleasant and worry-free.

For more information, visit the GP contact lenses educational website provided by the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association.

When did you last replace your contact lens case? Has it been so long you don’t remember?

We know the value of getting full use from household items. But whether it’s a towel, toothbrush or toaster—eventually, things need to be replaced. For your vision health, replacing your contact lens case at least every three months is important for avoiding irritation and infection.

You Change The Solution, But Bacteria Remains

You should already be changing your contact solution every day. But over time, bacteria from your fingers and the surrounding environment build up in the case. And because most people keep their contact lens case in the bathroom, there’s a high chance of contamination.

One recent study found tens of thousands of bacteria in just a small volume of one participant’s contact solution, despite the fact he used fresh solution every day!

[iframe https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ufh63_DK8lQ?rel=0 620 349]

Know When To Replace, And How to Sanitize

We recommend getting a new contact lens case at least every three months. In the meantime, follow these simple tips to keep it as bacteria free as possible:

  • Always wash hands with soap and water before handling contacts.
  • Every day, empty contact solution out of the case, wash with solution and clean fingers.
  • Let the case air dry, upside down on a paper towel, before putting caps back on.
  • Boil the case in water for 5 minutes, then rinse with solution to sanitize between replacements.

Also, avoid letting the tip of the solution bottle touch the case, as it can carry bacteria and contaminants.

Clean Contacts Preserve Good Vision

Eyes are especially sensitive to bacterial infection, and dirty contacts not only leave you with itching, irritated eyes, but they can also pose a threat to your long-term vision health. So remember to replace that case!

Our aim, as your lifelong vision partner, is to help you establish good habits that will keep your eyes healthy and comfortable! That’s why we love to talk with you one-on-one about your specific eye care needs.

Thanks for reading, and for being our valued patient and friend! We look forward to the next time we see you.

Top image by Flickr user Lee Haywood used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license . Image cropped and modified from original.

Posted On: August 12, 2015 @ 7:15pm
Posted In: Vision Care

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How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Contact Lens and Anterior Eye

Abstract

A contaminated contact lens case can act as a reservoir for microorganisms that could potentially compromise contact lens wear and lead to sight threatening adverse events. The rate, level and profile of microbial contamination in lens cases, compliance and other risk factors associated with lens case contamination, and the challenges currently faced in this field are discussed. The rate of lens case contamination is commonly over 50%. Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, Bacillus spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia marcescens are frequently recovered from lens cases. In addition, we provide suggestions regarding how to clean contact lens cases and improve lens wearers’ compliance as well as future lens case design for reducing lens case contamination. This review highlights the challenges in reducing the level of microbial contamination which require an industry wide approach.

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If you are a new contact lens wearer, you might be wondering which of the standard storage methods is best. It is up to your personal preference, as long as the storage method leaves your lenses clean and disinfected. Also, in a pinch, you may need an unconventional way store your lenses so that you can still use them the next day.

Solution

The solutions that you store your contacts in can be bought off the shelves of any drug store. Multi-purpose solution is the easiest because it acts as a cleanser, when you rub it on the lens between your fingers, and as a storage solution when you soak your lenses in it. If you use a separate cleanser for your lenses (comes in a small bottle the size of eye drops) you can store them in saline solution, which is much cheaper than the multi-purpose. There is also hydrogen peroxide solution, which must be used with a neutralizing disc or tablet. The neutralizing tablet will bubble for a few hours or overnight, and then the contacts are safe to use. If you take the contacts out of the hydrogen peroxide/neutralizer solution too early, they will sting your eyes.

Cases

There are three standard alternatives for contact cases. The first has two tabs, with an L for left and an R for right on them, and you flip them up and open, then place in the solution and lenses. The second type of case has an L and R label and two lids that unscrew to reveal the small pot where you store each contact. The third is for people who use the hydrogen peroxide solution and a neutralizer. This case stands upright and has two plastic cages, under which you fit both lenses. The neutralizer is in a disc on the bottom of the two cages and sends bubbles upward to disinfect the contact lenses. When using any case, make sure it has been cleaned with hot water.

Ultrasonic Contact Lens Cleaning

Ultrasonic contact lens cleaners take the hassle of out cleaning your contacts. You place the contacts in a small chamber, add contact solution and turn the machine on. It is said to clean the contacts with ultrasound waves, which create millions of tiny bubbles. These machines also claim to clean the contacts in two minutes, instead of eight hours with traditional cleaning methods. As of 2011, these machines run $15 and up.

Alternatives on the Run

If you find yourself needing to spend the night somewhere without your contact case, it is best not to store your contacts in water. Because tap and bottled water contain micro-organisms, most vision professionals say it is dangerous to store your contacts in them. You can use clean water glasses, one for the left and one for the right, and buy saline solution, which is usually available at any convenience store.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses with multipurpose solution

Cleaning and disinfecting your lenses is one of the most important things you can do. Improper handling and cleaning of contact lenses is a major source of eye infections and other problems. So make cleaning and disinfecting them part of your daily routine when you remove your lenses at the end of the day.

Of course, if you’ve chosen daily disposable lenses, you can skip all of this!

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Step 1:
Once you have the lens out and in the palm of your hand, cup your hand slightly and squeeze fresh contact lens solution onto the surface of the lens. Follow the instructions on your multipurpose solution for how many drops you should use.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Step 2:
Rub the lens in this small pool of cleaner. Follow the directions on your multipurpose solution for how long to rub and rinse your lenses. Make sure you are getting both sides of the lens clean.

How to Clean a Contact Lens Case

Step 3:
Put the lens in your storage case, cover it with more fresh lens solution, then cap it. You should follow your multipurpose solution’s instructions on how long to soak your lenses to disinfect them.

And that’s it! Always keep your lenses in their case and covered with fresh lens solution when you’re not using them.

Taking care of your lenses

Contact lenses are delicate, but they’re also highly precise medical devices. You have to treat them with some care to get the most out of them.

  • Always wear your lenses on the schedule that your eye care professional prescribed. Trying to stretch them for longer wear periods is bad for your lenses and your eyes.
  • Be gentle! Today’s soft contact lenses can tear. If one of yours does, throw it away. When you’re handling your lenses, don’t squeeze them, and watch out for anything that can snag them, like jewelry or a fingernail.
  • Use fresh contact lens solution every time. Not tap water. Not used solution. And definitely not your saliva. Using only fresh solution will minimize the risk of germs and other contaminants getting on your lenses.
  • Rub and rinse, even on so-called “rub-free” care systems. Following the lens solution directions, clean and disinfect your lenses in fresh solution, rinse in fresh solution, then rub and rinse again in more fresh solution. Research shows this is still the best way to keep them clean. If you are using a solution that contains peroxide, always follow the instructions and read the warnings and precautions on the bottle or box. Never put peroxide solution directly in your eye.
  • Rinse out your lens case with lens solution after every use, then leave it uncapped and upside down in a clean, dry place when you’re wearing your lenses. The American Optometric Association recommends replacing your case every 3 months.

And as always, your eye care professional is your best source of information and help. Always follow his or her instructions, as well as the instruction insert that came with your lenses, the directions on your lens case, and the instructions on your contact lens solution. They all work together to keep your lenses, and your eyes, in the best possible shape.