So often, people refuse to change glasses for lenses due to the fact that, not knowing the rules, they are afraid of the complex processes of caring for contact lenses. In fact, cleaning lenses is a fairly simple action that quickly becomes a habit.
This article will explain how and where to properly store lenses, their disinfection, and also what accessories are needed to care for lenses.
Soft contact lenses need daily cleaning and disinfection, for which multifunctional universal solutions and peroxide systems are used. They allow you to remove deposits and microorganisms from the surface of the contact lens. That is why the solution is used only once, and during the next lens cleaning, the solution in the container must be replaced.
Step by step contact lens care looks like this:
First stage. Preparation for lens cleaning.
Maintaining good hygiene and clean hands is just as important for wearing contact lenses safely, as is timely replacement of the solution. Therefore, before removing contact lenses, you should prepare a container and a solution for lenses, wash your hands with soap and then wipe dry with a towel that does not leave a lint.
- To clean the lens, fill the fresh lens storage container with Airway Multipurpose Solution. Place the lens on the palm with the concave side up. Then pour a little solution on the surface of the lens, lightly press a finger on the surface and rub. After cleaning, rinse the lens well in solution.
- Place your lenses in a clean lens container.
- Fill the solution with a fresh portion of Airway Multipurpose Solution.
- Leave your lenses in solution for at least four hours.
- Your lenses are now ready, and you can put them on the next time you need them.
- Never use the same solution twice.
- Change the lens container every month.
Mandatory rules for contact lens users:
- Contact lenses are worn before applying makeup, before removing makeup.
- Manipulations with lenses are performed only with clean hands, pollution can cause infection, damage.
- Handle the lenses carefully and eliminate the risk of them falling.
- When removing products from the container, removing from the eyes, you can not use extraneous devices or tools.
- In the process of wearing lenses, it is necessary to avoid places with smoke, irritating, harmful fumes.
- When in the sun, wear UV-protected sunglasses.
- Sleep in lenses if such a wearing regimen has not been recommended by an ophthalmologist.
- Wear contact lenses longer than the period specified in the instructions recommended by a specialist.
- Use disinfectants from the category of household chemicals that are not intended for this product in lens care.
- To establish contact lenses during the use of eye drops, unless there is a special prescription from the ophthalmologist who prescribed the lenses.
- Rinse container and contact lenses with tap water.
- Use someone else’s contact lenses, give your products to other people.
- Use contact lenses from a damaged, open, sterile blister.
- Use expired mortar in contact lens care.
- Wear contact lenses for inflammatory and infectious processes, if there are allergic reactions in the eyes, eyelids, in case of deterioration in general health.
- Take medicines of a certain category without a doctor’s recommendation
Mostly Airway contact lenses, selected by a qualified optometrist, do not cause discomfort, do not cause negative reactions. In the period of adaptation to contact lenses, which usually lasts from 2 to 14 days, symptoms may occur that you need to know about:
- sensations of tingling, burning, the presence of foreign particles in the eye,
- redness of the eyes
- visual impairment.
When these signs appear, contact lenses must be removed. If discomfort disappears after their removal, you should carefully inspect the product. If the lens has a foreign particle, eyelash, it must be eliminated. The planned replacement lens is washed and disinfected, and only then can it be put on again. In the event of the reappearance of negative symptoms, contact lenses must be removed, consult an ophthalmologist for examination.
What you need to know about lenses
Contact lenses are a modern means of vision correction. With their help, the main violations of refraction are effectively corrected - myopia (myopia), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) and astigmatism. Externally, contact lenses are a transparent thin film, the back surface of which completely repeats the shape of the cornea, and the front one performs vision correction.
In the modern ophthalmic market, a huge variety of contact lenses is presented. First of all, one-day contact lenses are classified into two large groups:
Soft contact lenses are the most common means of contact correction of vision among consumers. They are 35-80% water, which gives them flexibility, softness and high oxygen permeability. There are no blood vessels in the cornea of the eye, and it receives oxygen directly from the air. The selection of lenses is very important, therefore, the material of contact lenses must pass oxygen in sufficient quantities for the cornea.
The higher the oxygen permeability of soft lenses, the better for eye health.
Depending on the material and manufacturing technology of contact lenses, their wearing mode, life, and also the rules for caring for them can be different. Soft contact lenses are typically made from two types of materials:
- Hydrogel. This is a polymer material, characterized by softness in contact with water, good wettability. These material properties provide comfort while wearing and eliminate the sensation of a foreign body in the eye. Lenses made from hydrogel may have low or high hydration ability (water content). Hydrogel lenses with a low water content (38-45%) have low oxygen permeability, so they can not be worn for more than 12-14 hours. The disadvantages of hydrogel lenses are low strength and susceptibility to germination by microorganisms.
- Silicone hydrogel. This is an innovative material that began to be used for the manufacture of contact lenses relatively recently. A certain amount of silicone in these contact lenses makes them harder and stronger. In addition, silicone-hydrogel material is more oxygen permeable and does not dry out when worn.
To give the desired shade to the eyes, special colored contact lenses are used. They are especially popular among young people. Tinted contact lenses can also correct vision.
Soft contact lenses have different terms and modes of wearing, which are usually indicated on the packaging of the goods. These rules established by the manufacturer must be strictly adhered to. Ophthalmologists do not recommend exceed the terms of wearing contact lenses, as this is fraught with dangerous complications, which in advanced cases can lead to poor health of the eyes and even to rapid loss of vision.
Soft contact lenses by wearing time are divided into three groups:
- Traditional contact lenses. These are the earliest soft contact lenses, they appeared before other types. These are long-wearing lenses. Their wearing time is about 0.5 - 1 year. The cost of these lenses is low, but they require careful care. In modern times, the popularity of traditional contact lenses is rapidly declining.
- Contact lenses planned replacement. These contact lenses are more in demand on the market than their traditional counterparts due to their countless advantages. The term for wearing planned replacement lenses can be different - 2 weeks, a month, a quarter. These lenses are made from various materials, they can have different indicators of water content and oxygen permeability. When buying these lenses, you need to pay special attention to these indicators.
- Daily contact lenses. The most expensive but safe type of soft contact lenses. Ideal for those who do not want to constantly look after the lenses. However, not everyone can afford it. Daily contact lenses are very convenient for traveling, business trips, traveling, as you do not need to take a container and care products with you. After removal, these lenses are disposed of, and the next day they put on new ones.
Contact lenses made from hydrogel can be worn safely for about 8-12 hours. In no case should they be worn for more than 15 hours, much less sleep in them, since in this case there are great risks of developing corneal hypoxia.
Silicone hydrogel lenses can be worn even during sleep, if they have a high oxygen permeability. Today, in the market of means of contact correction of vision, you can buy lenses of prolonged wearing, which can not be removed for 6, 14 or even 30 days.
Lens Care Tips
Proper care of contact lenses will not only allow you to maintain eye health and comfort while wearing, but also extend the life of the product. If you do not want your lenses to deteriorate ahead of schedule, you need to take care of them correctly. As a rule, care is required for traditional lenses, as well as planned replacement lenses. Daily lenses do not require care.
Before any manipulation of contact lenses, it is necessary to fulfill the main condition - to maintain hand hygiene. Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap under running water. Soap is preferably used antibacterial (without various perfumes and chemical impurities).
To clean multi-day contact lenses, you need to purchase a universal solution, a storage container and tweezers for removing lenses. Contact lenses must be cleaned daily immediately after removal. Purification is carried out using a universal, multi-purpose solution.
Daily lens cleaning in the following way:
- Place the contact lens in your palm.
- It is necessary to drip a few drops of a universal solution onto the inner surface of the lens.
- Wipe the inside and outside of the lens with your fingertips.
- Pour a small amount of fresh solution into a clean container and place contact lenses in it.
To prevent infection in the eyes, care must be taken not only about the cleanliness of contact lenses, but also about the cleanliness of the container. After putting on contact lenses in the morning, pour the solution from the container, rinse the container with clean running water and put it to dry in a well-ventilated room with low humidity.
Soft contact lenses need to be treated with products that are designed to care for soft contact lenses. In no case do you need to treat them with solutions and means for hard contact lenses, since their shape can be deformed and the lenses will quickly become worthless.
If your eyes are prone to dryness, then it is advisable for you to purchase solutions for lenses with a special moisturizing component. Also, in addition, drops for moisturizing the eyes should be purchased. Not recommended bury the eyes with a universal solution, as this can lead to irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye.
It is known that for the production of contact lenses use hydrogel or a newer and more modern silicone-hydrogel material. This material has a porous structure, and its pores are regularly clogged with particles of dirt, dust, as well as protein and lipid deposits of the eye. These contaminants form an opaque film on the surface of the lenses and then adversely affect the quality of vision correction. To clean contact lenses from these contaminants, enzymatic (enzymatic) cleaning is performed. It is especially necessary for cleaning contact lenses with a wearing period of more than three months. Cleaning should be done once a week.
To find out how to choose long-wearing lenses, follow the link.
In order to clean contact lenses from protein deposits, enzyme tablets are used. They effectively break down various organic compounds and remove them from the porous structure of contact lenses. Thus, the surface of the lens after cleaning becomes completely transparent.
If you do not regularly clean contact lenses of protein deposits with enzyme tablets, microorganisms begin to multiply rapidly, which leads to unpleasant consequences in the form of inflammatory diseases of the eyes, burning and pain in the eyes, a feeling of “shroud” in front of the eyes and discomfort when wearing contact lenses. Enzymatic cleaning is necessary, first of all, for traditional lenses and planned replacement lenses.
The enzymatic cleaning of contact lenses is as follows:
- To carry out the procedure, it is necessary to prepare several tablets, tweezers and a container. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before cleaning.
- The container to be cleaned must be rinsed with water and a fresh multi-purpose solution filled. Instead of a cleaning solution, you can also use hydrogen peroxide or saline.
- Remove the enzyme tablets from the package and immerse them with tweezers in a solution container until completely dissolved.
- Place contact lenses in a container for a certain time (this time can be different, and it is usually indicated by the manufacturer on the product packaging). The container must be closed during cleaning.
- After cleaning, contact lenses and the container must be washed with water. After the procedure, the lenses should lie in a container with a multi-purpose solution for about 2 hours, only then they can be worn.
It is not recommended to exceed the cleaning time for contact lenses, as this can damage them and then discomfort from them will occur during wearing.
Hydrogel material with a high percentage of water, as a rule, absorbs a greater amount of protein and lipid deposits. However, hydrogel lenses with high hydration ability cannot be subjected to enzymatic cleaning for a long time, since particles of these substances often remain in the lens, and then cause eye irritation during wear. The incompatibility of these lenses with enzyme cleaners significantly reduces their useful life.
Prolonged-wear contact lenses can be worn continuously for a period of time. However, it is recommended that they be removed overnight at least once a week to fully clean and disinfect. In connection with the round-the-clock wearing of these lenses, there is a huge risk of infectious eye diseases.
Read about choosing eye lenses here.
Contact lens disinfection is a mandatory procedure that ensures the safety of your eyes and protects them from the development of inflammatory diseases.
Chemical disinfection is most often carried out using specific disinfectants (for example, benzalkonium chloride, chlorhexidine, polyquad, daymed).
For effective sterilization of contact lenses, as well as to remove various deposits and preservatives from the surface of the lenses, a peroxide system is often used. It is especially advisable to use it for contact lenses with a wearing period of more than one month. Contact lenses are cleaned with a peroxide system once every 1-2 weeks.
The main component of the peroxide system is a three percent solution of hydrogen peroxide, which is able to effectively destroy a wide range of bacteria, viruses and fungi. In addition, the peroxide system does not contain various preservatives, so it is well suited for people with sensitive eyes and suffering from allergic reactions to certain components of cleaning solutions. The peroxide system cannot be used when disinfecting soft contact lenses with a high moisture content, as this can significantly damage them.
When using a peroxide system, you must carefully follow all the rules. It is imperative to wait for the neutralization of hydrogen peroxide and not to get the lens out of solution ahead of time. Peroxide particles can then get into the eye and cause a burning sensation and other discomfort.
Heat treatment is also used to disinfect lenses. It is carried out in a water bath for 20 minutes. However, this method of disinfection is not recommended, since regular heating leads to rapid wear of the material from which the lenses are made, as well as to a change in their optical properties. Такую дезинфекцию можно проводить только для линз с низкой гидрофильностью и только пациентам с аллергическими реакциями на компоненты очищающих растворов.
Read about how to care for soft contact lenses in the material.
It is not recommended to keep soft contact lenses for a long time in the open air. The evaporation of water, which is in their composition, in large quantities, will lead to drying and deformation of the material. Such lenses will then be impossible to wear. A special container with a solution is designed for storing lenses. The container is necessary to prevent the drying of the material from which the lenses are made and their saturation with moisture.
The container must always be maintained in a sterile condition. After use, the solution must be poured and a new one poured. After pouring the solution, the container must be treated with a disinfectant and dried.
Container change should be done monthly. The same is recommended with tweezers to remove lenses from the container.
How to care for colored contact lenses?
Particular attention should be paid to the rules for the care of colored lenses. They are slightly different from the rules for the care of conventional transparent contact lenses.
Since colored contact lenses have a pigment layer, they must be looked after very carefully. To care for colored contact lenses, special non-aggressive agents are required that will not damage the pigment layer. This is especially true for disinfection. Do not use peroxide solutions to sterilize colored lenses.
Read more about tinted lenses here.
Consequences due to improper care
Compliance with all the rules and nuances of lens care will allow you to avoid many eye problems. These can be various complications caused by neglect of the rules of hygiene and the mode of wearing contact lenses.
If you do not clean the lenses daily or disinfect them in due time, there is a huge risk of inflammatory eye diseases. These include conjunctivitis, keratitis, blepharitis and other diseases.
Without proper cleaning of contact lenses from contaminants and protein deposits, the transparency of the lens decreases and, therefore, the quality of vision correction deteriorates. In addition, protein deposits clog the pores of the material, which leads to a decrease in the oxygen permeability of the lenses and the development of corneal hypoxia due to insufficient oxygen supply.
Contact lens care is a must-have daily routine. Compliance with all the rules and nuances will allow you to avoid the appearance of many eye diseases and complications. Only with proper care will your lenses retain their quality and optical properties for a long time.
Read also how to drip drops in the eyes. Read about how to care for colored lenses in the article.