Caring for your contact lenses
There is a whole bunch of contact lens care products out there in the market which can confuse the consumer rather than help them. There is everything from simple saline solutions to complicated hydrogen peroxide systems. Some contact lenses may require multiple cleaning regimens and some may only require the occasional rinse with saline solution. Let us help you find the most appropriate contact lens care regimen for your lenses.
Saline solution is simply a sterile solution that contains Sodium Chloride or as you may know it by its more popular name, Salt! Yes, this ‘salt water’ has been used to rinse cuts, burns and even as a form of hydration. Saline solution is mainly used for rinsing contact lenses and contact lens cases. It should NEVER be used for storing contact lenses overnight. It does not have enough anti-bacterial properties.
Multi-purpose solutions (MPS) are every contact lens wearers’ must have. MPS can be used for rinsing contact lenses and contact lens cases as well. MPS can be used to remove particles that are on the contact lens by the simple action of rubbing the contact lenses that are placed on the palm of your hand along with a few drops of MPS. MPS can then be used to rinse off these particles before finally soaking the lenses overnight in MPS poured into a clean contact lens case. New generation MPS solutions like “Revitalens” and “Opti-Free Moist” have advanced disinfecting properties comparable to those of Hydrogen Peroxide systems but without the discomfort.
Hydrogen Peroxide Systems
Hydrogen peroxide is a highly powerful anti-bacterial agent which is used for the sterilization of various things from surgical tools to even tables and chairs. Due to its amazing anti-bacterial properties, scientists included it as part of a contact lens care regimen. The reason we call it a system rather than a solution is because it involves more than just rubbing and rinsing. Contact lenses have to be rubbed and rinsed before being stored in a special contact lens case meant for the hydrogen peroxide solution. One main difference with this highly potent solution is that it cannot be placed directly onto the eye due to its acidity. It has to be neutralized either through a catalytic disk present in the contact lens case like the ones in Alcon’s “AOsept” or by placing a neutralizing tablet found in Abbott’s “Oxysept”. The neutralizing process usually spans a couple of hours, so, it is advisable to use the system overnight. NEVER place contact lenses that have NOT been neutralized directly on the eye or pour the solution into the eye.
Monthly lens or conventional lens wearers are advised to buy a separate cleaning solution which has better cleaning abilities than simple MPS. Simply place a few drops of the cleaning solution on the contact lenses and give them a good rub for a few seconds. After which, use a MPS to rinse off all the cleaning agent before storing or wearing the lens.
Protein removal tablets are also recommended for monthly lens wearers and conventional lens wearers. Naturally forming proteins in our tears help to stave off bacterial infections. However, when the denatured proteins start to accumulate on the contact lenses, it can cause serious irritations of the eye. Simply drop a protein removal tablet once a week into the MPS with your lens overnight. Simply rinse the lenses the next morning before wearing them.
Caring for your lenses may seem to be such a hassle. There are times you may want to give in to laziness and just skip a step or two. DON’T! A single infection can have severe consequences. Diligence is the only way to prevent infections. That is also another reason why most people wear daily disposable lenses these days. Hassle-free and the chances of infection are almost zero as long as you wash your hands clean before handling your lenses.
Stay Healthy and Stay Happy!