Safety and Hygiene
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses are recognised as a safe form of vision correction. However, incorrect care of contact lenses and solutions can increase the risk for eye infections and corneal ulcers. Risk factors for contact lens-related corneal infection include improper lens cleaning and disinfection, poor hygiene practices and smoking. Following your practitioner's hygiene regime, along with regular reviews, will minimise this risk.
Always thoroughly wash your hands with an antibacterial based hand wash and dry them with a clean lint-free towel before handling, removing or inserting your lenses. Make sure to clean all parts of your hands, including between the fingers and dry thoroughly.
- Sit at a table or desk and place a lint-free cloth down to insert and remove lenses. Avoid bathrooms as they often contain more germs than any other room in the home.
- Inspect your lenses for deposits and defects such as chips or cracks. If you notice any defects or if you are unsure whether your lenses are damaged do not wear the lenses and ask your optometrist to inspect them first.
- If you misplace a lens, contact your optometrist for a replacement.
Remove lens either manually or with a suction cup.
Method 1 – Manual removal
- Using your middle fingers, open the lids wider than the lens diameter.
- Apply pressure to the lid margins, pushing in together to move your lids under the lens and lever it out of the eye.
Method 2 – Suction cup
- Using your middle fingers, open the eyelids wider than the lens diameter.
- With the suction tool between your index finger and thumb, align the suction cup so it is positioned in front of and parallel to the lens.
- When the suction cup touches the lens, apply gentle pressure to adhere the lens to the cup and remove the lens from your eye.
- After removal from the eye, carefully slide the lens sideways from the suction cup and it will come off easily.
Peroxide cleaning systems
For example AOSept/Clear Care Plus with HydraGlyde
Place lenses in the supplied basket holder and fill the case with the hydrogen peroxide solution. If required add the neutralising tablet and replace the lid and tighten. It is imperative the lenses are not removed before the solution has had six hours to neutralise.
Daily two-step cleaner
For example Boston Daily Cleaner and Lobob Extra Strength Cleaner
As directed by your optometrist, some patients require a daily two-step lens cleaning system. Hold the lens in the palm of your hand and instil one drop of the daily lens cleaner into the bowl of the lens. Gently rub the lens until the liquid foams like soap. Then rinse off with saline and place the lens into the storage solution to store overnight.
Monthly Intensive Cleaner
For example Menicon Progent
To remove protein build up use a monthly intensive cleaner. Place the lenses into the contact lens case holders. Open vial A and B by twisting the cap and pour the contents into the contact lens case. Replace the lids of the contact lens case and tighten. Leave the lenses in the solution for 30 minutes. Remove lenses and rinse thoroughly with Saline. Lenses can now be worn or soaked in your daily cleaner (please note that this product may not be available in all countries, ask your practitioner.).
EyeSpace Bespoke lenses are made of a strong polymer which resists damage in normal wearing circumstances; however, it is still important to handle them carefully.
Habits that may cause a lens to break, include:
- Pressure on the lens. If the lens lands on a mirror or flat surface, gently slide it off to the edge of the surface or use a suction cup to remove it from the surface.
- Removing a lens too firmly from the suction tool. Slide the lens of the suction point instead.
- Forcing the lens to bend while cleaning. Some force is required to clean a rigid lens using your cleaning solution, but not much ‒ the friction of your skin surface will do most of the job. If you are pressing down on both sides of a rigid lens, this will cause it to flex and eventually snap if too much force is applied.
Remove lenses from the Cleaning Solution Case and rinse with saline. If using hydrogen peroxide solution a minimum soaking time of 6 hours is required for the acid to neutralise to saline.
Place 1-2 drops of a Lubricating Eye Drop in the bowl of the lens. Place the lens on your index finger and insert directly onto the centre (coloured part) of your eye in a face-down position. To save confusion, it’s a good idea to always insert the right lens first.
If you happen to drop your lens, use Saline Solution to rinse. Place the lens in the palm of your hand and thoroughly rinse for 5 seconds.
Dry and wipe out your lens case with a tissue. Leave the case lid off to air dry while wearing your lenses.
Normal occurrences on insertion include
Occasionally a lens may become dislodged within your eye. This may be uncomfortable however it won’t do any harm.
- Look in a mirror to establish where the lens has moved to.
- Move your eyes in a direction away from where the lens is located. For example, if the lens in your right eye is on the white of your eye nearest to your nose, move your eyes to the right.
- Gently nudge the lens with your eyelids. Avoid directly pushing the lens into place as this can damage the surface of your eye.
Abnormal occurrences include
If on insertion you experience stinging, burning or pain, remove the lens, rinse and re-insert. If problems persist, remove the lens and see your optometrist at your earliest convenience.
During the first two weeks
Normal occurrences include
- Foreign body sensation and slight discomfort whilst wearing lenses.
- Mild burning, stinging and watering which resolves once the lens is removed, rinsed with saline and re-inserted.
Abnormal symptoms include
- Redness, discharge, pain, light sensitivity, burning, stinging, and excessive watering of the eyes which doesn’t resolve after lenses are removed.
- Feeling like the lens is stuck to the eye and having difficulty removing.
- When abnormal symptoms occur, contact your eye care provider immediately.
- Bailey CS et al. A review of relative risks associated with four types of contact lenses. Cornea, (1990) Journals.lww.com
- Ladage PM, Yamamoto K, Ren DH, Li L, Jester JV, Petroll WM, et al. Effects of rigid and soft contact lens daily wear on corneal epithelium, tear lactate dehydrogenase, and bacterial binding to exfoliated epithelial cells. OPHTHA. Elsevier; 2001 Jul 1;108(7):1279–88.