Victor recently did an entry on “Tips on wearing contact lens“. I thought I’ll add in by doing one on how to take proper care of your contact lens, based on my 9 yrs of experience.
This post is meant for soft contact lens wearers, regardless of disposable (weekly / bi-weekly / monthly) or permanent. (Permanent lens does NOT mean it’s really permanent.. Usually the lens can last for 1 yr but can be extended to 1.5yrs with proper usage)
I started off wearing monthly lens, since I was too broke as a student. My optician was nice to give me a pair free when I get a year’s supply! That cost me $360 back in 2000, for a year’s supply. But that’s because I needed Toric66 lens, lens meant for astigmatism, and are usually more expensive.
Back to main topic.
If you are using disposable lens, multi-purpose solutions are your best friend.
I was using Complete Moisture for several years, until they released the new version which caused me eye irritation. Switched over to Alcon’s Optifree Express and I’ve no regrets since. Each bottle comes with a contact lens casing. I particularly liked the colour of the casing compared to SoloCare. 😀
Change the solution (in the casing) every other day if you do not wear the lens regularly
More for hygiene purposes. Can you imagine taking lens out of a casing that feels slippery? It irks me at the thought of that. I usually try to change the solution every 2-3 days (I don’t wear the contact lens everyday). If you forgot to change the solution, don’t panic. Just clean the casing and refill with new solution. If it makes you feel better, clean your lens as well. =D
Change the casing every other month
Prevents bacteria from accumulating. I usually change the casing when my bottle of solution is finished. My suggestion is to use solutions that come with free casing. Saves you money on buying casings.
Air-dry the casing when not in use
Avoid cleaning it with cloth or tissue. Rinse it with the multi-purpose solution when you need to use the casing again. Avoid using tap water to clean the casing. If you find using multi-purpose solution a tat too expensive for this, you can use Saline instead. Available at optical shops / Watsons etc.
Clean your lens after removing from your eye and before placing it in the casing
I’m sure we get lazy at times. But placing cleaned lens into the solution is better than having lens soaked in a dirty bath of solution. You can refer to this site for more information on the best way of cleaning soft contact lens.
Use Protein Tablets if you are using permanent lens
Protein tablets help to remove excessive protein from the lens. Protein gets built up when we wear contact lens for long hours. Use the tablets once a week. My routine is to clean the lens, soak in solution with protein tablets for at least 4hrs max 12hrs, clean lens, soak in clean solution for at least 15mins before wearing. Somehow my eyes get irritated when I wear freshly cleaned-with-protein-tablets lens. Best to soak them in multi-purpose solution or saline solution before wearing, to minimise irritation.
If you are using monthly lens, it’s not necessary to use protein tablets, since you’ll be throwing away the lens after a month.
With proper care of the lens, monthly lens can usually be worn for an additional 1 week. Permanent lens can have extended usage for half a year.
My two cents worth of information. Hope it helps!