Contact Lens Care & Compliance
My List of Contact Lens Care Recommendations
BY MICHAEL A. WARD, MMSC, FAAO
The following list is an amalgamation of recommendations from various sources (Ward, 2009; UT Health Science Center San Antonio, 2015; U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2015; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). Note that this list has not been approved in its entirety by any of the referenced organizations. I offer my compilation as a beginning for practitioners to use in personalizing their contact lens wear and care recommendations. Feel free to copy and distribute to your patients.
Hand Washing Always wash your hands with fragrance-free, lotion-free hand soap, rinse, and dry before handling your contact lenses.
Cleaning, Rinsing, and Disinfecting Reusable Lenses Digital cleaning (rubbing the lens with your finger in your palm) removes dirt and debris and prepares the lens surfaces for disinfection. Rub and rinse thoroughly, even if the product is labeled “no rub.” Lens storage solutions contain chemicals (preservatives and disinfectants) that inhibit or kill potentially dangerous microorganisms while the lenses are soaked overnight.
• Contact lenses should be cleaned when removed from the eye.
• Empty the contact lens storage case daily and always use fresh care solution. Do not reuse old solution or “top-off” the liquid in the lens storage case.
• Do not use lens care products beyond their expiration dates. The expiration date refers to when the product is first opened. 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.
The Storage Case Keep your contact lens storage case clean (inside and out).
• Empty the lens storage case and leave open to air dry.
• Keep the contact lens case clean and replace it regularly, every one to three months.
• Do not use cracked or damaged lens storage cases.
Do’s and Don’ts
• Do not wear your lenses during water activities (swimming, hot tubs, showering, etc.).
• Contact lenses should never be stored in water.
• Do not put your lenses in your mouth to wet them.
• Do not use saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect lenses; neither is capable of disinfecting contact lenses.
• Wear and replace contact lenses according to the prescribed schedule.
• Follow the specific lens cleaning and storage guidelines from your eyecare professional.
• Do not change lens care products without first checking with your eyecare practitioner.
• Spare GP contact lenses should be stored dry in a clean lens storage case for long-term storage. New or dry-stored GP lenses should be re-cleaned and disinfected for at least four hours prior to lens wear.
• Do not store soft lenses in the storage case for an extended period of time. “Spare” soft contact lenses should be new and stored in their original and unopened packaging.
• Do not sleep in your contact lenses unless specifically approved to do so by your eyecare practitioner.
• Remove the lenses immediately and consult your eyecare professional if your eyes become red, irritated, or your vision changes. CLS
For references, please visit www.clspectrum.com/references and click on document #235.
Mr. Ward is an instructor in ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine and director, Emory Contact Lens Service. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.