Guide to soft contact lens wear.

March 01, 2017

Guide to soft contact lens wear.

Start by wearing your lenses for 3 hours on the first day that you wear them. Build up your wearing time by 2 hours a day until you reach your maximum recommended wearing time.

For your 1 week follow up appointment it is important that you come with your contact lenses in and that they have been in for at least 2 hours. 

Soft contact lens care:

As a contact lens wearer, it is vital to the health of your eyes that you care for your lenses and wear them according to the advice given by your Optometrist.

This guide will help you follow the correct procedures in your daily contact lens care.

  • Hygiene is essential.
  • Always start by washing your hands.
  • Be careful to remove all traces of anything that might contaminate the lenses, such as dirt or greasy substances (hand cream, soap, make-up).

Do not insert your lenses immediately after using sprays or aerosols, which may linger in the air and affect your lenses. 

Set up a work station:

Set up everything at hand for lens insertion and removal. In a well lit area, spread out a clean soft cloth or towel if possible, use an adjustable magnifying mirror.

Keep at hand:

  • A clean, empty contact lens case.
  • All your cleaning solutions.
  • Un-perfumed tissues.
  • Your glasses. 

Inserting your lenses:

Inserting your lenses will soon become second nature. Take your time, there is no need to rush.

  • Ensure that your hands are clean and dry.
  • Get into the habit of inserting the right lens first. This will help ensure that you put the correct lens in each eye.

If you are inserting a disposable lens, shake the blister pack gently before opening, and then carefully peel back the foil. Place your finger on the lens and slide it up the edge of the pack until it comes out.

  • If the lenses have been worn before, remove the right lens from the case either by tipping it into the palm of your hand or by picking it out with the fleshy part of your fingertip.
  • Never use tweezers or other tools to work with the lenses. Always use your fingertips, not your finger nails. It doesn’t matter which finger you use to put in your lenses-try using your index finger.

 Check the lens:

  • Place the lens on the tip of your finger and look at the edge curve. It should be regular and semi-circular in shape. If the lens edge has a lip, it is probably inside out. You will soon find this very easy to recognize.
  • If the lens is inside out, place it in the palm of your hand, add a few drops of solution and gently turn the lens the right way round.
  • Check the lens for any dust and rinse it if necessary with your solution. 

Insert carefully and accurately:

Start with the right eye:

  • Look straight ahead into the mirror and hold the upper lid eyelashes firmly against the brow with the first finger of your left hand.
  • Using the middle finger of the right hand, pull the lower lid down.
  • Watching in the mirror with your left eye, bring the lens toward your right eye.
  • Place the lens gently over the iris, so that all the edges of the lens come into contact with the eye at the same time. Look up, down, left and right before slowly closing your right eye. Blink gently a couple of times to establish good vision.
  • When you are sure the lens is properly in place, repeat the procedure with the left lens.

How does it feel? 

  • If the lens is uncomfortable, slide it off centre and allow it to slide back into place.
  • If it is still uncomfortable, remove the lens and rinse it thoroughly with saline or solution recommended by your optometrist.
  • If you insert a lens that is inside out, it may feel uncomfortable. Remove the lens and check the shape as described above.
  • If you can’t see clearly, the lens may have fallen out when you blinked if it wasn’t properly in place. To find the lens, look first on your eyelashes or cheek, or on the cloth in front of you. Rinse the lens thoroughly with your solution.

Re-centering of your contact lens

It is unlikely a soft lens will slip during normal wear. If it does,

  • Pull your eyelid back, put your finger on the lens and slide it towards the iris.
  • If it has become folded, the lens will come out of your eye very easily.
  • Remember that it is not possible for the lens to slip behind your eye.

Removing your lens:

Before removing your lens, check:

  • Are your hands clean?
  • Ensure that your contact lens case is clean and contains fresh solution.
  • Never use tap water on your lenses. 

How to remove you lenses:

  • The simplest method of removal is to pinch the lens gently off the eye.
  • Look up and gently roll the contact lens down onto the white part of the eye using your first finger.
  • Pinch the lens gently off the eye, taking care not to squeeze it too hard.
  • If the lens surfaces stick together and it remains firmly folded, place it in the case to rehydrate for a few minutes before attempting to unfold it. Then follow your recommended cleaning regime.

Always clean your lenses:

There are a number of different regimes for cleaning your lenses and your optometrist will recommend one that best suits your lifestyle and your eyes.

 It is vital that you follow the instructions given to you with your contact lens care solution. Not caring for your lenses properly may put the health of your eyes at risk.

  • If you use multi-purpose solution, always rub and rinse your lenses each time you take them out.
  • Keep your case clean. Clean and rinse your case once a week with your contact lens disinfecting solution. Never use water.
  • Replace your lens case at regular intervals.
  • Always keep the caps on your solution bottles to prevent contamination.
  • If you are not wearing disposable lenses, protein deposits can build up on the lenses and extra cleaning may be required.
  • If you have any questions about your cleaning regime, feel free to contact our staff for advice.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • DO return for all the aftercare visits recommended by your optometrist. An annual check up is necessary for contact lens wearers.
  • DO contact us if you have any queries, however trivial they may seem.
  • DO stop wearing your lenses if your eyes become red or sore – contact us immediately for advice.
  • DO replace the tops of the solution bottles after use.
  • DO clean your lens case regularly using your disinfecting solution and allow it to air dry.
  • DO replace your lens case regularly.
  • DO throw your lenses away after the recommended period.
  • DO NOT wear your lenses longer than advised.
  • DO NOT ignore problems or discomfort with your lenses.
  • DO NOT handle your lenses with sharp nails as they can easily tear.
  • NEVER sleep with your lenses in.
  • NEVER place your lenses into your mouth.
  • NEVER use tap water on your lenses.
  • NEVER wear your lenses if you are using eye drops prescribed by your doctor.
  • NEVER reuse the solution in your lens case.