If you have recently received new contact lenses, you may have already gone over the literature on how to care for them as well as cleaning the case and using the cleaning solutions. However, as time goes by, you may be tempted to take a few shortcuts. While shortcuts to contact lens care is never a good idea, there are a couple of mistakes in particular that you should avoid that could lead to eye problems.
1. Neglecting to Wash Your Hands Before Handling Your Lenses and Supplies
Especially if you are tired at the end of the day, you may be in a hurry to get to bed and simply take out your lenses and place them in the disinfecting solution in your case. In the process, you may neglect or forget to wash your hands. Or, you may believe that your hands are clean enough to handle the lenses, especially since they will be soaking in the solution overnight.
However, even if your hands look clean, they still have bacteria, oils, and other unseen dirt that will contaminate the lenses. Even if you soak them overnight, the grime will still be present and will also contaminate the solution.
The dirt and grime may scratch the lenses when you to go clean them, and the bacteria could lead to infections such as conjunctivitis, which is commonly known as pink eye. Before you handle your lenses, case, or solution bottles, wash your hands, and make sure to rinse them thoroughly to avoid soap contamination as well.
2. Washing Your Lens Case with Soap and Water
While reading the literature on how to clean your lens case, it will state that you should soak and rinse it thoroughly in the same solutions that you use to clean your contact lenses. However, you may decide that it is easier to simply wash the case with soap and water. After all, clean is clean, right?
There is a reason why you should never use soap and water to clean your contact lens case, however. Not only do you risk getting residual soap on your lenses that could burn and damage your eyes, but the chemicals in tap water could also damage your eyes' lenses. Always follow the proper cleaning procedure to avoid complications.
Avoiding the above mistakes and strictly following your contact lens care regimen can help prevent complications and possible infections. For more tips on caring for and cleaning your contact lenses and accessories, speak with an optometrist at an eye care service such as Battery Park Vision Associates.