Content of the material
Preparing to Insert Your Lenses Ready, Set, Go!
Before inserting your lenses you should take proper precautions to ensure they are in good condition and ready for wear. Before handling your lenses, always wash your hands using a non-creamy, non-oily soap.
Tip: Most pump soaps contain creams. Ivory and Neutrogena are both appropriate soaps. If your eyes are red or irritated, do not insert your lenses. Wait a few hours or until the symptoms pass. If they do not pass within a reasonable amount of time, call your eye doctor. If you are in pain, call your eye doctor immediately.
If you are going to be inserting your lenses over a bathroom sink, close the drain. Always inspect your lenses before inserting them. If they are damaged—even if they only have tiny nicks or tears—do not use them even if they are clean and ready for insertion.
Instead call your doctor for a replacement pair and use another pair of lenses or your eyeglasses. If your eye doctor believes the lenses are safe and can be worn comfortably, follow his or her instructions.
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How to Avoid Infection or Injury
Contact lens users run the risk of infections such as pink eye (conjunctivitis), corneal abrasions, and eye irritation. A common result of eye infection is corneal ulcers, which are open sores in the outer layer of the cornea. Many of these complications can be avoided through everyday care of the eye and contact lenses.
To reduce your chances of infection:
- In general, if you’re using multipurpose contact lens solution, replace your contact lens storage case at least every 3 months or as directed by your eye care provider. If you’re using contact lens solution that contains hydrogen peroxide, always use the new contact lens case that comes with each box—and follow all directions that are included on or inside the packaging.
- Clean and disinfect your lenses properly. When using contact lens solution, read and follow all instructions on the product label to avoid eye injury. This is particularly important if your eye care professional has recommended a solution with hydrogen peroxide, as these solutions require special care.
- Always remove contact lenses before swimming.
- Never reuse any lens solution. Always discard all of the used solution after each use, and add fresh solution to your lens case.
- Do not expose your contacts to any water (which includes lake, pond, and ocean water as well as distilled water, tap water, and homemade saline solution) because it can be a source of microorganisms that may cause serious eye infections. (Contact lens solution is sold in “sterile” containers, which means it is free from living germs or microorganisms.)
- Never put your lenses in your mouth or put saliva on your lenses. Saliva is not sterile.
- Never transfer contact lens solutions into smaller travel size containers. These containers are not sterile, and unsterile solution can damage your eyes.
- Do not wear contact lenses overnight unless your eye care provider has prescribed them to be worn that way. Any lenses worn overnight increase your risk of infection. Wearing contact lenses overnight can stress the cornea by reducing the amount of oxygen to the eye. They can also cause microscopic damage to the surface of the cornea, making it more susceptible to infection.
- Never ignore symptoms of eye irritation or infection that may be associated with wearing contact lenses. These symptoms include discomfort, excess tearing or other discharge, unusual sensitivity to light, itching, burning, gritty feelings, unusual redness, blurred vision, swelling, or pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, remove your lenses immediately and keep them off. Contact your eye care professional immediately. Keep the lenses, because they may help your eye care professional determine the cause of your symptoms.
- Report serious eye problems associated with your lenses to FDA’s MedWatch reporting program.
The Need for a Prescription
You should have a prescription for any contact lenses, as contact lenses are not “one size fits all.” When you get an eye exam, you have the right to get a copy of your prescription.
Per FTC regulations, a prescription should contain sufficient information for a seller to completely and accurately fill the prescription: examination date; date you received the prescription after a contact lens fitting; expiration date; and the name, address, phone and fax number of the prescribing professional.
The prescription should also offer information about material and/or manufacturer, base curve or appropriate designation, and diameter (when appropriate) of the prescribed contact lens.
Contact Lens Cleaning Solutions
There are two methods for cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses:
- Hydrogen Peroxide: This method involves two steps; cleaning your lenses, then disinfecting them with a hydrogen peroxide solution. The hydrogen peroxide neutralizes during the disinfection process. Many people believe this method gets the lenses cleaner and leaves virtually no preservatives or deposits on the lenses.
- Multipurpose Solution: This one-step process is the most commonly used method for cleaning all types of contact lenses. Multipurpose solutions are quick and simple and allow you to clean and disinfect at the same time. Although some people react negatively to these solutions, most people can tolerate them.
How to get contact lenses for the first time
If you currently wear glasses and want to try contact lenses the first thing you should do is book a contact lens examination with your Optician. He / she will take you through the whole process of getting fitted for contact lenses. Your Optician will first check if your eyes are suited for contact lenses (most people’s are). He / she will then train you in how to insert and remove your contact lenses and will also show you how to clean and take care of them. Next you’ll be given a trial set of contact lenses which normally last a week. At the end of the trial week you visit your Optician again and he / she will ensure that your eyes have reacted well to the lenses. At that point you’ll buy three months supply of contact lenses from your Optician and wear them. After three months, you’ll visit your Optician for the last time during the fitting period and he / she will write you a prescription. Make sure you grab a copy of your prescription. You’ve now been officially fitted for contact lenses and can buy them from whichever supplier you choose.
“Aftercare” is the medical care and advice that should be provided to you after you buy a pair of contact lenses. At a minimum, contact lens aftercare should include both advice on and helping to make arrangements for:
- Regular contact lens examinations
- Where you can go in an emergency
- What signs or symptoms you should watch out for
- How to remove your contact lenses during an emergency
- Who your local contact for advice is
Aftercare is provided by your Optician and supplier of contact lenses. Lenstore.co.uk provides a lot of advice on our website and over the phone about aftercare and your Optician is obliged provide you with all of the access you need to professional medical advice and care.