Contact Lens Care Guide
Your contact lens rests on your cornea; this special tissue is the main lens of the eye and its health is vital for our ability to see well.
The cornea is normally clear (transparent) and has no blood supply, unlike all other parts of our body. The cornea breathes directly and uses oxygen from the air around us. The cornea is covered with a waterproof and germ-proof layer of skin called the epithelium. An intact and healthy epithelium helps protect our cornea from germ attack.
Several surveys have shown that contact lens wearers risk their good sight and eye health by not caring for their contact lenses. Inflammation of the cornea, keratitis, is a serious condition that can be caused by poor contact lens habits, and can sometimes result in sight loss, sight reduction and inability to wear contact lenses again.
Here are some simple ways to help you maintain comfortable and safe contact lens wear.
Washing hands before touching a contact lens is very important. It removes a massive number of germs or microbes from the hands and prevents them from getting onto our contact lenses. Hospitals and all medical establishments already realise the importance of clean hands in preventing disease.
Contact Lenses & Wearing Time
Because your cornea breathes directly from the air, a contact lens can alter the amount of gas exchange (beneficial oxygen may be reduced & toxic carbon dioxide levels may be raised). High oxygen contact lenses are available for many wearers- ask about them when you see your contact lens practitioner. So try not to over-wear your lenses and ensure you have an up to date pair of spectacles.
Sleeping In Contact Lenses
Very rarely, a need to sleep in contact lenses arises- talk to your contact lens fitter about high oxygen contacts. Because your eyelids are closed during sleep then less air gets to your cornea. The reduced oxygen and build up of carbon dioxide happens to all of us, even if we don’t wear
contacts. If we sleep and wear a contact lens then the cornea is starved of oxygen and too much toxic CO2 builds up. The result is a much bigger risk of serious corneal inflammation.
Rubbing and Rinsing with Care Solution
Several studies have shown that rubbing and rinsing a lens after wear removes a staggering 99.9% of microbes and protein from the lens surface. A useful analogy is washing up a plate- we all know that just soaking it in the sink leaves the plate still dirty.
Unfortunately several contact lens solution manufacturers promote so-called "no-rub" formulas. Ignore the no-rub advice and always do a bit of R&R- rubbing and rinsing before storing your lenses.
Rubbing and rinsing your contact lens storage case will also remove lots of harmful germs.
Ask yourself these three questions, each time you wear your lenses:
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, leave your lenses out and consult your contact lens practitioner.
"If in doubt – leave them out"
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For All Your Optical, Spectacle, and Contact Lens needs, please telephone us, we are open and ready to do our very best to help.
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