Soft Disposable Contact Lenses
Soft Disposable Contact Lens Use
Soft contact lenses are made of unique bio-compatible plastic which absorbs water. Most contact lenses are now made of a blend of plastic and silicone which enables them to allow high amounts of oxygen to absorb through the lens material and reach the surface of the eye, allowing the cells to stay healthy and breathe. Soft contact lenses are fairly easy to adjust to and will be comfortable to wear shortly after initial insertion. Ongoing comfort is dependent on correct lens care habits. Below are some tips for the successful handling and wearing of soft lenses.
Handling Your Contact Lenses
Always ensure you hands are washed before touching your contact lenses. Choose a fragrance-free and moisturizer-free soap and, if possible, ensure it is antibacterial. Dry your hands thoroughly with a towel after washing your hands. To prevent lint from fluffy towels sticking to your fingers and in turn your contact lenses, perhaps dry your hands using a paper towel or a clean tea towel instead. Washing your hands prevents dirt, oils or bacteria being transferred from your finger to the contact lens and subsequently into your eye.
Opening the Blister Packet
Remove an individual blister packet from the box of contact lenses and peel back the foil. Use the tip of your index finger to remove the lens from the container.
Insertion Of Lenses
Place the lens of the index finger of your right hand if you are right handed (alternately place the lens on the index finger of your left hand if you are left handed). Inspect the lens on your finger to ensure that it is not inside out and that no foreign matter (like tissue lint) is on the lens. If a lens is inside out, the lens shape will have fluted rather than curved edges and will resemble a ‘flan’ rather than a ‘bowl’ shape. If the lens is inserted inside out, vision will be relatively unchanged but the lens will be uncomfortable and not settle. In that case, remove the lens, rinse with multi-purpose solution and reinsert the correct way.
There are many methods of inserting a contact lens and every wearer will find a method that feels comfortable to them. The recommended method involves you looking at your eye directly in the mirror. With your non-dominant hand (ie if you are right-handed, the non-dominant hand is the left hand), hold your top lid up by the eyelashes against your brow bone. Hold down your bottom lid with the middle finger of your dominant hand. This will align the contact lens on your index finger of your dominant hand with the eye’s surface. Keeping your gaze steady looking into the mirror, place the contact lens directly on the coloured part of the eye’s surface (the cornea).
Once the lens has made contact with the ocular surface, take the index finger away. The lens should stay on the eye’s surface. To ensure the lens doesn’t easily blink out, maintain hold of the top lid against the brow bone. Then centre the contact lens on the cornea by nudging the lens upwards using the lower lid. This will also push out any air bubbles which may be present. Once the lens appears centred, slowly release the top lid and allow it to blink over the contact lens. Keep blinking for a couple of seconds to enable the lens to settle.
Removing Your Lenses
Wash and dry your hands as previously mentioned. Looking at your eye in the mirror, ensure your lens is properly centered on your eye before removing. If you cannot see the lens edge around the coloured part of the eye, cover over the alternate eye and see if the vision is clear. If it is, your lens is on eye and centered.
Again, hold your top lid by the eyelashes against your brow bone with your non-dominant hand. With your dominant hand, use your middle finger to pull down the lower lid. Then, using the index finger and thumb of your dominant hand, gently squeeze the lens between these two fingers and remove from the coloured part of the eye. Avoid using your fingernails. Ensure that you look at your eye in the mirror whilst removing the lens to keep your eye steady. Repeat for the other lens
Soft Disposable Lens Care (Fortnightly or Monthly Replacement)
Frequent replacement lenses are usually worn for a period of either 14 or 30 days before disposing. In addition, some lenses are approved to sleep in either occasionally or on an extended wear basis. You have been prescribed contact lenses which are suitable for daily/extended wear for up to 14/30 days. Your recommended extended wear pattern is 7/14/30 days continuous before leaving out for a one night break.
If your lenses are not worn on an extended wear basis, they will need to be removed and stored when sleeping. Once a lens is removed from the eye, it will need to be cleaned before it is placed into the storage case. Cleaning removes proteins, mucins and lipids from the lens surface so that the disinfecting agent in the soaking solution works more effectively overnight.
Once a lens has been cleaned, it should be rinsed with the multi-purpose solution to remove what has been rubbed from the lens surface. Once rinsed, the lens is placed into a contact lens storage case. Fill the case to halfway with multi-purpose solution. Ensure that all edges of the contact lens are covered by the solution. Once the lens is fully immersed in the solution, put the appropriate cap back on the storage case (R for the right lens and L for the left lens). Leave the lenses to soak in solution for at least four hours for disinfection to take place.
When it comes time to again wear your contact lenses, open one side of the lens storage case and remove the contact lens. (Sometimes it is good to develop a habit of inserting the right lens first to prevent confusion and inserting a lens into the wrong eye.) Depending on the wearer, you can elect to insert the lens directly from the storage case or you may wish to first rinse the lens in multi-purpose solution or place a drop of contact-lens lubricating solution on the lens before inserting. Once both lenses have been inserted, empty the storage case of all solution. Wipe the inside of the storage case dry with a clean tissue. Leave the case with the lids off upside down on a bench to air-dry through the daytime. Once a week, put the empty case in a clean coffee mug and pour boiling water over it to help sterilise the case. Afterwards, dry the case again with a tissue and store on a tissue upside down with the lids off.
Do's and Don'ts
Signs Of Problems
All contact lenses are designed to be compatible with your eyes, and you should have trouble free wear, however there is a small risk of infection with all contact lens wear. This can include serious complications like corneal ulcers, which can leave permanent scarring and blurred vision. Current research indicates the risk of a serious eye infection with daily disposables is approx 1 in 5000. If any signs of problems or symptoms occur, take the lenses out immediately, examine the lens for any splits or defects, and seek our professional advice as soon as is practical.
Never continue to wear a lens that is sore or uncomfortable for any length of time. Remember: IF IN DOUBT, TAKE IT OUT!
Follow Up Visits
Always wear your lenses to your contact lens follow up visits UNLESS you have been suffering with significant sore eyes. Try to insert your lenses at least two hours before the appointment so we can evaluate the lens fitting accurately and also assess for any adverse eye reactions. If you were unable to wear the lenses on the day of your appointment because you were too busy, it is better to rebook for another day so comprehensive evaluation can be performed.