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How to put in and take out soft contact lenses

Everything is difficult in the beginning, especially when it comes to learning to put in and take out soft contact lenses - a real test of your patience. Try using these tips and tricks for handling contact lenses.

Sit at a table when you are working with your contacts. In case you should lose one of the contacts this will make it much easier to find it again. Lay a mirror flat out on the table. Avoid any reflex type movements of the eye and eyelid. Always keep your nails short and smooth to help avoid injury to the eye. Before you begin, wash your hands and dry them with a fuzz free towel. Make it a habit to always begin with the same contact so in the future you can avoid mixing the right one from left one.

Preparation

First check that the curvature of the contact is right. Take the contact out of the container and put it on a dry fingertip. Look at the contact from the side edge to see if the curvature is correct.

Correct shape: Shape of a bowl

Does the contact look like a tiny bowl and are the edges pointing upwards? Then the shape is right and the contact can now be put directly into the eye.

Wrong shape: Shape of a plate

If the contact is upside down it will look like a plate and the edge of the plate will go outwards slightly? With a little practice you will learn to see the difference right away. Turn the contact and rinse it with the recommended solution.

Do your contacts feel so thin or slippery that when you try to put them in they turn over on your fingertips instead of releasing from your finger or do they roll into a tube shape, which can rip if you try to unroll it? Then, our special tip will surely help you.

Take the contact between your thumb and index finger and apply a drop of saline solution to each side of the contact lens surface. Rub the contact lightly between your fingertips so that the solution is spread evenly on the contact. Now take the contact in your other hand and dry the first hand with a fuzz free towel. Put the contact back on the index finger of the dried hand. It will now open up and remain stabile on your fingertip.

Wearing and removing lenses

Putting on contacts correctly

Step 1

Put the contact directly on the eye. Put the bowl shaped contact on your dried index finger. Use the middle finger of your left hand to pull up your eyelid at the lash line. With the middle finger of your right hand pull down the lower lid at the lash line. Look straight into the mirror and place the contact carefully into the colored section of the eye.

Step 2

Look down with your eyes. First let go of the upper lid and then the lower lid. Blink a few times to centre the contact. Check Contact.

Can you see alright? Does the contact feel ok in your eye? If yes, then it is in correctly. To double check if your contact is in properly, close the other eye and look at an object in the distance. Can you see it in your normal focus strength then the contact is in properly. If it is not in properly than slide it over the white area of the eye towards the pupil. If the contact is still uncomfortable, then take it out again, rinse it and try again.

Removing contacts

Step 1

You will find it easier to remove your contacts if you first put a few drops of OPTI-TEARS® FREE® lubricating eyedrops in your eyes. Open your eye as wide as possible and look up. Put the tip of your index finger lightly on the contact lens and slide it down on the white of the eye.

Step 2

Press the edges of the contacts with the fingertips of your thumb and index finger with a little pressure so that a small pocket is formed. Since air can now get under the contact the contact should release from the eye. Be careful at this point so the contact does not fold over. Clean the removed contacts immediately as recommended by your contact lens specialist. Benefits of soft contact lenses Types of soft lenses, important to note Multi-purpose solutions For additional information, always refer to the manufacturer's product insert.

Soft contact lens care

What are soft contact lenses?

Soft contact lenses are the most popular choice of in-eye vision correction for lens wearers, representing 80% of the contact lens market. Benefits include:

  • Good initial comfort
  • No foreign-body sensation
  • Variable wearing time
  • Ability to change eye color
  • Stability in sports
  • Economical

Soft lenses come in a wide variety of types including disposable, toric, and tinted. They are also commonly classified as being either daily-wear or extended/flexible-wear soft contacts.

Daily-wear soft contacts are intended for daily wear only. Wearers should remove their lenses every night.

Extended/flexible-wear soft contacts can be worn for up to 7 days/6 nights.

Studies have shown that wearers of extended-wear lenses are at higher risk of serious ocular infections and must be willing to see their eye care practitioner more frequently.

Wearing extended/flexible-wear lenses on a daily-wear basis is perfectly acceptable; the opposite should be generally discouraged.

Because many contact lens care products are designed exclusively for use with soft contact lenses, it's important to make sure that the product you sell is suitable to the customer's needs. Options for soft contact lens disinfection.

Soft contact lenses should be cleaned and disinfected every time they are removed from the eye. Of the different cleaning methods, the 2 most frequently used are multi-purpose solutions (MPS) and hydrogen peroxide solutions. Even within the 2 methods, specific regimens vary from product to product. Therefore, it is important to always refer to the product's package insert for specific cleaning instructions:

  • They are convenient and easy to use.
  • They are used to clean, rinse, disinfect, and store lenses.
  • They contain preservatives and disinfectants to inhibit and control microorganisms.

Solutions

Simplicity is key in the contact lens care market. Consumers want uncomplicated, single-step products that require as little effort as possible. Moreover compliance with cleaning regimes is more likely with simple, hassle-free products. Companies operating in this sector have responded to the demand with a range of simple-to- use products that focus on comfort.

Last autumn Alcon Laboratories launched Unique pH, a multipurpose solution for rigid gas permeable contact lenses, which account for some 20% of the market in Germany for instance.

Initially available in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Greece, Alcon says the solution adjusts to match each patient's eye chemistry. As the pH level in Unique pH increases to match the patient's tear pH, viscosity also increases, which cushions the lens.

Meanwhile in Italy, Vita Research has just launched Regard, a preservative-free one-step cleaning solution.

The product is based on an active disinfectant molecule that, once outside the closed bottle or lens case and in the eye, breaks down into the components of tears - salt, water and oxygen. Regard, which is suitable for all types of soft contact lenses, will be available in other European markets by the end of this year.

Comfort drops are other products worth thinking about.

Multi-purpose solution

Hydrogen peroxide systems - What is protein?

Removing protein from soft contact lenses and keeping soft contact lenses comfortable: Alcon's Opti-Free? Express? and Bausch & Lomb's ReNu® MultiPlusTM are highly recommended for use with soft contact lenses. They

  • are preservative-free
  • require a neutralizer
  • require multiple steps for cleaning and disinfection
  • are highly effective in their ability to eliminate microorganisms

What are enzymatic cleaners?

Most soft contact lenses require a weekly enzymatic cleaner to remove protein and deposit buildup.

  • Protein is produced naturally as part of the tear film.
  • Proteins deposit onto the surface and matrix of the lens.
  • Dirty lenses can result in a loss of visual acuity, comfort, and lens life.

Furthermore, protein on lenses may denature over time, meaning the shape and performance of the lens changes and allergic reactions can occur. The proteolytic action of the enzyme removes protein that binds to the lens. Though many enzymatic cleaners can be used for soft lenses, some cleaners are specific to a particular type of lens and lens cleaning/disinfecting system.

DOs and DONTs

DOs

  • Replace your lens case every 3 months to ensure good hygiene.
  • Close your eyes tightly when using hairspray-it can adhere to your lenses and cause irritation.
  • Use the lens case that is recommended with your care system. It has been tested and shown to be compatible with solutions in the care system.
  • Make sure fingernails are kept trimmed appropriately to avoid damaging your lenses.
  • Wash your hands before handling lenses or touching eyes.
  • Follow your eye care provider's instructions and return for checkups as advised.
  • Always follow manufacturer's package instructions.

DONTs

  • Swap or share lens cases or lenses-you could spread eye infections.
  • Mix lens care systems because they may not be compatible.
  • Rub your eyes without washing your hands first. Microorganisms from your fingers may transfer to your lenses.
  • Forget soft lenses are porous and can stain. Smokers can wind up with yellow-tinted lenses.
  • Clean your lenses with saliva. Saliva contains a lot of bacteria.
  • Reuse your solutions. Once used, they're no longer effective.
  • Forget to store your lenses as instructed. It is vital to retain the shape of your lens to ensure good, clear vision.
  • Sleep with lenses without the advice of your eye care provider.

FAQs

Most contact lens rewetting drops can be used PRN (as needed). It is important to select drops that have been approved for use with soft contact lenses. Rewetting drops help maintain good hydration of the lenses and the cornea, ensuring more soothing lens wear. COMPLETE® brand Lubricating and Rewetting Drops contain a proven ophthalmic lubricant for additional lens wearing comfort. Using the entire line of a manufacturer's lens care system ensures optimal compatibility of ingredients and helps minimize any possible ocular irritation.
Replace your lens case at least every 3 months for good hygiene-the case can be a source of bacterial and fungal growth.
Yes, it is still essential to clean and disinfect disposable lenses daily to maintain good hygiene and keep eyes healthy.
No. Swimming while wearing contact lenses is generally discouraged by most doctors due to water-borne microbes and risk of eye infection. In addition, your lenses may fall out of your eyes while swimming.
Yes. Mucin from the eye and stubborn stains, such as makeup and dirt from the atmosphere, need to be removed to allow effective disinfection and keep the lenses clean and comfortable.
If eyes become sore, remove your lenses and clean and disinfect them. As appropriate, use an enzymatic cleaner for protein removal or replace lens to make sure the lenses are as clean as possible. If the problem persists, seek help from your eye care provider.
Yes, but try to avoid getting makeup on your lenses and always insert your lenses before applying eye color and mascara. If possible, choose creams rather than powders and avoid metallic powders, which may cause irritation.
Although it is possible for a lens to be decentered and temporarily hard to locate on the eye, it is impossible for contact lenses to move behind the eye. Don't panic if they do slip out of place; it is easy to slide them back into position. If you can't feel or see where the lens has gone, look carefully under the upper lid. If you cannot remove the lens directly, gently shut your eye and move your lens into place by massaging gently through your lid.
Unless otherwise directed by your eye care provider, do not sleep with your lenses on because this inhibits the amount of oxygen getting to your cornea and increases the chances of infection.
MPS products that remove protein daily help prevent deposits from forming and make enzymatic cleaning unnecessary for most lens wearers. Unlike MPS products, an enzyme is an intensive cleaner that "restores" cleanliness if, or when, problems occur as lenses age. If you wear disposable or planned replacement lenses (used for 1 week to 3 months, depending on design and brand), it is unlikely that you will need to use an enzymatic cleaner. However, if you intend to use the same pair of lenses for over 3 months, or if you wear extended/ flexible-wear soft contacts, or if heavy deposits form on your lenses, or you frequently experience discomfort, you may benefit from using a weekly enzymatic cleaner. You should always consult with your eye care provider for a cleaning regimen appropriate for you.

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