How to Remove Lenses from Case or Package
Removing contact lenses from the case or package should be a delicate process. Your lenses are are fragile and can tear. The most common way to tear a lens is from handling the lens as it is removed or replaced into it’s container. To avoid tearing or ripping your lens, hold your hand with palm facing upward over a sink. Pull the stopper up or place a paper towel over the drain to avoid losing your lens down the drain. With your other hand, dump the contents of the contact lens case into your palm. Stick the ball of your finger tip into the pool of solution onto the lens and the lens should adhere to your finger. Do not use your finger nail as you may tear the lens. You may try to use the ball of your finger tip to drag the lens out of the case also, but be careful as draging may cause the lens to tear also.
How to Unfold a Folded Lens
A folded lens can be a delicate situation. If you try to pull the edges apart manually, you risk tearing the lens. Place a pool of saline solution in the palm of your hand and place the folded lens in the solution. Gently massage the folded lens submerged in the saline in your palm. As the lens imbibes more water and is massaged, it may unfold. Be patient. Try shaking your hand gently as the motion of shaking may be all it takes to unfold the lens.
When to Replace Lenses
Lenses should be replaced as discussed with the doctor. Lenses schedules are implemented at the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration, as they have studied the lens and approved a wearing schedule that makes wearing of the contact lens compatible with maintaining good eye health and hygiene. Wear longer than recommended schedule puts you at risk for certain eye infections, inflammations and even corneal blindness. Contact lenses, as FDA regulated medical devices, have certain risks associated with wear and more risks associated with over wear. One of the most common risks of overwear is a condition called Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC) where patients may not be able to comfortably wear contact lenses again. Another common condition is Corneal Ulceration, which is treatable when detected early but may result in scarring of the cornea and permanent decreased vision from having to view things through the scarred cornea. Simply sticking to recommended wear and contact lens care schedules greatly reduces your risk of contracting GPC. Think of it this way: Is squeaking an extra week or month out of your contact lenses worth the risk of contracting a condition which may require you to stop wearing contact lenses all together? The choice is yours.
Contact Lens Solutions and Solution Substitutions
Your eye doctor should recommend solutions for you to care for your lenses with. These solutions contain preservatives. It is important not to mix brands of solutions as the different preservatives may interact to cause redness, irritation or even damage your contact lenses. If you feel the solutions are too expensive and you desire to try another brand or generic solution, that may be O.K., just ask your doctor first. If your eyes are red and irritated with your contact lenses, be sure to inform your doctor, as a solution change may be necessary to reduce discomfort.
Cleaning the Lens Case
The contact lens case is often a harbor for bacteria and as such, should be replaced regularly or cleaned. Cleaning of a lens case involves briefly placing the case in boiling water after having manually cleaned the case. If you have a spare pair of lenses in your medicine cabinet, try to replace the solution and clean the case every two weeks. You may purchase new cases for pennies and often your doctor will provide you with free, sterile new cases if you ask.