Lenses to suit nearly all prescriptions can be fitted and very often you can take a pair of lenses after your consultation as a trial. Most lenses are available on a planned replacement scheme and can be collected from the practice or delivered to your home or work.
Cleanliness is the first and most important aspect of proper contact lens care. Establish a routine of good hygiene for handling your lenses.
To open an individual lens package:
1. Shake the package to allow the lens to float free in the solution
2. Pull back the foil. Handle the lens carefully with your fingertip and be careful to avoid damage with your fingernails. It helps to keep these smooth and short
3. Carefully remove the lens by sliding it up the side of the container. Never use tweezers or other tools.
To avoid mix-ups develop the habit of always inserting the first lens in your right eye. Before inserting the lens check to see it is free of any nicks or tears. If it appears damaged, throw it away and use the next lens.
Check the lens has not turned inside out.
Place the lens on the tip of your forefinger and hold above eye level. The lens should be bowl-shaped with a smooth lip. If the lens curls out at the edge it is inside out. If you are not sure, place the lens on the eye. If it is inside out it will feel uncomfortable, will move around and will not settle properly. It will not damage the eye.
If you need to rinse the lens before you insert it use only fresh sterile rinsing solution.
NEVER USE TAP WATER
1. Remember to start with your right eye. Once the lens has been examined and you are sure it is not inside out, place it on the tip of your forefinger.
2. Place the middle finger of the same hand close to your lower eyelashes and pull down the lower lid
3. Use the forefinger or middle finger of the other hand to lift the upper lid and place the lens on the eye
4. Gently release both lids and blink
5. Repeat these steps for the left lens
Usually, the lens centres itself automatically on the middle of your eye when you insert it and will very rarely be dispalced onto the white of your eye uring wear. However, this can occur if insertion and removal are not performed properly.
To centre a lens, follow either of these methods:
Close your eyelids and gently massage the lens into place through the closed lid.
Or: Gently manipulate the off-centred lens onto the middle of your eye while the eye is opened, using finger pressure on the edge of the upper or lower lid.
Note: If your vision is blurred after inserting the lens, check for the following:
a. Cosmetics or oils on the lens. Dispose of the lens and insert a fresh one
b.The lens may be on the wrong eye
c. The lens may be inside out, which would also make it less comfortable than normal
Always remove the same lens first.
Wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly and follow the same rules for hygiene as already described in ‘a clean routine’.
Always ensure that the lens is on the middle of your eye before attempting to remove it.
You can determine this by covering the other eye and if vision is blurred, the lens is either on the white of the eye or it is not on the eye at all. To locate the lens, inspect the upper area of the eye by looking down into a mirror while pulling the upper lid up.
Then inspect the lower area by pulling the lower lid down.
Once you have found the lens, you can remove it by using the Pinch Method.
The Pinch Method
1. Look up, slide the lens down to the white of your eye using you forefinger
2. Gently pinch the lens between your thumb and forefinger and remove the lens
For the continued safe and comfortable use of your lenses, it is important to follow the instructions given to you by the optometrist. If you remove your lenses and plan to wear them again, carefully read instructions provided for proper cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting and storage.
Failure to follow the correct lens care regime may result in the development of serious eye problems. Cleaning and rinsing are essential to remove mucus, secretions and deposits which may have accumulated during use. Do this immediately after removing your lenses and prior to disinfection. Harmful germs can only be removed by cleaning, rinsing and disinfecting. Follow the instructions for use or the lens care system recommended by the optometrist.
Looking after your lens case
Since lens cases can be a source of bacteria, after use they should be emptied, cleaned and rinsed with recommended sterile solutions and allowed to air dry. Your lens case should also be replaced regularly.
NEVER USE TAP WATER TO RINSE YOUR LENS CASE
You should remove your lenses immediately if you experience any of the following problems:
If the discomfort or problem stops when you take out the lens, you should examine it closely for damage, dirt or a foreign body. Discard the lens and insert a fresh one. If the problem continues, remove the new lens and consult the optometrist immediately.
Any of the symptoms above can indicate a serious condition such as infection or corneal ulcer. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential to avoid serious damage to your eyes.
To some extent, this depends on the material that your lenses are made from. The newer silicone lenses are very breathable and were designed to be used for overnight wear. However, even with these lenses there is an increased risk of eye infection if worn while sleeping and it is always best to remove them at night. If you are unsure of your contact lens material, ask the optometrist.
It is important that swimming pool water does not come into contact with the lenses. If practical, take the lenses out. If not, then ensure completely water-tight goggles are worn.
Gentle rubbing will not affect the contact lens or your eye. However, vigorous rubbing could dislodge the lens and cause it to roll up under the eyelid and/or fall out. If your eyes frequently feel uncomfortable or irritable, consult the optometrist who may be able to offer an alternative lens type that may feel more comfortable.
This should not happen under normal conditions. The curve of the cornea, the adhesive properties of your tears and the eyelids will keep the lens in place. Extreme conditions such as high wind that causes excessive tearing may result in lens displacement. If you have a problem with lens movement or displacement see the optometrist.
It is not possible for the lens to go behind the eye due to a skin that surrounds the eye.