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How to Store Contact Lenses

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Several contact lens cases are being cleaned and sterilized in a bowl with just boiled steaming hot water before storing contact lenses in it.

Many people are switching to contact lenses for their vision correction. After all, how can you argue with benefits like improved aesthetics, unobstructed vision, no glare, and convenience? 

But first, you need to get the right contacts for you, whether standard or specialty lenses. A contact lens fitting can ensure your contacts fit your unique eyes and perfectly suit your comfort and lifestyle. 

Contact lenses are quite safe and effective. However, without proper care and storage, they can affect your eye health. Did you know your contact lenses should always be kept in a contact lens case with a lens solution?

We discuss how to store and care for contact lenses so you can enjoy the comforts and benefits of vision correction when using them

Why Is Proper Contact Lens Storage Important 

Properly storing and caring for your contact lenses isn’t a complicated process. But problems can arise when contact lens wearers take shortcuts, like:  

  • Topping off the lens solution instead of replacing it can lead to bacterial contamination and growth, which can cause eye irritation, allergic reactions, and possibly infection. 
  • Not cleaning or replacing your contact lens case regularly can also lead to bacterial growth, also increasing your risk of infection. 

Extended use of contacts lenses, poor tear exchange under the lens, and some environmental factors can also increase your risk of eye infections when wearing contacts. 

If you experience the following symptoms, take your contact lenses out and consult your eye doctor immediately, as they can indicate an infection:

  • Eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Discharge from your eye
  • Red eyes

How to Store Contact Lenses 

Properly cleaning and storing your contacts helps them last longer and remain more comfortable for their use time. Here are the recommended steps to follow when storing contact lenses:

  1. Always wash your hands with soap and water to remove dirt and bacteria before handling your contact lenses. 
  2. Dry your hands with a lint-free towel to prevent the transfer of fibres. 
  3. Fill the clean contact lens case with enough fresh contact lens solution. Avoid using expired solutions and topping up if the container is half full.
  4. Remove one lens at a time, and place it in the palm of your hand. After adding a few drops of contact lens solution, gently rub the lens with the pad of your finger to loosen deposits or debris.
  5. Place the lens in a clean contact lens container, and repeat the process with the other lens. 
  6. Keep your lenses in the solution for the time recommended by the manufacturer to maintain their moisture levels. 

Most contact lenses should be soaked in lens solution for a minimum of 6 hours, overnight, or as directed by the manufacturer. 

If you only wear your contacts occasionally, you can store them for up to one month. However, some lens solutions are only good for 24 hours, while others—such as multipurpose solutions—allow for longer storage in tightly closed cases. 

For monthly disposable lenses that have been in solution for 30 days or less, disinfect them with fresh lens solution before putting them in your eyes. If they’ve been stored for longer than a month, it’s best to discard them and get a new pair of contacts. 

If you’re a contact lens wearer who dreads the nightly cleaning schedule or longs for more convenience, you may enjoy single-use daily contacts. These ultra-soft contacts are designed to be discarded at the end of the day, removing the hassle of cleaning and storage, and giving you that fresh contact feeling every day!

Contact lens cleaning fluid is poured into an open container for storing lenses.

Caring for Your Contact Lens Case

Replacing your contact lens case is as crucial as replacing your saline solution. A clean contact lens case is essential for maintaining the life and comfort of your contacts:

  • Discard the old solution in your contact lens case and rinse with fresh sterile lens solution, never water. Tap water contains microbes that can irritate the eyes or cause infection. 
  • Leave your empty contact lens case open to air dry.
  • Replace your contact lens case at least every 3 months. 
  • Discard a cracked or damaged lens case. 

Healthy Eyes & Vision with Proper Contact Lens Storage

Along with proper contact lens care and storage, regular contact lens exams and fittings can help protect your eye health. Book an eye care and contact lens appointment with Maple Ridge Eye Care, and discover frames-free vision!

Written by Dr. M. Hurlbert

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