Soft Contact Lens
You have received your new contact lenses designed specifically for your visual correction. The following information is to help you achieve success as a soft contact lens wearer. You must care for and handle the lenses properly for the best vision, comfort and safe wear. Very little time is required to adapt to the feel of the lens on the eye. However, you may experience the following to some degree.
Normal Response to New Contact Lens Wear
Eyes may itch or feel funny, vision may seem fuzzier than with glasses, awareness may occur with one lens more than the other, vision may be better in one eye more than the other and eyes may tear.
Abnormal Response to New Contact Lens Wear
Pain or redness, foggy or cloudy vision and decreased vision that does not clear up. If at any time you experience an abnormal response to contact lens wear, discontinue wearing the lenses and call the contact lens department at the Cole Eye Institute 216.444.5885.
Your Care System
Multipurpose Solution with enzyme cleaner
Additional Cleaning Solution
Your Wearing Schedule
|Day ||Maximum Wearing Time |
|1–2* ||4 hours |
|3–4 ||8 hours |
|5–6 ||6 hours |
|7–8 ||10 hours |
|9–10 ||12 hours |
|* Note: On day 1, do not exceed 4 hours even if your eyes feel fine. Over-wearing contact lenses initially can cause swelling and redness. |
Wear your lenses for a minimum of 4 hours prior to the scheduled examination time. If mild to moderate problems occur with lens wear, it is helpful to see you with lenses on after several hours of wear in order to assist in the diagnosis of the problem.
Handling Your Soft Contact Lens
Before handling your lenses, always wash and rinse your hands thoroughly. A mild non-cosmetic soap should be used. Soaps containing lotions, oils or perfumes may leave a film on the hands, which may be transferred to the lenses and cause eye irritation. Dry your hands with a lint-free towel. Fingernails should be short and smooth to avoid damaging the lenses or scratching your eye.
Always start with the lens for the right eye to avoid mixing up the lenses. Remove the right lens from the storage container, place it in the palm of the hand, and rinse with rinsing solution before putting on the lens. If your lens was cleaned the night before and stored in solution, you may just remove from storage solution and insert.
Place the lens on your forefinger and inspect it for foreign particles, tears, or other damage before placing the lens on your eye.
While inspecting the lens, check to make sure the lens is not inside out.
- Method 1: If the lens is in the correct position, the edges will appear almost straight up or turn in. When inverted, the edges will flare out.
- Method 2: Pinch the lens together and if it folds together with the edges curled in, it is not inverted. If the lens flips out and sticks to your fingers when pinched, it is inside out.
Inserting Your Contact Lens
- Method 1: Lens should be placed on the tip of your pointer finger of the hand, which will be used to insert the lens. Make sure your finger is dry as the contact lens will come off a dry finger easier than a wet finger.
Hold the upper lashes/lid with the hand not holding the lens. Secure the lower lid with the middle finger of the hand holding the lens. Slowly bring the lens toward your eye while looking “through” the lens and finger. Gently place the lens squarely on the cornea.
Do not blink until the lens is in place. Release the lids slowly, lower lid first then upper lid. Blink a few times. If the lens tends to stick to the finger instead of the cornea, lift the lens from the finger, wipe excess water off of the fingertip, replace the lens on the fingertip and proceed with insertion. Repeat the procedure for the left lens.
- Method 2: Hold the upper lashes/lid with the hand not holding the lens. Hold the lower lid with the middle finger of the preferred hand and look up. Place the lens on the lower white part of your eye. Look down to center the lens on the eye and slowly release the lower lid. Blink a few times to ensure that the lens is centered, free of trapped air, and comfortable. Follow the same procedure for the left eye.
After removing your lenses from the case, rinse your case well with contact lens solution or saline and allow the case to air dry. The storage case should be cleaned every week with liquid detergent and warm water. Replace your case every 3 months. A dirty contact lens case can contaminate your contact lenses with bacteria/ germs, which can be transferred to your eye.
Removing, Storing, and Cleaning Your Lens
Wash and dry hands thoroughly. Pull down the lower lid with the middle finger of your preferred hand. With the tip of your index finger of the preferred hand, lightly touch the bottom edge of the lens. While looking up, slide the lens down onto the white part of your eye. Then gently pinch the lens off the white part of your eye using your thumb and index finger.
Removal Tips For Toric Lens Wearers
To decrease the chance of tearing a lens, use re-wetting drops prior to removal and gently rotate the lens on your eye and pinch it off. The following day, rotate the lens in the opposite direction and then pinch off the lens. This avoids pinching the lens in the same area at every removal.
If A Lens Sticks Together
Place the lens in the palm of your hand and soak it thoroughly with solution. Gently roll the lens with your index finger in the palm of your hand in a back and forth motion. If gently rubbing does not separate the lens edges, soak it in solution until it resumes normal shape. Adding a drop of lubricant to the eye prior to lens removal will hydrate the lens and prevent it from stick-ing together.
Soft Contact Lens Care
Three steps to proper contact lens care must be followed every time the lenses are removed from your eye.
- Cleaning: After removing the lens, place a few drops of cleaner in the palm of your hand and in the bowl of the lens. Gentle but firmly rub the lens for 20-30 seconds between your palm and the index finger of the opposite hand. Rub in a plus-sign or straight line motion. Take care to avoid contact between your fingernails and the lens. Rinse the lens with rinsing solution and place the lens in the storage case. Repeat with left lens. Cleaning lenses removes mucus and oils that may have collected during the day.
- Rinsing: Place the lens in the opposite palm. Cup your hand and fill the palm with a pool of rinsing solution until the lens is immersed. Rub the lens using the same motion in the cleaning step. Turn the lens over and repeat until all cleaner is removed. Soaking and Disinfection: After cleaning and rinsing your lenses, place them in the storage case. Make sure the lens is completely covered with storage solution. Change solution daily. The lenses must be stored a minimum of 4-6 hours before being worn. Storing the lenses in the multipurpose solution removes protein build-up and disinfects the lenses.
Drops can be used as desired while you are wearing the lenses to hydrate the lenses and reduce dryness and “foggy” vision.
Soft lenses must always be in hydrated (wet) form. If the lens is dropped and allowed to dehydrate (dry), it will not be ruined. It will become brittle and could break easily when handled. Place the lens back into the storage case with solution for a minimum of 4-6 hours to allow the lens to disinfect and return to a soft, flexible state. Inspect for defects before wearing. If the lens is uncomfortable call our department.
Never use water, including distilled or mineral water, with soft contact lenses for any purpose. Fresh water or tap water contains impurities which could cause eye infections.
Lenses should be cleaned and placed in fresh disinfecting solution every week and should also be disinfected 24 hours prior to lens wear. Lenses can be stored in some solutions for 30 days safely, but should be disinfected before wearing.
Pain, Discomfort, Redness, Blurring of Vision
If pain, discomfort, or redness occurs, remove lenses, clean, rinse, inspect and put back on the eye. If blurring occurs, this may be due to drying of the lenses and should clear up after blinking several times while moving the eyes back and forth. Instilling re-wetting drops will also help. Check to be sure the lenses are in the proper eyes. You may also try soaking the contact lenses in your storage solution for 30 minutes and replace on eye. If symptoms persist, remove lenses and call our department for an appointment.
Eye drops, other than re-wetting drops, must not be used when lenses are being worn. Dis-cuss use of other drops with your doctor.
Have a current pair of glasses to wear when taking a break from contact lens wear. Glasses are needed if you have an eye infection or tear a lens.
Soft lenses may be worn for sporting and athletic activities since these lenses rarely dislodge from the eye.
Soft lenses should not be worn for swimming or other water sports unless watertight goggles are worn. Soft lenses may become contaminated with microorganisms or chlorine and can cause an eye infection. Lenses can also adhere to the eye after swimming. Do not remove the lenses if they appear tight on the eye. Instead use several re-wetting drops or saline to loosen the lens. If the lenses do not move freely after 30 minutes, call the Cole Eye Institute contact lens department for assistance. It’s important to clean and disinfect the lenses upon removal.
Cosmetics, creams and oils for the hands and face should be used only after the lenses have been inserted. When trapped under the lens, cosmetics can cause discomfort. Ideally it is best to use hair spray prior to inserting contact lenses. However, if you use hair spray with lenses in, close your eyes, spray, and then walk out of the “cloud” of spray before opening eyes because hair spray can coat the lenses.
Contact Lenses and Sleep
Do not sleep with your lenses on the eye. If you forget, check upon waking to see if the lenses move freely on the eye. If the lenses move on the eye, remove the lenses for at least sever-al hours. If the lenses do not move, wait 5-10 minutes for your eyes to rewet by tears or place re-wetting drops in the eye. Once the lenses move freely, remove from eyes.
Do not wear your contact lenses as extended wear (overnight) unless approved by your doctor. Extended wear lenses can be successful only with good care, careful cleaning, proper disinfection and frequent exams.
Every morning ask yourself 3 questions:
- Do my eyes look good?
- Do my eyes feel good?
- Am I seeing clearly?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, contact your doctor for an examination.
Pain, red eyes and blurry vision should not be habitual with extended wear lenses. In the morning, use re-wetting drops to rinse your eyes free of debris and to improve lens comfort. The lenses may dehydrate during sleep. Use extended wear lenses for no more than 1 week without removal. Upon removal, the lenses should be cleaned or thrown away if they are disposable. Lenses should not be worn for one night after one week of continuous wear to provide the eyes with a full night’s “rest.”
For Women Only
Some women’s eyes become uncomfortable with contact lens wear during menstrual periods, pregnancy, menopause or while taking oral contraceptives. Fluid retention produced by hormonal changes in the body may cause the cornea to swell and change shape, resulting in an ill-fitting lens. For these reasons, if a woman goes on or off birth control pills or becomes pregnant, she should advise her optometrist.
Contact lenses are a prescription device and must be monitored on a regular basis. Annual eye exams are necessary to monitor eye health and condition of contact lenses. Improper use and inadequate care of contact lenses can cause irritation, infections, and corneal injury.
Make an appointment now. Or call 216/444.2020 or 800.223.2273 Ext. 4-2020 to schedule an appointment with a Cole Eye Institute ophthalmologist.