Ensuring Safe Use of Contact Lens Solution
People should empty their contact lens solutions after every use. Failure to do so may lead be detrimental to one’s eyesight, and on severe cases can cost you your sense of sight. This is usually the case, given that solutions that remain after the disinfection cycle are generally ‘dirty’. Thus, applying new solutions when cleaning one’s contacts helps reduce the chances of infection.
After opening the disinfectant, the solution usually loses its effectiveness compared to when it was the first place in the contact lens case. These sentiments were held by experts from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Usually, after opening the solution, it loses its disinfecting ability. This means that the chances of microorganisms and other harmful substances accumulating on the contact lens surface increases. This may lead to severe cases of infections or blindness.
The aspect of contact lens solution has necessitated FDA agency to require new products being introduced in the market to be as operative as the once already in the market. To further have better results, numerous organizations and FDA have held meetings in a bid to reach a consensus on the ultimate way to evaluate and develop contact lens solutions.
Other than contact lens solutions, other meetings have been held to discuss ways through which contact lenses can be made safe. The need to improve on safety led to the hiring of external consultants. They advised on how best FDA guidelines can be updated to enhance safety, especially for multipurpose contact lens care products. Multipurpose products refer to products that can be used to clean, disinfect, and rinse contact lenses.
The advice given to the agency by the consultants saw it revise its guidelines, especially those that address the labeling and use of numerous products. Although numerous recommendations were given, two stood out. They include:
- The agency advised all organizations that manufacture such products to indicate a discard date alongside the mandatory expiry date. The latter date is to ensure that buyers know when the lifespan of the product will be over. The other date indicates when the buyer should throw away the solution after opening it.
- The agency also updated guidelines regarding the effective use of products by consumers. For example, the FDA advised consumers to rub and rinse their lenses for added effectiveness. This guideline is in line with other recommendations from other government agencies in the United States.
The rub and rinse technique
Most of these recommendations complement each other. For instance, the rub and rinse technique is related to recommendations that advise people, especially contact wearers, to wash their hands with water and soap. To ensure one effectively applies the solution, one should hold the contact lens on the one hand and use the index finger of the other hand, to apply the solution. The whole rubbing process should last between five to ten seconds. Once you apply the solution on one side successfully, you should turn over the lens and do the same on the ‘new’ face.
Afterward, one should ensure they spray contact lens solution on both sides of the lenses to get rid of any form of debris that may still be attached on the surface of the lens. This procedure is backed by studies that showed that doing so helps eradicate more substances on the lens’ surface. By observing and adhering to such practices help to promote better lens hygiene and safety. Just like when one is cleaning their hands, the technique is based on the principle rubbing surfaces with soap to get rid of the dirt.
About eye infections
Eye infections are a common occurrence among contact lens wearers. In most cases, these infections are as a result of failure to apply and follow guidelines correctly. Eye infections caused by bacteria or fungi and can sometimes lead to permanent loss of sight.
Currently, eye infections caused by bacteria are more compared to fungal ones. In most cases, fungal infections are more challenging to treat compared and are usually characterized by severe pain. In most cases, fungal infections end up causing corneal ulcers, which is the leading cause of blindness among contact lens wearers. Additionally, infections caused by bacteria are common and can also lead to blindness.
Numerous signs characterize eye infections. Some of the signs include discomfort, excess tearing, itching, and being sensitive to light, among others.
Most people are unable to tell between infections and allergies. However, there is one distinct difference that sets the two apart. For example, allergies tend to affect both eyes in equal measure, while infections can affect them differently. However, one should consult an optometrist to get the best advice regarding a particular condition. This is because some symptoms may appear similar in both cases.
Dos and Don’ts
- One thing that contact lens wearers must do is wash their hands before handling a contact lens.
- One should seek medical advice immediately after noticing any changes, especially any form of redness or vision change.
- One can lessen the chances of infection by adhering to the set guidelines and professional advice given to them.
- Use only products that you can trust or as advised by the optometrist.
- Rub and rinse as regularly as possible in order to get rid of substances that might be only the surface.
- Avoid sleeping with your contacts at all costs.
- Make sure to adhere to the replacement schedule provided.
- The contact lens case should be replaced four times in a year.
- Never use contact lens solutions that are past its discard or expiration date.
- Even if the solution is not past discard date, one should avoid reusing the same as well as avoiding ‘topping-off’ solutions in the case.
- You should never expose your lenses to water, whether tapped, bottled, or in any other form.
- You never at any point use saliva to clean the lenses, given the number of bacteria available in the mouth.
- Avoid transferring lens solutions into smaller sized compartments.