Soak your Contact Lenses Overnight & Soak it Right
If your eyes burn after wearing contact lenses the first time you wear them, you probably are doing it wrong. Watch out - you are guilty of wearing contact lenses straight from the packaging. Contact lenses come soaked in a sterile saline solution that is ideal to keep them moist and stored until you break open the seal. Saline solution is nothing but salt and water. Once you open the seal, you need to neutralize the little plastic discs to help them adopt the new environment i.e. your eyes. How to neutralize soft contacts? Continue reading below
Never Soak your Contact Lenses in Water
Contact lenses and water never make good friends. People mistakenly believe that water is clean & pure. If water can be consumed safely, used to wash one’s body & run the other errands then why not safe enough to soak contact lenses? This is a question, you might want to find an answer for. Water although safe for your gut contains bacteria and innumerable microorganisms that are dangerous when they latch to the surface of soft contact lenses. The bacteria, “acanthamoeba” commonly found in tap water may transfer to your cornea from your contact lenses & devour it within 24 hours. The deadly virus is too quick to even let you realize that a painful condition with life time blindness is approaching.
As per CDC, contact lenses and water never mix. CDC further states, “For contact lens wearers, it is best to remove lenses before showering, swimming, or using a hot tub—and contact lenses should never be rinsed or stored in water 1, 2, 11, 12. It is also important to wash and dry hands well before handling lenses 13-15, and to clean contact lens cases with solution rather than water to avoid contaminating the lenses with germs found in water.
For those who are actively involved in swimming or other water sports and concerned about being able to see well enough without wearing lenses, prescription goggles may be a good option—or possibly even a different form of vision correction, such as laser eye surgery.”
If any how your contact lenses touch water, throw them away immediately and use a fresh pair of contact lenses.
Water Changes the Shape of your Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are meant for your eyes where tears are responsible to help them float & keeping moist. Tears contain salt so does saline solution in which they come packaged when bought. Since water does not contain salt, contact lenses on absorbing water may swell up and change their shape. This might affect how they fit.
There are emergency situations where you accidentally run out of your contact lens solution but need to soak them for a while. Although never recommended, Dr. Deepak Sachdeva, Consultant Eye Surgeon, Paras Hospitals Gurgaon tells to soak them in water for no more than half an hour. He stresses enough to use only pure and boiled water if in case you need to soak your lenses in water. Deepak is of the view that disinfecting your contact lenses afterwards will keep your eyes safe from the possible contraction of the deadly infection. Using deproteinization tablets or visiting a lab for further sterilization and deproteinization will completely eradicate the risks of infections.
Although, there are several DIY contact lens solution tips and methods available online; you must in the best of your favor avoid it. To make a DIY soaking solution for your contact lenses, all the materials used must be completely sterile which is not possible in home setting. Doesn’t matter how handy, easy and economical it sounds; always make sure you have pharmacy bought solution in your reach!
The best practice is to always carry a mini bottle of contact lens solution. Whenever you are in an emergency, resort to the savior bottle of the solution. Water- distilled or purified should be avoided in all cases. If you are a frequent traveler or an athlete; afraid of carrying the bulk associated with contact lenses then you may opt for daily disposable contact lenses.
Soaking your Contact Lenses Right Matter
Since saline solution does not contain any preservatives, it might not keep them free from bacteria. As soon as you open the seal, it is important you transfer your contacts in multipurpose disinfectant. Multipurpose disinfectant is an ideal solution to wash, rinse, disinfect and store your contacts. Soaking them overnight in multipurpose solution will neutralize contact lenses. The next morning when you wear contact lenses you will find them meld into your eyes flawlessly.
Never Reuse Soaking Solution
Although you will never reuse soaking solution on purpose, but most of the contact lens wearers are guilty of reusing the same solution multiple times by one of the following behavioral issues with contact lenses.
- Not changing contact lens solution even after weeks.
- Continue to top up the contact lens solution
Contact lens solution contains enzymes that help kill the bacteria. The enzymes are volatile which may lose the efficacy after a certain period of time. You are required to change the solution of contact lenses after each wear. You must refill your case every single time with a fresh supply of solution in order to minimize the risk of infections.
Always Consult your Doctor
In case you have sensitive eyes, multipurpose solution might sting you. Some people are allergic to enzymes and preservatives commonly found in the solution. Doctors would advise to use hydrogen per oxide however extreme caution is required since it is very dangerous for eyes. Although store bought rinsing solutions are promising, it is ideal to talk to your ophthalmologist when you switch between brands. Contact lenses help you see the world with a clear vision, do not mistreat them! Use right accessories and solutions to keep your eyes safe!