Monthly and extended wear disposable lenses offer several advantages over their daily counterparts. Being able to wear contact lenses over a longer period of time can be beneficial to those with active lifestyles. Having to buy fewer lenses can also bring down the cost of vision correction.
Wearing monthly and extended wear disposables also means taking extra steps to maintain the health of your eyes. Unlike daily disposables, extended wears and monthlies need to be cleaned and stored after use.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take when removing and cleaning your contact lenses with multipurpose solution:
- Wash – Before handling contact lenses of any kind, you should always make sure your hands are clean. Use antibacterial soaps when washing your hands under the tap. This will keep harmful oil, perfumes and bacteria from contaminating your lenses.
- Dry – Wet hands increase the risk of infection. After washing them, dry your hands with a clean, lint-free towel.
- Remove – Remove a contact lens from your eye. For help in doing this, refer to our ‘How to Put In & Take Out Contact Lenses’ article.
- Rub – Put your contact lens on the palm of your hand. Pour multipurpose cleaning solution over the lens. Gently rub your lens with your finger into your palm, for around 30 seconds. This helps to remove surface dirt and other impurities.
- Rinse – Pour some more multipurpose solution over your lens. This helps to wash away excess impurities that may still be present after rubbing.
- Store – Place your lens into your lens case, making sure to put it into the correct compartment. Fill the compartment with storage solution, and seal it tightly.
- Repeat – Repeat the above steps for your other contact lens.
- Clean – Rinse out your contact lens holder with saline solution after use. Clean your holder with a toothbrush and solution every week, and replace it entirely every month.
- Replace – Make sure to replace solution after every use of your lenses, and once every 72 hours when your lenses aren’t in use.
Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Hydrogen Peroxide offers an alternative for people sensitive to the preservatives in multipurpose solutions. It is also particularly effective at preventing acanthomoeba from entering the eye, which could otherwise cause serious infections.
To use Hydrogen Peroxide solution safely, you’ll need to take the following steps:
- Wash – Wash your hands under the tap with antibacterial soap.
- Dry – Dry your hands using a clean, lint-free towel.
- Remove – Remove your contact lenses, putting them into the appropriate slot of your contact lens holder. Some holders contain a built-in neutraliser. This usually takes the form of a platinum disc that turns hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. If you have a built-in neutraliser, you can ignore step 5.
- Fill – Pour 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution into your lens holder, until it reaches the fill line. Never exceed the fill line marked on your holder.
- Neutralise – Drop a neutralising tablet into your contact lens holder. If you have a built-in neutraliser, this step does not need to be taken.
- Close – Screw shut the lids on your contact lens holder. Make sure the holder is kept upright, allowing the neutralisation process to take place. Let your contact lenses sit in the holder for a minimum of six hours. Afterwards, you can either wear your lenses or store them in a saline solution.
- Rinse – Rinse your contact lens holder with saline solution. Your holder should be replaced every month.
- Replace – Replace your solution after every use when lenses are used daily, and every 72 hours when the lenses are not in use.
Never let the hydrogen peroxide solution touch your eyes directly. Hydrogen peroxide can cause serious damage to your cornea if not neutralised.