10 tips on how to care for your monthly wear contact lenses

There are variety of options for contact lenses and it’s a personal preference as to what you choose whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly wear contact lenses. Whatever your choice may be it’s important to ensure that your eyes are safe, healthy and free from infection.

Advantages to wearing monthly replacement contact lenses

Monthly replacement contact lenses are a great option if you want some freedom from wearing glasses. There are also many advantages to wearing monthly wear contact lenses. They are more cost effective if you wear them everyday. They are made from silicone hydrogel material so they are more comfortable. Monthly and other extended wear contact lenses are typically silicone hydrogel lenses that have higher oxygen permeability. This allows more oxygen through the lens compared to standard contacts.

Avoid wearing your contact lenses overnight

If you want to wear your contact lenses overnight be aware that continuous wear is not suitable with all types of lenses. Wearing contact lenses not approved for sleeping can pose a risk to your eyes because contact lenses deprive your eyes of oxygen. At Inspired Eyes our opticians do not recommend sleeping with your lenses at all no matter what type of lenses you have due to increased risk of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and infection.

Here’s a helpful checklist on how to care for your monthly wear contact lenses.

  1. Wash your hands. Before handling your contact lenses, always wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water, then rinse and dry them with a lint-free towel. Ensure that no oils and dirt get into your contacts.
  2. Do not rinse in water. Your contact lenses should not be rinsed or stored in water of any kind (it is best to remove your lenses before going swimming or in a hot tub)
  3. Do not use saline solution and rewetting drops to disinfect lenses. They are not a safe or effective disinfectant solution for your lenses. They will not clean your contacts properly and this could lead to infections.
  4. Replace your contact lenses once per month. This means they should be replaced every month regardless of how often you wear them. Check your expiry labels and dispose of them in time. If it helps to track the start and end date do so in your calendar. If you would rather wear contact lenses occasionally, single-use daily disposable lenses is a better option.
  5. Use the rub and rinse method. During cleaning, rub your contact lenses with your fingers, then rinse the lenses with solution before soaking them. This “rub and rinse” method is a superior method of cleaning, even if the solution you are using is a “no-rub” variety.
  6. Clean your contact lens case. Rinse the contact lens case and clean it with a fresh toothbrush and with fresh solution once a week and leave the empty case open to air dry.
  7. Replace your contact lens case. Keep the contact lens case clean and replace it at least every three months. Lens cases can be a source of contamination and infection. Do not use cracked or damaged lens cases.
  8. Use fresh solution. Always use fresh solution and avoid “topping off” the solution in your lens case.
  9. Careful with the tip of your solution bottle. Try not to let the tip of the solution bottle come in contact with any surface.
  10. Avoid sleeping with your contact lenses. As mentioned wearing your contacts for long periods of time not only dries out your eyes it also voids your eyes of oxygen.

If you experience painful red eyes, light sensitivity, or blurred vision, it is important to remove your lenses and see your eye doctor soon.  It’s best practice that contact lens wearers have an updated pair of glasses in addition to their contacts. Glasses should be worn instead of contacts if any of these symptoms develop, or during times when you have a cold or flu.

We hope you enjoy your contact lenses, and that this has provided you with some useful tips and recommendations on how to get the best wear from your contacts. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, don’t hesitate to contact Inspired Eyes Optometry.

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