Contact Lens Wearer's Guide
It is essential that you learn and use good hygienic methods in the care and handling of your new lenses. Cleanliness is the first and most important aspect of proper contact lens care. In particular, your hands should be clean and free of any foreign substances when you handle your lenses.
The procedures are:
- Always wash your hands thoroughly with a mild soap, rinse completely, and dry with a lint-free towel before touching your lenses.
- Avoid the use of soaps containing cold cream, lotion, or oily cosmetics before handling your lenses, since these substances may come into contact with the lenses and interfere with successful wearing.
- Handle your lenses with your fingertips, and be careful to avoid contact with fingernails. It is helpful to keep your fingernails short and smooth.
Start off correctly by getting into the habit of always using proper hygienic procedures so that they become automatic.
2. Opening the Multipack and Lens Package
It is simple to open the multipack. Locate the opening flap on the front of the multipack and pull up to break the seal. Inside you will find six lenses. Each lens comes in its own lens package designed specifically to maintain sterility. To close the multipack for storage, just tuck in the flap.
To open an individual lens package, follow these simple steps:
- Shake the lens package and check to see that the lens is floating in the solution.
- Peel back the foil closure to reveal the lens. By stabilizing the lens package on the tabletop, you will minimize the possibility of a sudden splash.
Occasionally, a lens may adhere to the inside surface of the foil when opened, or to the plastic package itself. This will not affect the sterility of the lens. It is still perfectly safe to use. Carefully remove and inspect the lens following the handling instructions.
Note: Always start with the lens for your right eye. Making this a habit will help ensure that you always place the correct lens on the correct eye.
- Develop the habit of always working with the same lens first to avoid mixups.
- Remove the lens from its storage case and examine it to be sure that it is moist, clean, clear, and free of any nicks or tears. If the lens appears damaged, do not use it. Use the next lens in the multipack.
Verify that the lens is not turned inside out by placing it on your forefinger and checking its profile. The lens should assume a natural, curved, bowl-like shape (Fig. A). If the lens edges tend to point outward, the lens is inside out (Fig. B). Another method is to gently squeeze the lens between the thumb and forefinger. The edges should turn inward. If the lens is inside out, the edges will turn slightly outward.
Remember, start with your right eye.
Once you have opened the lens package, removed and examined the lens, follow these steps to apply the lens to your eye:
- Place the lens on the tip of your forefinger. BE SURE THE LENS IS CORRECTLY ORIENTED (see "Handling The Lenses").
- Place the middle finger of the same hand close to your lower eyelashes and pull down the lower lid.
- Use the forefinger or middle finger of the other hand to lift the upper lid.
- Place the lens on the eye.
- Gently release the lids and blink. The lens will center automatically.
- Use the same technique when inserting the lens for your left eye.
Note: If you need to rinse the lenses before you insert it into your eye, use only fresh sterile saline solution. Never use tap water.
There are other methods of lens placement. If the above method is difficult for you, your eye care practitioner will provide you with an alternate method.
Note: If after placement of the lens, your vision is blurred, check for the following:
The lens is not centered on the eye (see "Centering the Lens", next in this booklet).
If the lens is centered, remove the lens (see "Removing the Lens") and check for the following:
- Cosmetics or oils on the lens. Dispose of the lens and insert a fresh new lens.
- The lens is on the wrong eye.
- The lens is inside-out (it would also not be as comfortable as normal).
If you find that your vision is still blurred after checking the above possibilities, remove both lenses and consult your eye care practitioner.
If a lens becomes less comfortable than when it was first inserted or if it is markedly uncomfortable upon insertion, remove the lens immediately and contact your eye care practitioner.
After you have successfully inserted your lenses, you should ask yourself:
How do the lenses feel on my eyes?
How do my eyes look?
Do I see well?
If your examination shows any problems IMMEDIATELY REMOVE YOUR LENSES AND CONTACT YOUR EYE CARE PRACTITIONER.
A lens which is on the cornea will very rarely be displaced onto the white part of the eye during wear. This, however, can occur if insertion and removal procedures are not performed properly. To center a lens, follow either of these procedures:
- Close your eyelids and gently massage the lens into place through the closed lids
- Gently manipulate the off-centered lens onto the cornea while the eye is opened, using finger pressure on the edge of the upper lid or lower lid.
Always remove the same lens first.
- Wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly.
CAUTION: Always be sure the lens is on the cornea before attempting to remove it. Determine this by covering the other eye. If vision is blurred, the lens is either on the white part of the eye or it is not on the eye at all. To locate the lens, inspect the upper area of the eye by looking down into a mirror while pulling the upper lid up. Then, inspect the lower area by pulling the lower lid down.
- There are two recommended methods of lens removal: the Pinch Method and the Forefinger and Thumb Method. You should follow the method that was recommended by your eye care practitioner.
- Look up, slide the lens to the lower part of the eye using the forefinger.
- Gently pinch the lens between the thumb and forefinger.
- Remove the lens.
Forefinger and Thumb Method:
- Place your hand or towel under your eye to catch the lens.
- Place your forefinger on the center of the upper lid and your thumb on the center of the lower lid.
- Press in and force a blink. The lens should fall onto your hand or the towel.
Once the lens is removed, DISCARD the lens.
Note: The lens may come out but remain on the eyelid, finger or thumb.
- Remove the other lens by following the same procedure.
Note: Pinching the lens between the thumb and forefinger is not harmful, provided the fingernails do not contact the lens. Some people find a mirror helpful when removing the lens.
- Follow the required lens care procedures described under the heading, "Caring for Your Lenses (Cleaning, Rinsing, Disinfecting, Storage and Rewetting/ Lubricating)".
Note: If these methods of removing your lenses are difficult for you, your eye care practitioner will provide you with an alternate method.
For continued safe and comfortable wearing of your lenses, it is important that you first clean and rinse, then disinfect [and neutralize (for hydrogen peroxide systems)] your lenses after each removal, using the care regimen recommended by your eye care practitioner. Cleaning and rinsing are necessary to remove mucus, secretions, films or deposits which may have accumulated during wearing. The ideal time to clean your lenses is immediately after removing them. Disinfecting is necessary to destroy harmful germs.
You should adhere to a recommended care regimen. Failure to follow the regimen may result in development of serious ocular complications, as discussed in the 'Warnings' section.
If you require only vision correction, but will not or cannot adhere to a recommended care regimen for your lenses, or are unable to place and remove lenses or have someone available to place and remove them, you should not attempt to get and wear contact lenses.
When you first get your lenses, be sure to put the lenses on and remove them while you are in your eye care practitioner's office. At that time you will be provided with a recommended cleaning and disinfection regimen and instructions and warnings for lens care, handling, cleaning and disinfection. Your eye care practitioner should instruct you about appropriate and adequate procedures and products for your use.
For safe contact lens wear, you should know and always practice your lens care routine:
- Always wash, rinse and dry hands before handling contact lenses.
- Always use fresh unexpired lens care solution.
- Use the recommended system of lens care, chemical (not heat), and carefully follow instructions on solution labeling. Different solutions cannot always be used together, and not all solutions are safe for use with all lenses. Do not alternate or mix lens care systems unless indicated on solution labeling.
- Always remove, clean, rinse and disinfect your lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your eye care practitioner. The use of any cleaning solution does not substitute for disinfection.
- Do not use saliva or anything other than the recommended solutions for lubricating or rewetting your lenses. Do not put lenses in your mouth.
- Lenses prescribed on the frequent replacement program should be thrown away after the recommended wearing period prescribed by your eye care practitioner.
- Never rinse your lenses in water from the tap. There are two reasons for this:
- Tap water contains many impurities that can contaminate or damage your lenses and may lead to eye infection or injury.
- You might lose your lens down the drain.
- Your eye care practitioner should recommend a care system that is appropriate for your Contact Lens. Each lens care product contains specific directions for use and important safety information, which you should read and carefully follow.
Note: Some solutions may have more than one function, which will be indicated on the label. Read the label on the solution bottle and follow instructions.
- Clean one lens first (always the same lens first to avoid mixups), rinse the lens thoroughly with recommended saline or disinfecting solution to remove the cleaning solution, mucus and film from the lens surface. Follow the instructions provided in the cleaning solution labeling. Put that lens into the correct chamber of the lens storage case. Then repeat the procedure for the second lens.
- After cleaning, disinfect lenses using the system recommended by your eye care practitioner and/or the lens manufacturer. Follow the instructions provided in the disinfection solution labeling.
- To store lenses, disinfect and leave them in the closed/unopened case until ready to wear. If lenses are not to be used immediately following disinfection, you should consult the package insert or your eye care practitioner for information on storage of your lenses.
- Always keep your lenses completely immersed in a recommended disinfecting solution when the lenses are not being worn. If you discontinue wearing your lenses, but plan to begin wearing them again after a few weeks, ask your eye care practitioner for a recommendation on how to store your lenses.
- Contact Lenses cannot be heat (thermally) disinfected.
- After removing your lenses from the lens case, empty and rinse the lens storage case with solution(s) recommended by the lens case manufacturer; then allow the lens case to air dry. When the case is used again, refill it with fresh storage solution. Replace lens case at regular intervals.
- Your eye care practitioner may recommend a lubricating/rewetting solution for your use. Lubricating/rewetting solutions can be used to wet (lubricate) your lenses while you are wearing them to make them more comfortable.
If a lens sticks (stops moving) on your eye, apply a few drops of the recommended lubricating solution. You should wait until the lens begins to move freely on the eye before removing it. If non-movement of the lens continues, you should IMMEDIATELY consult your eye care practitioner.
- Clean the contact lenses with a recommended cleaning solution and thoroughly rinse them with a recommended rinsing solution.
- After cleaning, to disinfect, carefully follow the instructions accompanying the disinfecting solution in the care regimen recommended by the lens manufacturer or the eye care practitioner.
- When using hydrogen peroxide lens care systems, lenses must be neutralized before wearing. Follow the recommendations on the hydrogen peroxide system labeling.
- Thoroughly rinse lenses with a fresh solution recommended for rinsing before inserting and wearing, or follow the instructions on the disinfection solution labeling.
- Do not heat the disinfection solution and lenses.
- Leave the lenses in the unopened storage case until ready to put on the eyes.
Caution: Lenses that are chemically disinfected may absorb ingredients from the disinfecting solution which may be irritating to the eyes. A thorough rinse in fresh sterile saline solution prior to placement on the eye should reduce the potential for irritation.
Contact lens cases can be a source of bacteria growth. Lens cases should be emptied, cleaned, rinsed with solutions recommended by the lens case manufacturer and allowed to air dry. Lens cases should be replaced at regular intervals, as recommended by the lens case manufacturer or your eye care practitioner.
If a soft, hydrophilic contact lens is exposed to air while off the eye, it may become dry and brittle. If this happens, dispose of the lens and use a fresh new one.
If chemicals of any kind (household products, gardening solutions, laboratory chemicals, etc.) are splashed into your eyes: FLUSH EYES IMMEDIATELY WITH TAP WATER AND IMMEDIATELY CONTACT YOUR EYE CARE PRACTITIONER OR VISIT A HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM WITHOUT DELAY.
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