You know where to score affordable contact lenses and you know how to take proper care of contact lenses, but are you treating your contact lens case right? No matter how long you soak your lenses, if your contact lens case isn’t clean and fresh, you could be posing a hazard to those gorgeous eyes of yours. We’re all about eye health and safety at Fresh Lens, so we’ve put together a guide to caring for your contact lens cases.
Unless you wear dailies, you’re supposed to take your contact lenses out every single night, place them in a solution-filled case and soak them. That means your contact lens case is getting lots of use and staying wet. You’re also most likely housing the case in your bathroom (hopefully outside of your toilet’s splash radius), which is also a damp spot. You know what absolutely loves damp crevices? Bacteria! Bacteria breed in those lens cases unless you’re keeping them clean and replacing them fairly often and this bacteria can lead to a serious eye infections when it jumps onto your lenses.
After you put your contact lenses in, make sure you empty out all of the old solution from your case – don’t you dare reuse it! Rinse out the case with fresh contact solution. Never use water because it’s not sterile and contains microorganisms that can be harmful to your eyes. Hopefully you washed your hands before putting in your lenses, because you’ll want to use clean fingers to rub the inside of the case. Give it another rinse, wipe it with a clean tissue and then place it face down on another clean tissue and let it air dry with the lids off. When it’s dry, you can screw the caps back on and put it away. There is one exception. If you use a case lined with silver nitrate, you’ll want to screw the lids on tightly so that the silver ions can do their germ-killing thing. A study found that this rub, rinse, air dry method removed significantly more bacteria then the manufacturer recommended rinse and air dry method.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests replacing contact lens cases every three months. However, in between replacements, you can wash your contact lens case in the dishwasher periodically. Cleaning contact lens cases in boiling water also works. Simply boil the case for five minutes before allowing it to air dry. We recommend staying away from methods like cleaning contact lens cases with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (unless you’re using a hydrogen peroxide cleaning system, of course). Rinsing the case daily and following the aforementioned replacement schedule is generally enough.
A smooth contact lens case is easiest to keep sanitized as bacteria can snuggle into the grooves in ridged lens cases. Manufacturers are also experimenting with silver nitrate lined cases, though there are some drawbacks as the silver lining doesn’t kill all microorganisms and some people are allergic to it. At this point, a regular old smooth, inexpensive contact lens case is probably your best bet. While there are designer contact lens cases, and we’re not ones to frown on expressing yourself, don’t get overly attached to the case because you’ll still need to throw it away at the three-month mark.
While the standards for caring for your contact lenses are pretty clear, we probably don’t talk about contact lens case care quite enough. Following this guide will keep your eyes happy and healthy. What should you fill your clean, super sanitary contact lens case with? How about checking out our wide selection of contact lenses online and taking advantage of free shipping to the U.S and Canada?
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