Contact Lens Aftercare
Is Contact Lens Aftercare Available Online
What Is Contact Lens Aftercare
Contact lens aftercare is an important part of being a successful contact lens wearer.
Traditionally contact lens aftercare was, and in some cases still is, provided by your optometrist. This would involve an appointment of about 15- 20 minutes whereby your optometrist would ask you questions about your wear time, your handling techniques, your cleaning regime etc to determine that you are not harming the health of your eyes by falling into bad habits.
The Importance of Contact Lens Aftercare
Just because optometrist practices are dropping out of providing contact lens aftercare, doesn’t mean it is no longer important, it's just that it is not something that requires a 15-20 minute appointment any longer.
How Often Do I Need Contact Lens Aftercare
It is recommended that you perform a contact lens aftercare every year. This does not replace the need for a contact lens check up- which still needs to be carried out by your optometrist to check the heath of your eyes.
We think that once you’ve made your contact lens check-up appointment is a great time to carry out an online contact lens aftercare, that way you can highlight any issues you may have, and be ready to raise them when you see your optometrist.
Online Contact Lens Aftercare
You can perform an online contact lens aftercare at home in just a few minutes
By asking yourself these few questions you can determine whether you need to see an optometrist or maybe you just need to make some modification in your wear time or cleaning routines.
How long do you wear your lenses daily?
If this is longer than your optometrist recommended then it may be time to dial back your wear time to keep your eyes the healthiest they can be and ensure you can continue wearing lenses for many years to come.
How often do you replace your lenses?
If you wear daily lenses are you replacing them daily?
If you wear monthly lenses, are you replacing them monthly?
If you are wearing your lenses beyond the recommended replacement time this is not good practice. It may be a little more economical to stretch the wear time of your lenses but the wear time is there for a reason.
OK, your lenses will not spontaneously combust at the end of their wear time, but bacteria and protein deposits can build up on the lenses causing irritation and infections, plus, they have not been engineered to withstand the extra cleaning, so could be more liable to split or chip.
We advise that you always stick to the manufacturer's wear time schedule.
Do you fall asleep in your lenses? If so how often does this occur and for how long?
It is not healthy for your eyes to fall asleep in your lenses, the more often you do this and the longer you do this, the risk of depleting your eyes of the oxygen they need increases, and increases the risk of irritation, swelling, and corneal ulcers
If you regularly fall asleep in your contact lenses talk to your optometrist about extended wear lenses and never miss your contact lens check-ups.
Do you swim or shower in your lenses?
This is an easy habit to fall into, but not one that is recommended.
Any water source, whether, pool, tap, lake or sea can change the shape of your lenses and cause micro-abrasions to your cornea. Another problem is that water of any kind can contain unseen bacteria that can cause infections ranging from mild to sight threatening.
If you do get your lenses wet - don’t panic, as soon as possible remove the lens and throw it away, then insert a new fresh pair of lenses.
How do you rate your comfort out of 10? At the start of the day and at the end of the day?
Seven or above is what you are looking for here.
If you score your comfort levels lower than 7, you should speak to your optometrist about other options.
How do you rate your vision out of 10 for tasks that you do regularly like watching TV, driving, computer use, and reading?
Unless you score 8 or above then you may not be seeing as well as you could. It may be that your prescription has changed or that you’ve developed some, or more, astigmatism, either way we recommend you make an appointment with your optometrist.
Do you notice your vision fluctuating at all during lens wear?
If the answer to this is yes it could be that your lenses are not fitting as well as they could, or that you have a build up of dirt or grease indicating they need a little more cleaning, or that they need disposing of.
If you think the fluctuating vision is due to the lens moving when blinking, then make an appointment for a contact lens check up, to discuss options with your optometrist.
For monthly lens wearers how do you rate your comfort levels out of 10 when the lens is new and when the lens is due for replacement?
If your comfort level when your lenses are due for replacement is 2 points or more lower than when your lenses are new, speak to your optometrist about other options, you may want to consider daily disposables or review your cleaning regime.
How easy do you find handling your contact lenses?
If you feel like a pro? Then great, well done you.
If you are still feeling a little awkward, or are taking longer than you think you should, then this is OK in the early days, practice really does make perfect. If you have any concerns or feel you’ve forgotten a few steps check out our helpful guides on insertion and removal, or speak to your optometrist about a refresher.
Re-assess how you insert and remove your lenses
It’s always worth re looking at how you insert and remove your lenses, ask yourself are your hands clean, are you handling the lenses as little as possible, are you avoiding touching the lens with your nails. This is a good time to re look at our helpful videos on insertion and removal (see links above)
Do you always clean your hands before inserting and removing your lenses?
The importance of clean hands when handling contact lenses can not be stressed enough. The two main reasons clean hands are important is comfort - if your hands contain substances like, oil, cat hair, or dust particles this can transfer to your contact lenses and cause irritation, pain and watery eyes, if the particles are on the large size then there is an increased risk of causing tears and chips in the lens.
The other reason is the risk of transferring bacteria from your hand to your lenses, raising the risk of eye infections.
Lens Care - This applies to reusable contact lens wearers
Take a moment to review how you clean and store your lenses
Are you using a proprietary solution recommended for contact lens cleaning and storage? This is important as the use of homemade solution or tap water can be dangerous and lead to sight threatening infections
How do you store your lenses?
Are they stored overnight in a clean contact lens case with enough fresh solution to immerse the lens? this will help prevent infections and your lenses from drying out
If you are not wearing your lenses how often do you replace the soaking solution?
Providing the contact lens case is tightly sealed then you should be replacing the soaking solution at least every 3 days- to keep your lenses fresh and clean and provide you with maximum wear time. It is also advised that you air dry your case whilst you are wearing your lenses.
How old is your lens case?
It is highly recommended that you replace your lens case monthly to prevent the build up of bacteria, many contact lens solutions come with a complimentary case, which is great, meaning that every time you start a new solution bottle you can move your lenses to a fresh, clean, new case.
Checkout our helpful guide on how to clean and store your contact lenses
Now that you don’t need to make an appointment, spend 20 minutes, plus travel time attending an appointment, or pay for an appointment, there really is no excuse not to put your eye health first and take control of your contact lens after care.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 27 Sep 2023, Last modified: 27 Sep 2023