1. Health

Video:Hard Contact Lens Care and Wearing Tips

with Dr. Stephen Rozenberg

Rigid contact lenses provide clear and sharp eyesight, but must be maintained properly. See how to care for hard contacts for optimal performance.See Transcript

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Transcript:Hard Contact Lens Care and Wearing Tips

Hello, this is Dr. Stephen Rozenberg from 10/10 Optics, on the corner of Madison Square Park in New York City, here for About.com. I'm going to talk to you about how to clean rigid lenses properly, rigid lens care, and rigid lens wearing tips.

Hard Contact Lens Benefits

Rigid lenses, when properly fit, are the healthiest contact lenses a patient can wear and generally provide the sharpest and clearest eyesight of all contact lenses. Rigid lens solutions range from a single all purpose solution for everything, to five separate solutions.

Hard Contact Lens Cleaning

Let's begin at night when the contact lenses are taken off. The lenses must now be cleaned. Begin by making sure your hands are clean and as disinfected as possible. Soap and water are great. Hand sanitizers such as Purell are great. Make sure the alcohol from the sanitizer is completely gone from your hands. It is best to do all contact lens handing somewhere outside the bathroom.

Using your cleaning solution, which is either a separate cleaner, an all in one solution or a cleaning/soaking solution, begin by cleaning the lenses. They are coated with oil, lipids, mucous, protein and dead cells from wearing them. Most commonly patients rub the lens between their thumb and forefinger in circular motion and then rinse the lens with saline (tap water is not an approved method in contact lens hygiene). While this method is acceptable, it has two flaws. First, the pressure of the two fingers can cause warp-age of the lens over time. The lens may then not fit properly, and discomfort and reduced vision may ensue. Second, the periphery of the inside of the lens where the curvature changes will probably not get the benefit of cleaning. This is an area where the lens gets coated up resulting in the need to purchase new lenses.

Clean the Hard Contact Lenses Correctly

A better way is to place the lens on the edge of the middle finger, with the thumb and forefinger acting to stabilize it. Take a Q-tip saturated with your cleaning solution. Spin the Q-tip between thumb and forefinger like a car wash and go from edge to edge spinning and gently rubbing. Rotate the lens 90 degrees and repeat. The front of the lens can be rubbed with the same Q-tip or forefinger. Rinse the cleaner off well with saline. Place lenses in your case and cover well with soaking, or soaking /disinfecting solution or all in one solution.

Put in Hard Lenses

In the morning, take the lens out of the case. Try not to get your finger print on the inside the lens. You can do this by trying to pour the lens in to the palm of your hands. If the solution you soaked it in overnight is not meant to be a wetting solution, that is, it is not meant to go directly into the eye. Rinse well with saline. Place a drop of wetting solution on the front surface of the lens( if it's coming out of a wetting solution you do not need to repeat this) Then insert one or two drop of wetting solution inside the lens. Look down to the ground when you put the lens on, and place on the cornea. This will cushion the lens and prevent any air bubbles from forming on the cornea.

Hard Contact Lens Cleaning Solutions

Let's review the different solutions or the different function of an all in one solution. Different products will have different combinations. So read the label carefully. Clean the lenses upon removal. This is your cleaning solution. Or the cleaning part of your combination solution. Rinse with saline. Soak in a soaking, or disinfecting solution, or your combination solution ( which should be labeled for overnight soaking).

Rinse before putting lenses on in the morning (if they are soaking in a solution that is not meant to go directly in the eye). Now use your wetting solution to coat the lens with an extra drop inside the lens to put on the eye. If you have a heavy duty cleaner, use that once a week as a substitute for your cleaning step.

Rigid Contact Lens Wearing Tips

It's a good idea to have your lenses deep cleaned and/or polished at your practitioner's office once a year. Do not wear lenses in dusty conditions or around noxious fumes. Sunglasses are a good idea on windy days to keep dust out, as dust can go easily behind a rigid lens versus a soft lens. Do not mix solutions from companies. Stay with a single product item. Best to discuss any changes with your contact lens fitter.

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