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Eye care

Contact Lens Insertion and Removal

Although your eye care practitioner has already demonstrated insertion and removal techniques of your contact lenses, here are some additional tips to assist you in the correct insertion and removal techniques.

Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses with an antibacterial soap being preferable to lessen the chance of infection. Try to be consistent and always insert and remove the same lens first.

Before insertion of the lens, always ensure that the contact is not inside out. Place the contact on your index finger and look at a cross-section to see the curve of the lens. If a lip on the edge of the lens is present (similar to an inverted pith helmet), then the lens is inside out. If the contact has a more rounded shape, then it is ready for insertion. You can also do the "taco test" where you gently pinch the edges of the lens together. If the edges roll inwards then the lens is inside out.  Wearing a lens inside-out will usually result in the lens moving more with each blink resulting in an intermittent blurring of vision with each blink. It can also cause toric lenses for astigmatism to rotate causing unstable vision. 

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Soft Contact Lenses

For the right lens, place the lens on the index finger of the right hand. Hold your top lid with the index and longest finger of the left hand. It is easier to hold the lid if you trap the eyelashes under the fingertips with the fingers more or less vertical. Looking in a mirror, hold the bottom lid with the longest finger on the right hand. Gently place the contact lens on your eye, release your hands and slowly close your lids. Wait a few seconds and check the lens is centred properly. If the lens is uncomfortable, slide it onto the white of your eye and then re-centre the lens. This should remove any dust or debris trapped under the contact. Follow the same procedure for your left eye. With more experience, some wearers prefer to instil a drop of lens lubricant to the inside of the lens prior to insertion. This helps to lubricate the contact and minimise the risk of debris or foreign matter being trapped underneath the lens.  

Some people prefer to stand while looking in a vertical mirror.  Others prefer the mirror to be flat on a table while you lean over it. 

Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

For the right contact, place the lens on the index finger of the right hand. Hold your top lid with the index and longest finger of the left hand. It is easier to hold the lid if you trap the eyelashes under the fingertips, with the fingers more or less vertical. Place a mirror flat on a table. Leaning over the mirror, bring your finger slowly toward your eye until the lens is placed centrally on your eye. Release your hands and slowly close your lids. Wait a few seconds and check the contact lens is centred properly. If the contact has dislodged onto the white part of your eye, position it centrally by massaging the lens through your closed eyelid. Follow the same procedure for your left eye.

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Removal of your Contact Lenses

Soft Contact Lenses

If the lens feels dry, insert a drop of contact lens lubricant just prior to removing the lens from the eye. For your right lens, hold your top lid with the index and longest finger of the left hand. It is easier to hold the lid if you trap the eyelashes under the fingertips, with the fingers more or less vertical. Looking in a mirror, hold the bottom lid with the longest finger on the right hand. Place the thumb and index finger of your right hand on either side of the lens and looking up slightly, slowly pinch the outside of the lens. The contact will buckle slightly and lift off your eye. Do not pinch the lens hard, otherwise it may split. Follow the same procedure for your left eye. 

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Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

Method 1

Ensure the lens is positioned correctly. For each eye, open your eye wide so that your lids are not resting on the contact lens. Pull on the outer edge of your eye so that the top and bottom lids are pulled taut. Ensure your hand is positioned beneath your eye so as to catch the lens. Blink quickly and the lid pressure will cause the lens to pop out onto your hand. If the lens becomes dislodged while attempting removal re-centre it before continuing.

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Method 2

Ensure the lens is positioned correctly. For each eye, open your eye wide so that your lids are not resting on the contact lens. Position the contact lens remover perpendicular to your eye and slowly bring it closer until the lens adheres to the suction cup. After removing the lens from your eye slide the contact lens off the remover. Please ensure the lens remover is keep clean.

Caring for your eyes

Contact lens wearers should adopt a responsible attitude to lens wear. You should have your lenses checked by your eye care practitioner regularly. It is also your responsibility to check your eyes daily for early signs of problems. This is best performed by the principle of Look Good, See Good and Feel Good. 

Verify after inserting the lenses that your eyes "Look Good" and appear white. Then check that they "See Good" by closing each eye and ensuring that you can see normally. Then check that they "Feel Good" by blinking after insertion and confirming there is no discomfort. If you fail any of these tests remove the lenses and clean them. If upon reinsertion the symptoms persist and the lenses continue to irritate, then immediately discontinue wear and consult your contact lens practitioner.

Caring for your Lenses

Always use the solutions that your eye care practitioner has recommended. Maintaining lenses usually consists of cleaning, rinsing and disinfecting. More information on cleaning and caring for lenses can be found here

Soft Contact Lenses

The following is the correct procedure for the care of lenses using a multipurpose chemical disinfecting system such as "Renu", "Complete" or "Optifresh".

Shake the bottle of cleaner or multi-purpose solution. Apply two drops to the lens and rub the lens in a circular motion in the palm of your hand with the index finger of your other hand. Perform this for 20 seconds and turn the lens over to repeat on the other side of the lens. Rinse both sides of the lens with saline or multi-purpose solution. Place the contact lens in the case with fresh disinfecting multipurpose solution (do not use saline). Repeat for the other lens. Replace lens cap and tighten. Each morning after re-inserting the lenses empty the case and leave it uncapped upside down on a tissue to dry. The case should be cleaned regularly and replaced with each new bottle of solution. 

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Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

The following is the correct procedure for the care of lenses using a chemical disinfecting system.

Shake the bottle of cleaner or multi-purpose solution. Apply two drops to the lens. Rub the lens in the palm of your hand, or between your index finger and thumb in a circular motion for 20 seconds. Rinse the lens with saline. Place the contact lens in the case with fresh disinfecting solution. Repeat for the other lens. Replace lens cap and tighten. Dispose of the solution each morning.

Caring for your case

Studies have found the contact lens case to be the most frequent source of ocular infection. Every morning after inserting your contact lenses the case should be emptied of solution, rinsed and placed on a tissue to air dry. The case should be scrubbed weekly with hot water or contact lens solution and replaced regularly. Often a new case will be enclosed with your contact lens solutions. Do not store your lens case adjacent to the toilet. 

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©1999-2017 WebContacts Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. Eye care products and contact lenses from premium brands at discount prices.

WebContacts Pty Ltd is not offering individual advice on contact lens wear and provides a contact lens replacement service. Always follow your eye care practitioner's advice for the proper use and care of your contact lenses and have your eyes examined regularly. If you experience any pain or discomfort from your contact lenses, discontinue use immediately and consult your eye care practitioner.