When it's time to take out your contact lenses, the process should be as routine as putting them in. Preparation is not just about having the right tools at your disposal, but also about ensuring a safe and hygienic environment for your eyes. The goal is to avoid any unnecessary contact with bacteria or debris that could lead to infections or irritation.
Now, prepare your contact lens case. Rinse it with contact lens solution—not water—and fill it with fresh solution. This is essential because even a clean-looking case can harbor microorganisms that could transfer to your lenses and then to your eyes. Using fresh contacts solution each time minimizes this risk.
This preparation not only sets the stage for a successful lens removal but also reinforces good hygiene habits that are vital for every contact lens wearer.
The initial and most crucial step in the contact lens removal process is thorough hand washing. Your hands are exposed to numerous surfaces throughout the day, collecting bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants that could easily be transferred to your eyes, potentially causing infections like conjunctivitis or keratitis. To prevent this, follow these steps:
Have a mirror handy; a magnifying mirror can be especially helpful if you're a beginner. Ensure that the area around the mirror is stable and free of obstructions. Some people prefer standing over a sink with a stopper in place to prevent a lens from going down the drain, while others might choose to sit down with a clean towel spread out in front of them, just in case the lens falls.
Removing soft contact lenses is generally straightforward:
If the lens is stuck, apply a few drops of rewetting solution to moisten it and try again after a moment or two.
Hard contact lenses, including RGP (Rigid Gas Permeable) lenses, may require a different approach:
After removal, immediately place your lenses in your already-prepared lens case with fresh solution. This not only cleans the lenses but also maintains their shape and quality. Learn more about contact lens care.
For soft lenses:
For hard lenses:
Remember to clean your lens case regularly and allow it to air dry during the day to prevent the growth of microorganisms.
Each step in this process plays an important role in ensuring that your contact lens experience is safe, hygienic, and comfortable. Regular practice and adherence to these steps can help prevent potential eye health issues and make contact lens wear a smooth experience.
Despite following all the right steps, there might be times when you simply cannot remove your contact lens or you experience discomfort that concerns you. In such instances, it’s important to seek professional assistance. Persistent difficulty in lens removal could be a sign of an underlying issue, such as lens suction, dry eye, or inflammation that only a qualified eye care professional can diagnose and treat.
If you feel pain, notice redness, or experience blurred vision that doesn’t improve after the removal of your lenses, it’s crucial to contact your optometrist immediately. Trying to forcibly remove a lens that is not coming out can cause more harm and increase the risk of scratching your cornea or introducing an infection.