During normal wear, dirt, protein particles, and germs can get on soft contacts. Peroxide disinfection kills the germs, which can cause serious eye infections. The rest of the cleaning process removes substances that may shorten the life of the lenses or irritate your eyes.
You need to disinfect your lenses every time you remove them. If you have daily-wear soft contacts, you will clean and disinfect them every night. If you have extended-wear soft contacts, you should clean and disinfect them every time you take them out (usually once a week). Most eye care providers suggest that you remove all contact lenses before sleeping, even the extended-wear kind. Ask your eye care provider about this.
To properly clean and disinfect your lenses, you will need:
To clean your lenses, follow these steps:
Your eye care provider may also recommend enzyme cleaning to help remove protein deposits. Enzyme cleaning is usually done once every week or two. Use the enzyme cleaner on the same day each week to help you remember when to do it.
Use your enzyme cleaner as directed. Then clean, disinfect, and rinse your lenses before putting them in.
Most enzyme cleaners come in tablet form. Some tablets can be put in the hydrogen peroxide soak. The enzyme works and is no longer active by the end of the 6-hour or overnight soak. Be sure to use only enzyme tablets that are made for use with a hydrogen peroxide disinfection system.
There are many different contact lens care products on the market. Your eye care provider will recommend certain products based on what is best for your contacts and safest for your eyes. Always check with your eye care provider before changing contact lens solutions. Other products might work, but using different solutions could irritate your eyes or discolor your lenses. Always read the instructions that come with your contact lens products.
Never use homemade solutions to clean or store your lenses.