Every contact wearer knows that in order to avoid nasty eye disorders or eye irritation, you must only wear your lenses for their suggested lifespan. After all, contact lenses not only accumulate dirt and debris as they’re worn, but they may also warp over time. However, did you know that just as your contacts can dirty with each wear, the case you keep your lenses in can also cause infections if it isn’t cleaned properly?
Since no one wants to wake up to an eye infection, we’ve put together a helpful guide to cleaning your contact case. You’ve already read the why, now here’s the when and how.
How often should I clean my contact lens case?
Contact lens cases should be cleaned as often as possible, preferably after every use.
If you are sitting there with the same case that came with your contacts (that you received last January), we’d advise you find the nearest trash can and throw that case out. Even though the case may seem like an insignificant piece of plastic, dirt and bacteria can build up over time within the case. It is generally recommended that contact lens cases be used for no longer than three months. After this period, a brand new, sterile case should be used.
While you may think running your case under lukewarm water to wash away used solution is doing the trick, it actually isn’t. Contact lens cases should only be cleaned with sterile contact lens solution. Here is a quick and dirty list of the most sanitary and effective way to clean your contact lens case:
1. Wash your hands with soap and hot water. Make sure you rinse any perfumes, oils, or lotions from your hands.
2. Remove contacts from case and place in an alternate, unused case.
3. Use brand name solution to rinse the case out. You should not use water to rinse the case. While solution and water may seem very similar, sight threatening issues can arise from exposing your contact lenses to water, such as Acanthamoeba keratitis. Even water that is safe to drink is not 100% sterile and contains microorganisms. Furthermore, contact lenses absorb water, making them to grow and can cause irritation when worn.
4. Use a clean lint-free towel to dry the inside of the case or keep the lids off and let the case air dry.
Now that you know when and how to clean your contact lens case, you should never have an excuse for having dirty contact lenses. Carrying an extra case and container of solution will make you ready for any occasion or situation that comes up. For some however, continually caring for and storing contacts may be a burden they aren’t willing to carry—for these people we suggest Acuvue daily disposable lenses.
Don’t forget to check out cute contact lens cases like this, available through Replace My Contacts.