We were accustomed to hear other doctors saying, “Just air dry your contact lens case and you are good to go.” Actually there’s more to making your contact lens case virtually bacteria free than just air-drying. I want you to go and check your contact lens case… it should not be brownish, yellowish or have spots of black pigments. If your case has one of them, it’s time to throw them away. Remember, change your contact lens case every time you change your solution—that is between 1 to 3 months time.
As important as cleaning your contact lens is making sure you also maintain the cleanliness of your case where you put your lenses. A number one no-no is washing your case with water. Water has acanthamoeba that can stick to your case and may inadvertently be transferred to your contact lenses. Acanthamoeba can cause serious infection.
Clinical trials are always being conducted to unlock ways to prevent any microbial infection in contact lens wear. Saying that, the Brian Holden Vision Institute, a well-respected vision institute located in Australia explained in one of their studies, that to have the least amount of bacteria present in your case, the old air-drying contact lens cases is not enough.
We need to do 4 steps right after throwing out the old solution from the case:
- Rinse the case and caps with fresh contact lens solution.
- Rub the case and caps with fresh contact lens solution.
- Throw the excess solution and wipe the case and caps with lint-free tissue.
- Turn the case and caps upside down and place on top of a clean tissue.
These additional steps ensure that no biofilm will be formed on the case and caps. Biofilm is a group of microorganisms growing on a solid surface (living or non-living) and are generally embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). — wouldn’t you want it out of your cases?