Caring for Specialty Lenses: 6 Tips You Should Follow
At Miami Contact Lens Institute, we regularly work with patients who require specialty contact lenses to achieve effective vision correction or protection of the ocular surface. These lenses—including scleral lenses, orthokeratology lenses, EyePrintPRO lenses, rose-K lenses, and even cosmetic lenses—help patients who, for various reasons, cannot wear standard contact lenses. For individuals with corneal irregularities, refractive errors (including myopia, astigmatism, and hyperopia), dry eyes, and a variety of other conditions, specialty lenses can provide tailored fits and powerful vision correction to keep patients moving forward when standard lenses fail.
While specialty lenses bring unique benefits, they also require lens care strategies that are a bit different (and a bit more complex) than what you’d expect from standard lenses. If you are just starting to use specialty lenses, keep these tips for lens care in mind.
Review strategies for lens insertion, removal, and care with your eye doctor
The most important thing to remember with specialty lenses is that each lens type has its own specific care regimen. Instead of assuming anything, ask your eye care practitioner to walk you through the best practices for lens insertion, lens removal, and overall lens care. Specialty lenses cost more than standard lenses and typically aren’t single-use or disposable. You’re meant to use them repeatedly, which means lens care is extremely important. Taking the time to learn the lens care regimen for your specialty lenses will maximize the value that you get from your investment in the lenses while protecting the health of your eyes.
Use the appropriate tools and products
While it’s always smart to go over lens care and lens wear strategies with your eye care practitioner, you should also read the instructions that come with your new specialty lenses. In the instruction pamphlet, you should find recommendations regarding which cleaning products to use with your lenses and whether you need to use any specific tools for inserting, removing, and storing your lenses. For instance, in the case of scleral lenses, you should receive a lens insertion and removal tool.
Don’t forget special steps
Specialty lenses often have a more complicated insertion processes than standard lenses. For instance, with scleral lenses, you will have to complete the extra step of filling them with saline solution before insertion. This step creates the “vault” of solution that exists between the cornea and the lens, important for vision correction, comfort, and eye health. Be sure to fill the scleral lens completely with solution to avoid bubbles upon insertion that might cause discomfort or hamper vision correction. Follow all care instructions to the letter for best results.
Insert your lenses in the same order every day
Your specialty lenses aren’t interchangeable. In most cases, your optometrist customize these lenses to each individual eye—sometimes, with a distinctly different fit in each eye. To make sure that you don’t mix up your lenses and insert them into the wrong eyes, insert your lenses in the same order each day (e.g., left lens first, right lens second). Do the same with lens cleaning to help keep track of which lens is which. Some lenses come with a mark on the right lens so you can easily tell the difference between the right and left.
Clean and disinfect lenses after every removal
Every time you remove your lenses from your eyes, you need to clean them and disinfect them. This process will remove mucus and bacteria from the lens, helping to preserve lens function and sanitation. You need to carry out this cleaning process after removing your lenses.
At Miami Contact Lens Institute, we always review lens care best practices thoroughly with our patients after lens fitting. Contact us today if you have any questions about specialty contact lens care or are looking for a fitting for a special type of contact lens.