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Your teenage daughter in junior high has been complaining of frequent headaches and watery eyes. You take her for an eye check up before the school resumes only to be told by the doctor that she has developed near-sightedness.
Much as this is upsetting, your daughter thinks it is good news as she now gets to wear contact lenses like some of her friends do. You check with the doctor and s/he prescribes gas permeable (GP) non-rigid lenses for your daughter after going through a short eligibility/evaluation questionnaire.
The doctor gives you her brief on contact lenses. You come home with a trial pair. What should your daughter expect in terms of everyday lens care? Here are a few tips from a lens user (of more than two decades) on how your daughter can maintain her GP lenses:
1. Hygiene and careful handling are the alpha and omega of good lens-wearing practice. Hands should be washed with soap and water before touching the lenses. This means a hand wash before putting the lenses on and a hand wash at the time she is going to take them out.
2. Hands should be rinsed of any soap or lather and other residue such as make-up material or food grease, etc. If soap or any other chemical comes in contact with the lenses and she puts them on, the eyes will experience a sharp burning sensation, irritation and temporary blurring of vision. This implies a hurried job of washing hands and could give unpleasant results.
3. Touching the insides or around the periphery of the eyes with unclean hands should be avoided. Germs from fingers or under fingernails could transfer into the eye and increase the potential for eye infections.
4. Make sure that the vial she is provided with to store the lenses are filled three-fourth way to the rim with the recommended multi-purpose solution (MPS) in which the lenses are to be soaked after taking them out of the eyes. This ensures the lenses are properly submerged and do not dry, warp or wrinkle.
5. Have her clean the lens storage vial twice every week with a weak, soapy solution to rid the vial of any protein residues from the contact lenses or microbial contamination.