GP (Gas Permeable) lenses require different care to soft contact lenses, with their own routines and products for cleaning, insertion and removal.
Always wash and rinse your hands thoroughly and dry with a lint-free towel/tissue before handling contact lenses. All traces of soap, perfumes, hair-spray, creams and lotions should be removed from your hands and around your eyes.
You may experience some discomfort if the lens is not in place correctly, or if a foreign body, such as an eyelash or make-up pigment, is trapped underneath the lens. If this is the case, remove the lens and re-insert.
Rinse your case out with hot water, wipe with a tissue and leave to dry upside down on a clean paper towel.
Suction removal tools can be used to easily remove your lenses. These are simply placed on the lens and taken out of the eye. However, make sure you can remove your lenses manually in case you do not have a suction tool at hand. Purchase a suction tool from our shop here.
CAPTION: Different styles of suction tool. The green and blue style are most commonly used by our patients.
Occasionally a lens may become dislodged within your eye. This may be uncomfortable, but do not panic.
Sometimes it helps to nudge the lens with your lids. Avoid directly pushing the lens back into place as this can damage the surface of your eye.
Always clean your lenses after wear; an effective cleaning process is vital to ensure comfortable, hygienic and infection-free contact lens wear. With correct cleaning, contact lenses will feel better on your eyes, allow better eye health and vision, and dramatically reduce bacteria and other contaminants. There are several steps involved in cleaning and storing RGP lenses depending on your cleaning system:
These solutions work by having your contact lenses immersed and sterilised in 3% hydrogen peroxide. Over the course of a 6 hour period the catalyst in the case converts the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. This cleaning solution has the advantage that when your lenses are removed from the case they require no rinsing as they are covered only in sterile, non-preserved water. They also generally require no rubbing step, which decreases the risk of accidental breakage. The case can be left to air dry when not in use, and should be replaced with each new bottle of solution. AO Sept now had the addition of Hydraglyde, an ingredient which improves the wettability of your contact lenses, making them more useful for scleral patients with long day-wear times.
To clean your lenses fill the case up to the line, place your lenses in the correct cage-holder. Most scleral lenses will generally fit into this case, ask your optometrist if the holder does not close easily. Then submerge the case and screw closed. Take care when transporting the case as sometimes the small gas-release hole can leak solution.
Care should be taken not to get the un-neutralised peroxide in your eyes as this will sting painfully. If this occurs rinse thoroughly with water and contact your optometrist if the pain persists or your vision is affected.
Purchase AoSept with Hydraglyde from our shop here.
Place a few drops of rigid contact lens solution (eg Menicare Plus or Boston Simplus) on the palm and the lens, then rub with your finger-pad for at least 10 seconds on each side. The back surface (concave) is best cleaned by moving your thumb across the surface. This step removes material deposited on the lens during wear. Whilst RGP lenses are strong, with incorrect technique or too much force they can break. Some patients benefit from using a dedicated detergent cleaner such as Lobob rather than their storage solution for this cleaning step.
Place the lens in fresh solution in your lens case – ensure the lens is completely submerged. This step kills microbes on your lenses and prepares the surface of your lens to stay wet through-out wear, increasing comfort. Store your lenses in this solution for at least 4 hours for the cleaning process to be complete. NEVER rinse or store your lenses in tap water, as micro-organisms are plentiful and can cause infections in your eyes.
Find Menicare from our shop here.
Patients are advised to use a deeper protein removal product like Progent at least every month. To use Progent, combine the A and B vials in a lens case and submerge your lenses in this for 30 mins. Ensure your lenses are thoroughly rinsed and cleaned after using Progent before inserting into your eyes. Find Progent at our shop here.
Rigid contact lenses are made of a strong polymer which resists damage in normal wearing circumstances. However, they can still break if mishandled. There are some tricks you can learn to minimise this chance.
It is very rare for a lens to break in your eye unless something hits your eye or your removal technique is incorrect/very forceful. The solutions you use to clean your lenses will not weaken or degrade them ‒ not even the powerful Progent fortnightly deep cleaner.
We understand that when you are learning how to use your lenses you may be inadvertently forceful during insertion, removal or cleaning. Because of this we offer a 1 month manufacturer’s replacement warranty on accidental breakages. Outside of this period, your lens is not covered by a warranty and the lens will need to be replaced at your cost if damaged or lost. If you break a lens within 1 year of its original purchase/fit then we are happy to offer 50% off the price. Outside of this 12 month period the lens will be full-price.
Normally a lens will take less than one week to arrive from the lab when ordered. If you are very dependent on the lens, we will of course ask our lens company to manufacture it as soon as possible. Because of the inevitable waiting time, we encourage all rigid lens wearers to have a spare set of lenses available for a situation where a lens is lost or broken. We also offer 50% off the full price for a spare lens if purchased within 12 months of the original.
If you do lose or damage a lens, please don’t fret, just give our friendly team a call and we will arrange a replacement as quickly as we can.