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Ensuring Safe Use of Contact Lens Solution

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The Rub and Rinse Method

The rub and rinse method is similar to washing one’s hands. The multipurpose solution is placed on the lens in the palm of the hand. With the index finger of the opposite hand, the solution is rubbed over the surface of the contact lens for 5 to 10 seconds. The lens is turned over and the procedure is repeated.

Finally, a strong stream of the contact lens multipurpose solution is sprayed over both sides of the lens to remove any debris attached to the lens. Research has shown that this procedure helps remove more bacteria, protein, and other deposits from the surface of the lens.

This may contribute to better lens hygiene and safety. "The rub and rinse method is based on the same concept of hand washing," Lepri says. "You get more dirt off of your hands by rubbing them with soap and then rinsing, rather than merely just rinsing."

About Eye Infections

Failure to use contact lenses and solution correctly can result in eye infections. Both bacterial and fungal infections can lead to serious consequences such as permanent loss of sight if left untreated.

Bacterial infections are more common than fungal infections. Characterized by severe pain, fungal infections are much more difficult to diagnose and treat. "Fungal infections are much more dangerous because they slowly proliferate within the cornea and are highly resistant to treatment," Lepri says. "When a fungal infection occurs, it results in a corneal ulcer, which can lead to permanent blindness. Bacterial infections such as Pseudomonas are extremely rapid, result in corneal ulcers, and cause blindness--sometimes within as little as 24 hours if not diagnosed and treated promptly."

The symptoms of an eye infection are: discomfort, excess tearing or other discharge, unusual sensitivity to light, itching, burning, or gritty feelings, unusual redness of the eyes, blurred vision, swelling, and pain.

How can you tell if you have an infection or if you are suffering from allergies? Typically, the major difference between infection and allergy is that allergy is accompanied by itching and watery discharge and will affect both eyes relatively the same.