Lens Do's and Don'ts
Opticians are generally professionally diligent when it
comes to instructing patients on the proper cleaning and
wearing schedule of contact lenses. Unfortunately, I believe
much more of the information that patients need to safely
and effectively wear contact lenses is withheld by
opticians, who for whatever reason, assume the information
is known or unnecessary � both potentially dangerous
With that in mind, I have compiled a list of more than 75
"Contact Lens Do's and Don'ts." The master list is
divided into four separate lists: Optician Do's, Optician
Don'ts, Patient Do's, and Patient Don'ts. Space does not
allow the printing of the entire 75 items, so in the
interest of brevity, I will share with you here the top ten
items on all four lists. If you would like a copy of the
entire list, simply request it at firstname.lastname@example.org,
and I will be happy to send it.
Here is my list of The Top 10 Optician Do's when it comes
to the practice of contact lenses:
Keep Informed of Current Developments with regard to
major CL brands, materials, and cleaning solutions. Spend at
least 15 minutes a month surfing the web for this purpose.
Practice Good Hygiene. Wash hands between each patient
Be Aware of General Contraindications for Contact Lens
Wear: Inadequate tear production, exposure to harmful fumes
and vapors, history of corneal infections, or under the age
of nine. (Certainly there are exceptions to that last
general rule of thumb regarding age.)
Have a Contact Lens Liaison � an optometrist or
ophthalmologist for referrals if one is not routinely on
Develop a Comprehensive Patient Lens Questionnaire.
Develop and Distribute Your Own List of Do's and
Don'ts for Patients. Be sure that it is given to every
patient who purchases lenses from you � whether they were
examined by your associate or not.
Embrace the Philosophy That Contact Lenses Should Be
Handled With the Same Respect as a Prescription Drug. This
should be made manifest by the manner they are handled,
stored and treated in front of the patient.
Know and Be Able To Explain the Characteristics of All
Cleaning, Rinsing, and Storage Solutions.
Be Aware of All Rules and Regulations with Regard to
Contact Lenses, including the details of the FCLCA (Fairness
to Contact Lens Consumers Act).
Wear Them Yourself.
Here is the list of Top Ten Optician Don'ts:
Don't Use the Phrases "Do You Understand?"
or "Do You Have Any Questions?" during Insert
& Removal instruction sessions. Remember, unless you
hear your patient repeat instructions, you can never be
certain that they in fact do understand.
Don't Exceed the Scope of Your Practice.
Don't Forget to Communicate the Importance of Annual
Don't Allow Patients to wear Contacts Who Exhibit One
of the Contraindications.
Don't Allow People to Wear Contacts If Their Hygiene
is in Question.
Don't Forget to Remind Patients about Red Tips on
bottles of contact lens solutions. (If the tip is red don't
let it near your eye!)
Don't Forget to Insist Lenses be Removed Before
Sleeping, if appropriate.
Don't Let the Patient Leave Your Dispensary without
Comprehensive Instructions that have been signed and fully
Don't Forget to Inform Patients to Remove Lenses if
Anything Unusual Occurs and to immediately contact the
prescribing doctor for prompt follow-up care.
Don't Fail to Let Patients Know that 67% of Problems
with CL Wear Occur Because of Poor Hygiene.
On the list of things opticians ought to do is to develop
and distribute a list of things that patients should do and
not do. With that in mind, here is the list of Top Ten
Close The Cap on All Cleaning Solutions After Use, and
never reuse solutions. Re-Clean and Re-Rinse lenses if
stored for more than 12 hours.
Empty and Rinse lens case With Fresh Saline Daily.
Discard Lens Cases Every 6 Months.
Use Solutions Only as Recommended by Your Eye Care
ways Wash Hands With a Mild, Non-Perfume Soap and
Dry Hands With a Lint-Free Towel Prior to Handling Lenses.
Wear UV-Protective Sunglasses When Wearing Contacts.
You will probably be even more light-sensitive when wearing
Follow the Wearing Guidelines as Proscribed by Your
Eye Care Professional and have your eyes re-evaluated every
year � even if everything seems fine.
Insert Contact Lenses PRIOR to Applying Make-Up (This
goes for the women too!) Remember that oil-based cosmetics
potentially cause more problems than water based products.
Close Your Eyes Whenever Spraying Perfume, Cologne,
Always Work With Your Right Lens First, and Never
Switch lenses eye-for-eye for any reason.
And finally, a few Patient Don'ts:
Don't Use Fingernails, Tweezers, or Any Other Tool for
Removing Lenses from their packages or containers.
Don't Wear CLs When Using Eye Drops or Other Ocular
Medications unless instructed to do so by your Eye care
Don't Mix Solutions or Switch Brands (including
generic) Before Consulting Your Eye Care Professional.
Don't Use Saliva to "Clean" or
"Store" Your Contacts.
Don't Ever Try on Someone Else's Contacts.
Don't Allow Your CLs to Get Too Hot; always store them
in a cool place.
Don't Apply Eye Liner to the Inner Lid Area � outer
Don't Swim With Your Contact Lenses.
Don't Allow Creams, Lotions, etc. to Get On Your
Don't Exceed the Wearing Schedule Given To You By Your