Rehydrate dried-out lens are no fun. Continuing to wear brittle or damaged contact lenses may lead to serious aftermath including permanent vision loss. Contact lenses are soft hydrophilic devices. They need moisture to stay supple and soft. When they are left to dry in their case or any other environment they lose their flexibility and shrivel up.
Prescription contacts help you maintain your visual acuity, however risking your vision for the sake to reuse dried-out contacts is neither recommended nor desired. Fortunately, under certain circumstances, you can try to rehydrate your dried-out prescription contact lens in case you do not have any other possible means at the moment to correct your vision.
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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Why do My Contact Lenses Dry Out?
Contact lenses turn dry when they are left to dehydrate. Depending on the water content some lenses may turn dry sooner than others. The more the water content, the more moisture they need to stay flexible. Contacts containing water content above 38% may require you to be more vigilant about their state. Having to forget them sealed in cases for long risk dehydration.
How to Prevent Contact Lenses from Drying Out?
These are the simple steps to prolong the life of your contact lenses to prevent them to dry out. It is also recommended to do it before you have no choice to reuse dried-out lens.
- Always wash your hands with non-perfumed anti-bacteria liquid soap before removing the lenses from your eyes.
- Use a multi-purpose or all-purpose contact solution to clean and disinfect your contacts.
- Rinse and run the contact lens gently with your fingertips for about 20 seconds by using the solution.
- Close the case tightly after your contact cases filled with fresh solution.
Try to avoid placing the contact cases and solutions in the toilet or near the toilet bowl. It is because a toilet flush can spread germs into the air with the likelihood of them landing in your contact solutions or contact cases.
It is recommended to change the solution every night so that they get fresh supply of moisture every day to rehydrate the contact lenses. Never toss off the solution, instead, refill cases every time you take off your contacts from eyes for storage to reuse contacts the following morning. If you have more than one pair of contacts that you don’t use every day, you can refill with a fresh solution once every week to rehydrate the contact lenses.
However, you may be appalled to still find some of your contacts drying out way too quickly. The possible reason is having water content above 42%. It seems like the solution is evaporating fast whereas in reality to keep their structure soft, the lenses absorb water from their surroundings. Hence the process is not of evaporation but absorption.
How Can You Rehydrate A Contact Lens?
Time needed: 1 day and 20 minutes.
Steps To Rehydrate Contact Lens?
Considering the circumstances, you can still make an attempt to reuse your contact lens. Without touching your lenses, refill the solution in the case and make sure the whole contact lens is soaked in the solution. When they are dry, they are prone to be damaged, therefore it is recommended not to touch them.
Leave them for 24 hours, let the contact lens absorb the solution.
After they are restored to their original state, please inspect your lenses closely for any tear, damage or notch. If they appear fine you can wear them but remove it immediately if you notice even the slight discomfort. Microscopic scratches on the surface of contacts could lead to permanent scarring of the cornea.
Please do not try to reuse lenses that you suspect of contamination. Broken lens cases, cases that were improperly sealed or lenses that were dropped off and dried out must never be reused again.
Sometimes it may be tempting to use water or even saliva to rehydrate contact lens but please do not do it. Some water contains parasites and saliva is full of bacteria. To maintain the very basic care of your lenses, use only fresh contact solutions every day. Other than that, it is recommended to regularly clean and replace your storage case every three months.
You can still rehydrate dried-out lens with the solutions given, but it is best to keep them clean from bacteria and other pollutants. After all our eyes sensitive and fragile. We should have been taking good care of and not reuse anything that will bring risk to them.
In case you do not consider yourself dedicated enough to follow meticulous hygiene and maintenance, we recommend you switch to daily disposable contact lenses.