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Replace your case! The importance of regular contact lens case replacement ➡️

When you wear hard lenses, monthly replacement soft contact lenses, or bi-weekly replacement soft contact lenses, you have to have a place to store them overnight or when you are wearing your glasses. Your contact lens case is a vital part of your contact lens life BUT you have to take proper care of it! Did you know that in a review of ten scientific studies, 9 out of 10 reported contamination in 40% of the samples (the one that only had 24% contamination was performed on medical students) and 6 of the studies reported contamination in 70% of the samples[1]. When not properly cared for, contact lens cases can become contaminated with bacteria, fungi, and protozoa[1].

3 contact lens cases of varying ages with Crystal violet staining
Photo: Danielle M. Robertson, OD, PhD: Burnham GW, Cavanagh HD, Robertson DM. The impact of cellular debris on Pseudomonas aeruginosa adherence to silicone hydrogel contact lenses and contact lens storage cases. Eye Contact Lens 2012;38:7-15.

The biggest problem to contend with is you do not want your lenses or your case to develop a biofilm. This is a layer of contamination that becomes increasingly resistant to disinfectants and biocide lens care products the more it develops. When the contact lens case contains a biofilm that bacteria is then transferred to the contact lens and then to your eye increasing the risk of infection[1].

Biofilm forming on contact lens cases

So how should you be cleaning your contact lens case? Contrary to common practice, the answer is NOT with water. While up to 2/3 of contact lens wearers use tap water to rinse their case, the only liquid that should touch your case is the disinfectant solution your optometrist recommends. Water is the leading cause of Acanthamoeba contamination which often leads to blindness.

Once you’ve used the appropriate optometrist-approved solution to rinse your case, rub it dry with a fresh paper towel or napkin. Tissues and toilet paper are not recommended as they could leave remnants in the case. Similarly, re-useable cloths can retain bacteria that would be transferred to the case. Once wiped, air dry upside down until the next use.  When possible, lens cases should not be left to dry in a bathroom or near a toilet where airborne contamination is more common.

Furthermore, the FDA recommends replacing your case altogether at least every three months, but every month is even better.

To help remind you to replace your case at least every three months, we have a seasonally themed contact lens case available! This year’s supply of cases matches the seasons so its easier to remember when you need a new one. Grab yours here.

In summary:

Steps to care for your contact lens case  1)    Make sure your hands are clean prior to any contact with your eyes or eye care materials  2)    Only rinse with optometrist approved solutions and NEVER water  3)    Dry with a one-use cloth that won’t leave residue such as paper towel or napkin  4)    Leave to dry upside down in an area safe from airborne contamination  5)    Replace your case every 1-3 months

Following these 5 steps will save you and your eyes from the common risks of eye infection associated with poor contact lens case hygiene.



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