Contact lens removal/cleaning conditions in backcountry conditions

Discussion in 'Contact Lenses' started by y_p_w, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    I've been thinking of going on a camping/backpacking trip of maybe
    three days. I typically do dayhikes, where I can find a place at the
    end of the day with a safe drinking water supply that I can use to
    wash my hands. I would prefer not to sleep in my lenses (Acuvue 2 or
    Acuvue Oasys in -6.50 right, -5.25 left).

    I'm curious as to the opinions on cleaning and disinfecting lenses in
    backcountry conditions. I suppose untreated stream water wouldn't be
    suitable for rinsing my hands because of possible parasites. I'll be
    carrying chlorine dioxide tablets to treat my water for drinking, as
    well as unscented antibacterial (benzethonium chloride) moist
    towlettes and alcohol gel hand sanitizer. I'll probably have soap on
    me. Would either the towlettes/alcohol gel followed by a rinse (with
    treated water) and air dry be adequate?

    I think the trickiest part would be using a small mirror in those
    conditions. Or maybe just wear glasses. ;-)
    y_p_w, Mar 19, 2007
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  2. I'd ask for a pair of Night and Day trial lenses and leave them in for
    the duration. You might have a different attitude about sleeping in
    them, as they are approved for 30 days non stop wear. If you can't do
    that, put a fresh pair of Oasys lenses in the day you leave and wear
    them the whole trip. Take them out only if you suspect there is a
    problem (any irritation, blur, redness or discharge). I think handling
    the lenses may be riskier than leaving them in. That is most certainly
    true microbiologically.
    William Stacy, Mar 19, 2007
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  3. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    I've worn the Night & Day before. My eye doc recommended that I use
    them for daily wear up to 30 days use, but two months after opening
    them. After a while, they eventually got itchy for me. Even when
    they were working well for me, they got a bit itchy at the end of the
    day, although when I took them out, I didn't feel the mild soreness
    that I got with other lenses.

    My right eye is really dry. I find that at the end of the day, the
    edges of my right lens often won't wet properly again until it gets
    disinfected/soaked overnight.
    y_p_w, Mar 19, 2007
  4. y_p_w

    Bucky Guest

    I think that's fine. You will be carrying your regular solutions/
    disinfectants, right?
    Bucky, Mar 20, 2007
  5. y_p_w

    Neil Brooks Guest

    I used to carry the travel size bottle of the Purell (or equivalent)
    alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    Neil Brooks, Mar 20, 2007
  6. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    I've got that. I suppose the only problem is that the inert
    ingredients may present a problem if I can't completely wash them
    off. Some of the ingredients are ones I've seen in CL products, like
    propylene glycol, glycerin, or isopropyl alcohol (CibaVision MiraFlow
    Daily Cleaner).

    In some situations I took out my lenses because of a foreign object or
    extreme discomfort. I would use ordinary moist towlettes to clean my
    hands, take them out, and place them in saline or MPS. I'd then do a
    proper cleaning/disinfecting regimen (including washing/drying of
    hands) when I got home.
    y_p_w, Mar 20, 2007
  7. y_p_w

    Neil Brooks Guest

    One more thought: what about some unit-dose, preservative free, 0.9%
    saline vials in 5 or 10ml tubes? Small, cheap, light, sterile, etc.

    They're not quite perfect for eyes, lacking a few electrolytes,
    buffers, or whatever, but ... check me if I'm wrong, Doctors ... I
    think you could use them to rinse off your fingers _after_ using
    Purell and _before_ sticking your fingers in your eyes. Cheap
    insurance, I'd think.

    I bought some to fill up my scleral lenses in emergency situations.
    You simply Google "unit dose saline" and you'll find a few. "Reliable
    Medical" stopped carrying it, by the way.

    Good luck!
    Neil Brooks, Mar 20, 2007
  8. bring glasses.
    michael toulch, Mar 21, 2007
  9. y_p_w

    Dan Abel Guest

    Glasses didn't work for me. I wore contacts when camping.
    Dan Abel, Mar 21, 2007
  10. y_p_w

    serebel Guest

    Glasses and contacts both suck for outdoor activities, that's one
    reason I opted for lasik.
    serebel, Mar 22, 2007
  11. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    Goes without saying. Even on reasonably long dayhikes I'll pack a
    pair of glasses and take out my contacts if they become uncomfortable.
    y_p_w, Mar 22, 2007
  12. y_p_w

    Charles Guest

    I'm quite careful to always keep everything very clean when dealing
    with contacts, but is there a degree of paranoia here? People without
    contacts wouldn't think twice about rinsing their faces in a stream, or
    even going for a swim in a pond and opening their eyes underwater. Is
    it really worse to rinse the filth off of my hands in a stream, dry
    them, and then touch my eye for a fraction of a second while removing
    or inserting lenses?

    I wear RGP and have often wondered how I'd deal with it when camping.
    It hasn't come up yet. My best plan was to use an "all in one"
    solution and forego the rubbing for a few days, unless I could ensure
    my hands were fairly clean. Using the plunger for removal would reduce
    the risk of a lens flying away someplace during removal. insertion
    would be the most risky part, since the little buggers occasionally
    slide off the finger.

    Charles, Mar 25, 2007
  13. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    I wouldn't. I worry a bit when I shower or wash my face with
    municipal tap water. I tried swimming in a chlorinated pool once with
    lenses on and freaked out. I thought the biggest problem would be
    acanthamoeba, which I'm sure is everywhere.
    I was thinking maybe that too. I've never worn lenses overnight and
    the times I've tried insertion with a small mirror, I've had a tough
    time getting them in.
    y_p_w, Mar 26, 2007
  14. y_p_w

    Dan Abel Guest

    I've always used a small mirror, probably six inches in diameter. I got
    a makeup mirror, with two sides. One is magnifying.
    Dan Abel, Mar 26, 2007
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