RGP emergency handling when solutions not available

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Lothar of the Hill People, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. I just started using Menicon Z RGP contact lenses a couple of days ago
    (I formerly wore soft lenses). I understand that they are more prone
    to popping out of the eye than soft lenses are, and I am curious what
    people recommend that I do with a lens that pops out while I am away
    from home with no store nearby, to keep it wet for a few hours until I
    can return home and can clean it? According to the patient insert for
    these lenses:
    Can such lenses be stored temporarily in tap water in an emergency?

    Lothar of the Hill People, Sep 18, 2003
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  2. Lothar of the Hill People

    Jim Lawton Guest

    I used to do just that (water) with my hard lenses - and I used to suck them
    clean - probably not recommended these days.

    Boiled water would be closer to sterility ...

    Jim Lawton, Sep 18, 2003
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  3. Thanks for the replies, DrG, Jim, and Robert. I asked the same
    question that I posted here, to a Menicon representative this morning.
    He replied that he could not recommend using tap water in such
    situations because of FDA regulations, but he said it's better to
    store them wet than dry. I assume that the FDA regulations pertain to
    the potential presence of Acanthamoeba in tap water, but I would
    presume that the cleaning/disinfecting solution would kill any such
    microbes before I returned the lenses to my eyes, right? I would
    personally be more concerned that hard tap water might form mineral
    deposits on lenses or do something else to adversely affect the
    surface of the lenses, but I have no idea if this is a concern with
    RGP lenses.

    I am still interested in hearing other opinions on which is the lesser
    of the two evils--storing them temporarily in tap water, or storing
    them dry, if anybody else has any comments or recommendations.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Sep 18, 2003

  4. That is a question that I would very much like the answer to. I have
    read that RGP lenses are prone to popping out, but I suppose it
    depends partly on how active you are. I don't play any impact sports,
    but I do a lot of rollerblading where wind is blowing directly into my
    eyes (although I do wear wrap-around sunglasses to give me some
    protection), as well as swing dancing (where I have been known to take
    an occasional glancing blow to the face!). I guess I have to learn to
    be more careful about rubbing my eyes or stretching the skin connected
    to my eyelids (e.g., rubbing my temples) with these type of lenses. I
    am curious to hear how often anyone with RGP lenses ever have had
    their lenses pop out?

    At least with my old 2-week soft lenses, if I ever had to remove a
    lens away from home for any reason, I could have simply thrown it away
    and opened a new package when I got home, but these RGPs are a bit too
    expensive for that.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Sep 18, 2003
  5. Lothar of the Hill People

    The Real Bev Guest

    One of mine fell out while I was sitting at the computer typing. A
    different one bounced when I removed it deliberately, landed on my shirt
    and fell on the floor when I went to go get a flashlight to look for it.
    It was a miracle that I found it -- both were too awful to keep and it
    would have really frosted me to pay for lost lenses that I wouldn't have
    been able to wear even if I'd found them.

    A soft lens once fell out, but it was a miserably loose fit. The
    more-or-less proper size haven't fallen out, although they blew across my
    eye in a strong sidewind when I was skiing once. From then on I wore
    goggles. Skiing blind in a crowd is not good.
    I'm kind of glad I couldn't be fit with RGPs -- I would hate having to
    worry about one falling out and getting lost. Neat housekeepers would
    probably not find this a problem :)

    Organized people will never know the sheer joyous ecstasy of finding
    something that was believed to have been irretrievably lost.
    -- D. Stern
    The Real Bev, Sep 19, 2003
  6. Oh my, and here I was thinking that mine might only pop out if I got a
    whack to my head. It never occurred to me that they might pop out
    doing something so passive as sitting in front of a computer! I'm
    guessing that your eyes dried out while you were working on the
    computer (a common problem with computer work, I am told), and that
    caused the lens to lose its adherence?
    My doctor gave me rather the opposite impression--that RGPs are much
    easier to fit than soft lenses, because RGPs can be made to custom fit
    the eyes, whereas with soft lenses, you have to use whatever sizes the
    manufacturer decides to make them in.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Sep 19, 2003
  7. Lothar of the Hill People

    The Real Bev Guest

    I don't know. Curiously enough, they were more irritating when they were
    wet. Even the most comfortable of them was irritating.
    My astigmatism goes up and down, rather than sideways which makes a sort
    of ledge for them to perch on. They were constantly sliding up and down,
    just hanging off the top of my pupil. Perhaps if I hadn't been aiming for
    multi-focal it would have been easier, but somehow I doubt it. Softy
    single-visions aren't quite right, but they're good enough.

    "We thought of one of those discount store caskets, but, frankly, we
    were worried about the quality." -- mortuary commercial
    The Real Bev, Sep 20, 2003
  8. I've been wearing these new RGPs for all of 5 days now, and I already
    have a lost-lens story of my own to go along with yours, Bev. I was
    at an Irish festival yesterday in the Catskills, with a pleasant
    breeze blowing. I am still not used to these lenses yet, and my
    vision has been getting a bit hazy toward the end of the day (not sure
    why--could be deposits on the lenses). So I sat down on some
    bleachers at the festival grounds (on the bottom seat), took out my
    lenses, gave them a quick rubbing and rinse, and went to replace them.
    I was trying to look down into a little compass mirror that I had
    brought (instead of straight ahead into a bathroom mirror like I do at
    home), and the lens popped out of my eye as soon as I blinked. I
    couldn't find it anywhere, and was grudgingly about to give up and
    consider it lost, when I saw it lying on top of my bag. Whew! I
    cleaned it again and went to put it back in, when a pleasant breeze
    came through and blew it off my fingertip! Fortunately I found that
    one too after a search.

    Maybe I'm just not meant to wear these lenses...

    Lothar of the Hill People, Sep 21, 2003
  9. Lothar of the Hill People

    The Real Bev Guest

    You mean with SPIT?
    I can't imagine taking my lenses out outside under any circumstances where
    I wasn't willing to lose/destroy them. Just hearing that story makes me
    shudder. Do ALL of the Hill People do such silly things?

    My computer doesn't have to be friendly;
    civil is entirely sufficient.
    The Real Bev, Sep 22, 2003
  10. Certainly not. I had bottles of cleaning solution and saline with me
    in a pack (I had anticipated that I might have problems while I was at
    the festival).
    I've learned my lesson, believe me. My vision was just getting too
    hazy that day, and it was driving me nuts, and it never occurred to me
    that was I was doing was particularly risky. I'm still too used to
    handling soft lenses, and those never used to fall off my finger!

    Lothar of the Hill People, Sep 22, 2003
  11. Lothar of the Hill People

    Dan Abel Guest

    I've only had a couple of problems with soft lenses falling out. The
    first time was when we (five in the family) went on a hike and got lost.
    We weren't exactly lost, since we were walking around a lake. However, I
    assumed that the trail went all the way around the lake, and it didn't.
    We ended up hiking a lot farther than planned, and we only had 1/2 liter
    of water for the five of us. I got home and drank a lot of water, but as
    soon as I sat down, my eye felt funny. I quickly moved my hand up as I
    blinked, and my contact fell neatly onto my hand. I decided that that was
    a sign that it was time to take my contacts out. The second time I got a
    trial lens which was significantly cheaper than my previous lens. It was
    very flimsy, and fell out several times at work (the air is dry there). I
    reported the problem and was given another trial lens that stayed in just
    Dan Abel, Sep 22, 2003
  12. I enjoyed reading your story, Dan. It's interesting hearing different
    people's experiences as to what causes their lenses to pop out.
    Sounds like you must have gotten dehydrated, and your eyes dried out.
    I usually have the opposite problem--I sometimes have trouble getting
    the lenses *out* of my eyes--they seem to stay put just fine while
    they're in, in spite of my very flat corneas. I do often have trouble
    getting them to stick when inserting them though, hence my nearly lost
    RGP lens the other day.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Sep 22, 2003
  13. In the 10 days that I wore my RGP lenses, I had a couple of instances
    where I almost popped out a lens. I often rub my temples, without
    even thinking about it, in exactly the same way that they teach you
    to remove RGPs--by stretching the skin at the corner of my eyes with
    your eyes open. I had to stop myself several times from doing that
    before I inadvertently popped out a lens! I suppose I would have
    eventually retrained myself to stop that habit, but it really made me
    wonder how often people lose those things. I can't imagine how you
    could lose a properly-fitted *soft* lens without actually touching the

    Lothar of the Hill People, Oct 1, 2003
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