Protein removal from contact lenses

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Contact Lens Protein Removal

What is a protein remover solution?

Protein remover solution cleans protein deposits on your contacts, which gets deposited on the lenses during the course of normal wear. The solution only removes protein deposits and does not remove dirt or oils or kill germs. Removing protein deposits is only one step in the lens cleaning process and is essential for good eye vision and health.

What are protein deposits?

Protein deposits are common and natural deposits on contacts. These deposits are unavoidable as they are formed out of the interaction between the protein in your natural tears and the contacts. They are seen as a thin haze on the outer surface of the lens.

What are the types of protein deposits?

Native protein and denatured protein deposits are the two types of deposits.

Native proteins: These are transparent natural proteins always found in your tears. This protein does not have too harmful an affect on your vision, your health or your lens comfort. Native proteins can be easily removed.

Denatured protein: This is the primary protein deposit and is 90% of the total lens protein. It is an opaque deposit that sticks strongly to the contact lens. Denatured protein causes increased discomfort and cloudy vision.

When is protein remover solution used?

Routine cleaning will not remove all the protein deposit, thereby leading, in due course, to protein accumulation and problems for the wearer. A protein remover solution is required. These are recommended mostly for soft contact lenses. But if your doctor recommends, you may also use it for the gas permeable lenses. Doctors generally recommend once a week use of the protein remover.

How much cleaning is needed depends on the amount of protein accumulated. Disposable lenses accumulate less deposit and therefore routine and normal cleaning may suffice. Whereas lenses worn for longer periods accumulate more deposits and so need protein removers.

How is protein remover solution used?

In order to ensure good eye condition, you must follow the care and cleaning regimen recommended by your eye doctor. Depending on what type of contacts you use and how much protein your eye deposits on your lenses, your doctor may recommend a particular product for removing protein.

Until the introduction of multi-purpose daily protein removal solutions, protein removal was a tedious weekly affair where several enzymatic cleaners had to be used. The multi-purpose protein remover solutions available today effectively remove both types of protein. Normally protein remover solution is used with a special lens washer unit. Following are the steps in the cleaning process recommended by the eye doctors.

  • First wash your hands and then remove your lenses. Next do the routine cleaning with few drops of your cleaning solutions and a back and forth motion. Hold the lens between your thumb and finger and rinse it well with a sterile saline solution.
  • Open the lens basket and put the lens inside making sure the edges are well inside the basket. Pour the protein remover solution into the cup and then put the baskets in the cup. Lock the unit shut and gently twist the top back and forth for half a minute. Now let the lenses soak for at least 2 hours.
  • After two hours, gently remove the lenses from the basket and clean the lenses again to remove loosened deposits. Hold each lens carefully and again rinse them well with a sterile saline solution. Rinse the cup and basket with tap water or sterile saline. Then fill the cup with sterile saline.
  • Put the lenses back in the basket and put the basket in the cup. Twist the top back and forth for another half minute. Check for any bubbles at the top. If you see any bubbles, pour out the old saline and pour in fresh saline. Again twist the top for half a minute. If you still see bubbles replace the saline again till there are no bubbles left. The absence of bubbles indicates that protein deposits have been completely removed from your contact lenses.
  • Finally carry out your regular disinfection process. Then let your lenses soak overnight in a disinfectant or a saline solution.


Cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses is important not only for good vision but also for good eye health. Protein removal is an important part of the cleaning process since protein deposits are more difficult to remove. Consult your eye doctor for your protein removal regimen. He will recommend the type of protein removal product you need.