contact lens protein removal methods

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Contact Lens Protein Removal Techniques

Protein deposits are a natural occurrence for the contact lens wearer. The deposits come from interaction between the protein naturally found in the tears and the contact lens. Proteins deposits area visible, and appear as a thin haze covering the lens. There are two types of protein deposits; native and denatured.

Native proteins are transparent and naturally exist in our tears. They are not too harmful to the contact lens wearer and can be removed from the lens easily. Denatured proteins are an opaque deposit that clings to lens. It causes increase discomfort and cloudy vision. These deposits encompass 90% of the protein deposits contact lens wearers’ face.

Routine cleaning will not remove protein, so a special protein removal solution should be used once a week or as recommended by a physician. It is important to note that protein cleansers do not remove dirt and oils, or disinfect and should not be used for such purposes.

Protein removal is most often recommended for soft contact lenses, but can be used for hard contacts as well. Lenses worn for longer periods of time will naturally accumulate greater protein deposits and therefore require more effort toward protein removal. Protein removal requires it’s own unit. Your doctor will recommend a particular solution. Most often a multi-purpose protein removal solution is recommended.


  1. Wash hands thoroughly.
  2. Follow normal procedures for removing and cleansing lenses.
  3. Place contacts fully in protein removal system basket.
  4. Pour solution into the protein removal system cup and place the basket in the cup.
  5. Lock the unit shut and twist the cap back and forth for 30 seconds.
  6. Let the lenses soak for 2 hours.
  7. Gently remove the lenses and follow normal cleansing procedures again to remove loosened protein.
  8. Holding each lens carefully rinse with saline solution.
  9. Rinse basket with saline solution and fill cups with saline solution.
  10. Put the lenses back in the baskets and the baskets back in the cups.
  11. Repeat step 5 checking for bubbles after 30 seconds.
  12. If there are bubbles repeat steps 9-11 until no bubbles are visible.
  13. When no bubbles are visible the protein has been successfully removed.
  14. Finish with usual nighttime procedures.
Cleaning, disinfecting, and protein removal are unique and vital parts of contact lens care. Do not substitute one for the other. Follow doctor recommendations and you will enjoy good vision and eye health with your contact lenses.
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