How to Prevent a Protein Build Up on My Contact Lenses


Everyone’s eyes produce protein, which is normally flushed away from the eyes by tears and blinking. However, if you wear contact lenses, proteins made by your eyes can build up on the lenses and create small crystals that can irritate you eyes. If you wear gas-permeable hard contact lenses, the protein can be removed by your optician by polishing the protein away with special equipment. If you wear soft lenses, you can clean away much of the protein yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Saline rinsing and storage solution
  • Contact lens cleaner
  • Contact lens case
  • Enzymatic lens cleaner
  • Protein remover

Remove your contact lenses at the end of each day, even if they are designed to be worn overnight.

Place the lens in the palm of your hand and apply two to three drops of cleaning solution for soft lenses. Gently rub the solution on the lens, cleaning both sides.

Rinse the lens off with a steady stream of saline storage solution for soft lenses, and then place the lens into a contact lens case containing a fresh saline solution. Never return lenses to used saline solution, as this can cause bacteria and other microorganisms to attach to your lenses.

Rinse the lens off again in the morning with saline solution before putting the lens in your eye. Wash out the lens case with warm water and allow it to dry in open air.

Treat your lenses weekly with an enzymatic cleaner. Clean your lenses as you would normally, then follow the directions on the enzymatic cleaner package to give your lenses a deep cleaning that removes stubborn protein build up.

Use a daily protein remover if the procedures listed above still leave protein on your lenses. If your eyes produce more protein than can be easily cleaned off, consult your eye doctor about disposable lenses or polishable hard lenses.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your lenses continue to develop crystals or you have a reaction to lens cleaning products, see your eye care professional immediately.

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