Contact lenses, when properly cared for, can be an efficient approach to correct your eyesight. In reality, contact lenses are worn by almost 45 million Americans. 2 It is essential to properly care for your contact lenses. Failure to wear, clean, and store your lenses as instructed by your eye care specialist, on the other hand, increases the risk of germs getting into your eyes and creating issues. 3-5 The bottom line is as follows: The health of your contact lenses begins with you. Your habits, supplies, and trips to the eye doctor are all critical to maintaining excellent eye health. The CDC recommends the following healthy behaviours to wear contact lenses safely and safeguard your eyes:
- Avoid sleeping with your contact lenses on.
Do not sleep with your contact lenses unless expressly prescribed by your eye care specialist. Sleeping with contact lenses on has been proven to increase the risk of an eye infection by up to 8 times. 6-7
- Hands should be washed and dried.
Before touching your lenses, always cleanse your hands with soap and water. Then, before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wipe your hands with a clean cloth.
- Keep contact lenses away from any sources of water.
Water may bring bacteria into the eyes via contact lenses. Remove contact lenses before swimming and avoid wearing them while bathing. Water may be a breeding ground for germs that can cause serious illness. Do not keep the lenses in water or rinse the lens case with any non-sterile solution.
- Clean your lenses thoroughly.
Follow the directions on your eye care professional’s suggested contact lens care solution. Cleaning with a solution is not necessary if you wear daily disposable or 1 Day contact lenses because they are not intended to be reused.
- Maintain your contact lens case.
Rub and rinse your contact lens case with contact lens solution to clean it. Just like you should never use water to clean your lenses, you should never use water to clean your case. Then, using a clean cloth, empty and dry the case. After each usage, turn the case upside down and remove the covers. It is critical that you update your contact lens case at least once every three months.
- Consult your eye care expert.
Your eye care specialist will determine how frequently you need to be seen for eye exams based on your ocular, visual, and systemic health. Maintain these eye checkups at all times, and on your next visit, take the time to speak with your eye care specialist about your contact lens usage and maintenance practices. If you have any concerns between planned appointments, call your eye care specialist right away. Importantly, if you have eye pain, irritation, redness, or impaired vision, you should remove your contact lenses right away.
- Prepare yourself.
You never know when you’ll need to remove your contacts. Carry a backup set of glasses with a current prescription just in case anything unexpected happens.
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