Though tens of millions of people wear contact lenses in the U.S., the reality is that the vast majority of them don’t follow instructions for properly caring for their lenses. This ranges from poor cleaning to other bad habits, all of which can result in infections and eye irritation.
These conditions shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it’s possible for them to become much more serious and cause eye loss. Let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t do to keep your eyes healthy.
Do clean the lens case
If you fail to clean the lens case properly, you risk having microorganisms find their way into the lens case. Cleaning your lens case involves first thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water. Then pour all the contact solution from the case, and rub it clean with your finger; then rinse it using new solution. Wipe the case dry with a tissue, and store the case and cap upside down on a tissue. Leave this until you’re ready to remove your contacts for the night. The case needs to be replaced once every three months.
Don’t touch the contacts with dirty hands
Whenever you touch your contact lenses, make sure to first clean your hands thoroughly using soap and water. If you don’t do this, you risk transferring bacteria from your hands to your lenses. This can lead to an eye infection. To be sure that you don’t have any bacteria on your hands, you should use a paper towel to dry them rather than a cloth towel.
Do talk to your eye doctor about sleeping in contact lenses
Many people sleep with their contact lenses on. However, this can increase the risk of an infection by tenfold, so it’s not recommended. That said, there are some lenses that are approved for nighttime wear, so you may want to discuss this with your optometrist.
Don’t reuse disposable contacts
Disposable contacts are just that—they are supposed to be discarded every night. If you reuse them, you’re more likely to experience pain and risk infection. These contacts are thin and fragile, so they don’t hold moisture like other contacts do.
Do have regular appointments with your eye doctor
You should make regular appointments regardless of your eye health. A routine examination may be able to spot problems you haven’t noticed. This can also act as an opportunity to make sure that you’re wearing your contact lenses in the way your optometrist has recommended. If your eyes are ever red, watery or itchy, then it’s time to take out your contacts and see the eye doctor before things worsen.
Whenever you need an optometrist, Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe is here to help. We’re a locally-owned and -operated eye doctor offering a thoughtful and caring approach to vision care. We proudly combine the latest technology in eye care with good, old-fashioned customer service! From yearly exams for glasses and contact lenses to red eye treatments and other medical concerns, we do it all. Give us a call right now to book your first appointment!