Around 45 million Americans use contact lenses as their corrective vision treatment of choice. If you’re amongst those people, taking proper care of your lenses is a task that you should know how to do and strive to exceed those expectations. It’s tempting to slack on contact lens care, especially after acclimating yourself with their usage. Toying around with contact lenses is also playing jeopardy with your eye health. Contact lenses are medical devices, and improper use can affect your eyes in drastic ways. Avoid contact lens mistakes by avoiding the five things below.
1- You Allow Water to Touch the Contact Lenses
Many people think that water is a viable replacement for contact lens solution in the event they run out. But using water to rinse and/or store your contact lenses is something the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you avoid. Water can contain a microbe known as Acanthamoebawhich may attach itself to the lens and cause problems ranging from eye redness and pain to sensitivity to light and vision problems.
2- Don’t Wear Contacts in the Shower & Pool
The same rule for water applies as above. Swimming with contact lenses in your eyes can cause an infection and may cause eye dryness. Take out your lenses before you shower or get in a pool, ocean, lake, etc. to prevent this problem and to keep your lenses in good condition. Are you concerned about vision during this time? Talk to your Colorado Springs eye doctor for alternative options.
3- Touching Contact Lenses Before Washing Your Hands
It takes only a few seconds to wash your hands. Always wash hands before touching contact lenses to minimize the risk that dirt will transfer into your eyes or that you’ll cause yourself an eye infection. Keratitis is a common condition that can occur if you don’t wash hands before touching lenses. This is an inflammation of the corneas that can result from bacteria, viruses, and other organisms.
4- Fall Asleep With Contact Lenses
Sleeping in contact lenses increases the risk of developing an eye infection. Even contact lenses that some eye doctors for veterans approved for overnight use increase the risks of an eye infection. Dry eye is another potential problem. People who sleep in their contact lenses may also neglect contact lens care.
5- You Don’t Replace Your Lenses Often Enough
A visit to our Colorado Springs eye doctor is important to make once every two years unless other problems interfere with your eye health between those times. However, when you wear contact lenses, visits to the Colorado Springs eye doctor are more frequent unless you buy lenses online or through other means. Read the care instructions on your contact lens box and ensure they’re replaced promptly.