Contact lenses have become more of fashion use that medical use these days making most people forget that proper care of your contact lenses, storage cases and eyes is essential to keep your eye’s health in the best shape possible. When you take your contact lenses lightly, you end up making several common mistakes that could be hurting your eyes.
To ensure you are not making the same mistakes, here are contact lenses habits that you need to correct:
Wearing Contacts for Too Long: Wearing contacts for too long is bad for your vision health. It can lead to permanent scarring and even loss of vision. Contacts sit on top of your corneas, which do not have blood vessels to bring oxygen to them. It is the tears that do this important job. But tears cannot reach your corneas while you’re wearing contacts, as they act as a shield. By removing your contacts from time to time, you allow oxygen to reach the corneas. Prolonged wearing of contacts also make your corneas more vulnerable to germs. No matter what type of contacts you have, avoid wearing them too long. This is a simple and effective way to reduce your risk for infection.
Not cleaning you lenses daily: If your lenses have the need to be cleaned daily, then do not skip a day. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly before cleaning them. Once you put them on, clean their case by rubbing it with a clean finger and solution and then leave the case to air dry all day. Wash your hands at night before taking the contacts off and soak them in fresh solution. Not cleaning your contacts properly can lead to keratitis.
Handling Lenses with Unclean Hands: Contact lens wearers often forget to wash their hands before handling the lenses. To avoid getting germs into your eyes, it is imperative that you wash your hands thoroughly before touching your contact lenses, even the case. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before handling your contact lenses and also, make sure you dry your hands thoroughly before handling your contact lenses because the microbes that cause eye infections are present in water as well.
Sleeping in your contacts: The habit of sleeping with your contacts in your eyes is another big mistake people often make. It is not at all safe to sleep with your contacts in. Extended wear deprives the corneas of oxygen, which can lead to irritation and discomfort, and even a serious infection. In fact, it is common for users who sleep with their lenses in to wake up with dry eyes and blurry vision. Plus, you can even lose a contact lens in the back of your eye because of movement when you sleep.
Using tap water as contact solution: Putting tap water as your solution is quite dangerous because the water is not sterile. Water also contains a parasite known as acanthamoeba which once it gets in your eye can lead to a cornea infection called acanthamoeba keratitis. It is hard to treat and can lead to blindness.
Wearing them past the recommended time limit: It is quite common for people to over wear their contacts in an attempt to save money. This has its health risks as over time the lenses do get worn out and accumulate germs. If your contacts should be replaced in two weeks, you put yourself at risk of infections if you wear them for a month.
Showering or swimming in them: As mentioned above, water contains the acanthamoeba parasite that can lead to infections. It is therefore important not to shower or swim in your contacts. If you do swim in them, wash your hands before taking them out, clean them and disinfect overnight before wearing again. Generally, it is best to keep your contacts away from water.
Wearing colored cosmetic lenses: If you fancy wearing colored cosmetic lenses, it is crucial that you always get an official assessment and fitting from a doctor. The size and shape of your cornea should always be factored in when getting contact lenses. Poor-fitting lenses can rub and lead to micro abrasions which in turn allow entry to germs, leading to infections.
Improper Care of Contact Lenses and Storage Cases: Both your contact lenses and storage case need proper care and handling. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes that contact lens users make is that they don’t diligently follow the instructions on handling contacts and cases. Not following proper care and safety measures puts you at a higher risk of damaging your lenses, or even worse, making yourself vulnerable to serious eye infections.
Clean your contact lenses with the recommended solution daily. Always wash your hands before handling your contacts. After cleaning, store them in a case with fresh solution.
Disinfecting the storage case is also very important, as harmful organisms can grow in the case. Putting your cleaned contact lenses in a dirty case is something you should avoid. Clean your storage case with a sterile solution recommended by your eye doctor. Dry it with a clean, lint-free towel or let it air-dry before using it again.
Contact lens cases should be replaced at least every three months.