Do’s and Don’ts for Contact Lens Wearers
More than 40 million Americans wear contact lenses, one of those being my wife. An amazing 90 percent of them do not follow these 8 simple and proper hygiene tips.
If you wear contact lens, you should be following these simple tips when it comes to their eyes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention article quoted in this recent Huffingtonpost.com article. I often see my wife drop them, tear them, curse at them and other things that make me wonder why she just doesn't wear her regular glasses.
Here are 8 simple ways to make sure you are safe and caring for your eyes and your contacts.
1. DO keep hands clean. Hands can be covered with germs, so wash them well before putting in or taking out your contacts. Make sure you use clear, lotion-free soap, and dry your hands thoroughly.
2. DO clean your lens case. Bad hygiene practices are linked to a higher risk for contamination of the contact lens case. To properly clean your case, pour all contact lens solution out of the case, rub it with a clean finger, then rinse it with fresh solution. Wipe it dry with a tissue, and store it upside down (caps, too) on a tissue until you're ready to remove your contacts at night. Replace the case every one to three months to assure safety.
3. DON’T “top off” contact lens solution. Always use fresh contact lens solution when you’re storing your contacts overnight. Adding new solution to old solution already in the case, or cleaning lenses with water, has been linked to cases of painful eye infection that's difficult to treat.
4. DON’T buy contacts without a prescription. Many times, people feel that because a lens is decorative -- colored or cosmetic -- and has no ‘power’ to aid in visual performance, that it's OK to use without a doctor’s prescription. Totally false. Never wear contacts without seeing a Optometrist first.
5. DO ask your eye doctor if you can sleep in contact lenses. Sleeping in contact lenses increases the risk of an eye infection by approximately 10 times, so sleeping in them, even part time, is typically not recommended.
6. DON’T bathe with contacts in. Avoid showering in contact lenses, and remove them before using a hot tub or going swimming. Water has small organisms that can lead to an eye infection, so water should not come into contact with the contact lenses.
7. DO replace contact lenses in a timely fashion. Contact lenses should be replaced according to your doctor’s direction. Wearing contact lenses beyond the recommended time can lead to unhealthy eyes and discomfort.
8. DO see your eye doctor regularly. Even if your eyes feel fine, make an appointment. Occasionally, contact-lens-related issues are caught during a routine examination, before the eyes become itchy, red, or watery.
Hope this educated and helps. If you wear contacts, I tip my cap to you. I can't even take a few eye drops at night without jumping and screaming like a new born baby.