Thanks to today’s technology, contact lenses can correct most eyesight problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Millions of Americans wear contact lenses, which are now soft, and easy to wear and adapt to. They come in various modes of wear, from daily disposable to extended wear.
Because eye problems from poor contact-wearing practices can lead to potentially serious complications, it’s wise to learn how to best care for and wear your new contact lenses. With that in mind, our team of optometrists at McDonald Eye Care Associates has put together these safety tips.
Keep your lenses clean
Because you wear your contact lenses directly on your eyes, you must keep them clean and moist to prevent bacterial infections and serious complications. During your appointment at McDonald Eye Care Associates, we show you how to properly care for your lenses.
The type of cleansing system you use depends on the type of contact lenses you have. Follow the care and cleansing schedule we give you and the recommended disinfectant solution. Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
Store your lenses properly
You should store reusable lenses in saline solution in the proper storage case after rinsing them with sterile contact lens solution. Keep in mind that saline solution does not disinfect contact lenses. Store contacts in saline solution only after rubbing and rinsing them with disinfecting solution. Remove contact lenses when showering or swimming
Rivers, lakes, and swimming pools harbor bacteria, and some of them can cause serious eye infections. That’s why you should take your contacts out before taking a dip in a pool.
Avoid sharing contact lenses
Your eyes have a thin layer of transparent tissue protecting them. They’re vulnerable to infection from bacteria, fungi, and viruses. If you’re new to wearing contact lenses, you need to be aware of this risk. And you raise your risk of bacterial infection when you share contact lenses. To protect your eyes and keep them healthy, never share your contacts with anyone.
Avoid sleeping with your contacts in
We’ve talked a lot about avoiding infections, and taking your contacts out at night is another good practice that can keep eye infections at bay. Did you know that you’re at least six times more likely to develop an eye infection if you sleep with your contacts in?
Every year, contact wearers who leave their contacts in while sleeping develop microbial keratitis, a fancy way of saying an infection of the cornea. The infection causes the clear dome that covers the colored part of your eye to become inflamed. Left untreated, keratitis can lead to permanent vision loss.
Replace your contacts regularly
Don’t assume that because you clean and disinfect your contacts daily that you don’t have to replace them on the recommended schedule. Even contacts that have been properly cleaned can accumulate contaminants over time.
How often you replace your contacts depends on the type you have. For example, you may need to replace traditional reusable contacts every six months, while some types of soft contacts should be replaced daily, weekly, or monthly.
Visit your eye doctor regularly
Wearing contact lenses increases your risk for eye infections and complications. That’s why you should never miss your yearly eye exam if you wear contact lenses. Sometimes we recommend our patients have more frequent eye exams.
At McDonald Eye Care Associates, we’re here every step of the way, from comprehensive eye exams to choosing the right eyewear for you. To learn more about caring for and wearing contacts, call our Lakeville, Minnesota, office or book online at your convenience.