Wearing contact lenses may free you from the hassles of wearing of eyeglasses, but it also comes with a pressing responsibility to keep your eyes safe and healthy, and prevent the possible risk of eye infections.
Read on the do’s and don’ts for safe contact lens use:
- Do wash and dry your hands before touching your lenses
Your hands may have a lot of bacteria that may be transferred to and contaminate your contact lenses, and your eyes. It is also easier to transmit germs when you have wet hands.
- Do get your supply from a legit optical shop
Whether you are buying non-prescription colored contact lenses, specialized lenses like Ortho-K, or prescription lenses, get from a licensed optical shop. Your contact lenses should fit your eyes comfortably, so you can see clearly. Plus, you need to undergo proper dispensing with your contact lens specialist.
- Do sanitize your contact lenses properly
Clean your lenses with contact lens solution before you store them in the case. Never use tap water or saliva. These are not sterile and may contain bacteria that can lead to infections.
- Do keep your contact lens cases clean, too
Rinse your lens case every night with the disinfecting solution. After air drying it or wiping it with a clean tissue; fill it with new/fresh contact lens solution. Avoid topping off the solution you used the previous day. Most of the time, contact lens solutions come with a free contact lens case. So make sure to throw away the old one every time you open a new bottle of contact lens solution.
- Do remove your lenses before swimming or taking a bath
The water may contain bacteria or chemicals that can get trapped between your eyes and lenses. This can lead to redness, irritation, or worse, infection.
- Do get your eyes checked regularly
Your eye grade changes, and so does the fit of your lenses. Getting your eyes checked by an eye doctor once a year can determine if there should be any changes to the lenses you are using.
- Do discard or change your lenses as scheduled
Your eye doctor will tell you which contact lenses you can use based on how long you can wear your contact lenses. It is also listed on the contact lens pack you purchase. Do not use it longer than recommended to avoid bacteria build up on your lenses or prevent any scratches on your cornea (the clear surface layer of your eye).
- Don’t sleep with your contact lenses on
We know it can feel like a chore to follow your nighttime routine, especially when you are tired. But make it a habit to remove your contact lenses before sleeping. Aside from resting your eyes, it is also important for you to clean your contact lenses.
If you rub your eyes constantly, your cornea may get injured. Your soft contact lenses also may fold or even fall out. So best not to rub your eyes, and instead, wash your eye area or use lubricant eye drops to ease the itching or irritation in your eye.
- Don’t ignore signs of infection
Red eyes, eye pain and blurred vision are just some of the signs you need to look out for when it comes to infection. If you’ve been experiencing any of these for over 24 hours, it is time to consult your eye doctor. With the right medication, infection can heal quickly. But left unchecked, it can lead to worsening vision or vision loss.