Best Steps For Preventing Irritation & Eye Damage From Contact Lens Neglect
Eyesight is arguably the most important sense to human beings and it is not something that should be taken lightly. Contact lenses offer a convenient option for those who want a discreet corrective lens to help them easily navigate throughout their daily life. There are important steps for safe and responsible use of your contact lenses to prevent irritation, scratches, abrasions, or even permanent scarring from endangering your eyesight. If you take the following precautions and avoid dangerous or negligent practices, your contact lenses should have a great impact on your life.
Always Thoroughly Wash Your Hands Before Touching Lenses
If you wouldn’t touch your eye with unclean hands, you should treat your contact lenses with the same level of safety and care. You can reduce damage to your eyesight and improve your contact lens care simply by practicing standard hand washing procedures. Generously lather and rinse your hands and dry with a clean, lint-free cloth before you put your contact lenses in and before you take them out to avoid irritation or infection.
Avoid Sleeping or Napping In Lenses
Every contact lens user knows the feeling of dry, irritated contacts after an unintentional nap or dozing off on an airplane. Your vision is blurry and your lens might as well be made of dry rubber. You may even have to blink a few dozen times to get everything back into position. While it may seem harmless, The CDC reports that “sleeping while wearing contact lenses has been shown to cause up to 8 times greater risk of an eye infection.” Apart from this, keeping your contacts in doesn’t give your eyes a chance to decompress and fully rest overnight, limiting the recovery time needed to continue functioning at an optimal level. Even the dryness of your lenses after a nap can also risk scratches or corneal abrasions during a hasty removal. It’s best to place your contacts in their case during sleep and avoid any naps during your contact cycle whenever possible.
Take Your Contact Lenses Out At The End Of The Day An Hour Before Bed
The best way to prevent sleeping in your lenses while reducing eye strain at the end of the night is by taking your contacts out a minimum of one hour before you go to bed. This gives your eyes a chance to readjust and prevents dry eyes and irritation that can come with removing your contacts too late. It’s a simple yet effective element of contact lens care.
Change Your Contact Solution At Least 1-2 Times Per Week
Saline based contact solution is responsible for keeping your contact lenses clean, clear, and free of bacteria before and after they are put in your eye. Using the same solution for too long will inherently increase the amount of dust, dirt, oil and irritants that your contact lenses are floating in overnight, so it’s best to refresh the solution every other use, if not daily.
Wash Your Contact Case At Least Once Per Week
Your contact solution is not the only important part of this equation. It’s just as important to keep your case clean as well since your contacts will be inside your case for at least 8 hours every day. You can’t allow it to be a host for dirt, grime, or bacteria that could harm your eyesight. It is best to use contact cleaner solution rather than potentially irritating soap or household cleaning products. Once the case has been properly scrubbed and rinsed, you can dry it with a clean cloth or allow it to air dry with the caps off. It is also highly recommended to replace your contact lens case altogether every three months.
Only Wear a Pair Of Lenses For Optometrist Recommended Timelines (Do Not Reuse Daily Lenses)
It’s natural to want to stretch your money by wearing contacts longer than recommended, but this can have a hazardous effect on your health and vision. The CDC reports that “studies have shown that contact lens wearers who do not follow recommended replacement schedules have more complications and self-reported discomfort than contact lens wearers who follow the replacement recommendations. Some contact lens wearers have also reported poorer vision as a result of wearing contact lenses longer than indicated by their eye care providers.” Whether it’s cheating your reusable contacts by an extra week or trying to reuse daily disposable lenses, the risk is not worth the minute reward.
Use Eye Drops For Dry Eyes
As previously mentioned, dry eyes can cause issues and even damage when it comes to your contact lenses. You are at higher risk of a corneal abrasion when pulling dry lenses from your eyes. Use high quality eye drops to soothe irritated eyes and reduce any risk to the health of your eyes when taking your contacts out. Make sure to check your eye drops’ expiration date and keep the bottle clean at all times.
Keep an Updated Prescription
Similar to keeping an updated eyeglass prescription, it’s crucial to keep your contact lens prescription up to date at all times. The positive effects include the clearest vision possible for your condition, less eye strain and fatigue, and less headaches. Failing to update your prescription regularly can make it dangerous to drive or even cause ocular migraines. An annual visit with your optometrist should be frequent enough unless you have a more dynamic, quick changing prescription.
Avoid Chlorine Intake By Taking Your Contacts Out Or Wearing Goggles To Swim
Pool chlorine is inherently irritating to your eyes but wearing contact lenses, which can absorb and retain chemicals and bacteria from the pool water, multiply the risk factor of an infection. Instead of keeping harmful elements suctioned to your eye, take your contacts out or invest in a proper pair of goggles when entering the pool.
There are a number of different factors that make up a healthy contact lens routine, but maintaining great ocular health while retaining the convenience of a non-obtrusive lens is worth every extra hand washing or change of solution. You can discuss with your local eye care expert to see if contact lenses would be a good fit for you!
Sources Cited: Center for Disease Control Story 1, Story 2 , Story 3, Story 4
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Gordon Optical has been proudly serving the community of Lexington since 1935. Our teams of licensed opticians pride themselves on their dedication to the field and to their patients and customers. If you’re in need of Optometry services prior to selecting new frames, visit our affiliated Optometrist conveniently located next door to our Lexington location Gordon Eye Associates
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