When you wear contact lenses, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re taking all the proper precautions to protect your eyes. Since contact lenses rest right on your eyes, as opposed to glasses with their lenses at a distance, this means that you need to be extra careful when it comes to hygiene, wear, and replacement. Improper use of contact lenses can result in eye infections, which no one wants.
Fortunately, you can protect your eyes from the risk of infection while wearing contact lenses. Here are some helpful safety tips to help all of your contact lens wearers out there keep your eyes safe.
#1. Don’t Sleep In Your Contact Lenses
Unless your eye doctor specifically recommends it! Some contact lenses are designed to be worn overnight in order to change the curvature of your cornea. This is called Ortho-K (orthokeratology), and is used to reduce nearsightedness. These contacts are only worn at night and then removed during the day. There are also lenses for extended wear, which may be worn overnight.
However, unless you’re prescribed these special lenses, you want to avoid sleeping or napping in your contact lenses. This is because it makes you 8x more likely to get an eye infection. If you want to take a nap or it’s time for bed, ensure that you take your contacts out first in order to protect your eyes.
#2. Keep Your Contacts Away From Water
This applies to many different facets of your life. From swimming to showering to cleaning and storing your contact lenses, keep them far, far away from water. The reason for this is that water has microorganisms in it which can lead to serious eye infections. This is also why it’s recommended that you don’t open your eyes underwater as a general rule.
In order to protect your eyes, remove your contact lenses before swimming or showering or the like. Ensure that you are cleaning and storing your contact with a contact lens disinfecting solution – never water.
#3. Keep Your Contacts Clean
There are a few steps to this. First of all, you want to wash your hands before handling your contacts. Then, you want to rub and rinse your contacts with an appropriate contact lens solution after you take them out. Then, you want to ensure that you put them in a clean case with fresh solution in it. You never want to top off old solution or put your contacts into a case that hasn’t been cleaned.
You also want to ensure that you’re only using the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor to clean your lenses – no water, no soap, none of that.
You should replace your contact case every three months, at least. Basically, whenever you run out of your bottle of solution, you should get a new case. Most solutions come with a new case, but not all of them do.
#4. Take Them Out If Your Eyes Are Irritated
You know how when you get contact lenses, your eye doctor will typically recommend that you get a pair of glasses too? This is to give your eyes a break to prevent overuse of your contacts, to give you the option to switch between contacts and glasses as desired, and to give you a backup in case something happens to your contacts. You should carry your glasses with you in case you need to take your contacts out.
If your eyes are getting red or irritated, don’t leave your contacts in, as this can make it worse. Indeed, if your contacts are dirty or something gets trapped under them, like an eyelash, the contacts themselves could be causing the irritation. Make the switch to your glasses. Contact your eye doctor if the irritation persists.
#5. See Your Eye Doctor As Needed
Your eye doctor will be able to answer any questions you have about contact lens care to protect your eyes. They’ll also examine them to ensure that they’re healthy and update your prescription if needed.
If you have any eye pain, discomfort, or blurry vision, you’ll want to talk to your eye doctor. Your eye doctor may have you try out a few different brands of contact lenses to find which one works best for you. One brand may irritate your eyes while another may feel like there’s nothing there.
These are but 5 safety tips you can use to protect your eyes while wearing contact lenses. Wolcott Optical is passionate about helping our customers achieve clear vision, safely. Contact us today for more information about contact lenses and glasses.