Wearing contacts is a convenient correction to vision that
eliminates the extra pair of glasses. However, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, at least 41 million contact lens wearers in the
U.S. are practicing at least one behavior that can cause risk for eye
infection. Wearing contacts also puts a person at risk for eye infections and
corneal ulcers. It is important to make sure to avoid the following common
mistakes when it comes to wearing contacts.
- Don’t wear your contacts for too long: This can
cause scarring and loss of vision. Because contacts sit on top of the cornea, they
are actually blocking oxygen supply to this area. Letting the cornea have
oxygen from time to time is recommended. The longer worn, the higher the risk
for germ accumulation.
- Wearing contacts in water: They should not be
worn in swimming pools or hot tubs. Water has bacteria and it can dehydrate the
contacts. They should be taken out before showering too. This includes avoiding
ocean water, tap, and distilled water.
- Sleeping with contacts: This can dry out the
eyes. The lens can also move to the back of the eye during sleep.
- Wearing contacts past the expiration date: Residue,
bacteria, and proteins can all build up.
- Touching contacts with dirty hands: Handling
contacts with dirty hands leads to germ exposure. Drying hands after washing
them is also recommended to avoid water germs.
- Using the proper solution and storage: Harmful
organisms can grow in the case. It needs to be disinfected. Contacts should not
be put in dirty case.
- Be sure to replace contacts every 3 to 5 months.
They have a lifespan and should not be expected to perform well after that
period of time.
- Skipping eye check-ups: If there are problems,
the longer they are avoided the harder it becomes to fix the problem.
- Don’t mix solutions: Left over solution should
be dumped out and not used. A person should not top off the solution in the
case with another solution.
- Change the storage case: The lens storage case
should also be replaced every 3 months.
When it comes to eye health and contacts, it is important to
follow all directions. Trying to same money, avoid the doctor, or save time can
lead to corneal abrasions, eye irritation the can be very severe, as well as
pink eye. Eye conditions develop quickly and not all problems can be fixed. Be
proactive and appreciate your vision. In turn, you will get to enjoy seeing all
that life has to offer.