Dos and Don'ts in Cleaning Contact Lenses
Unlike prescription glasses, contact lenses are put right into your eye, so the risks for infection are much higher. CDC reports that of the 41 million American adults wearing contact lenses, almost all of them experienced getting germs in their eyes at some point. It’s also been reported that about a third of them said that they need to visit their doctors because of redness and painful eyes. Truly, your lenses’ improper contact cleaning results in eye irritation, infection, and worse, loss of eyesight.
Jeffrey Wallin, OD Ph.D., chair of the contact lens and cornea section of the American Optometric Association, said that these eye conditions related to wearing contacts cause minor to severe irritation. There are, however, ways to reduce the risks.
Dos in contact cleaning
Here are the things you should do when wearing and caring for your contacts.
– Do clean your lens case.
A study published in Optometry and Vision Science said the people who didn’t clean and dried their contact cases before handling them had a higher count of microorganisms in their lens containers. Clean your cases properly. Pour out your lens’s contents out of the case, rub the case with your clean fingers, then rinse it again with a fresh solution. When done, wipe it using a dry tissue and store it upside down to dry. Cases have to be replaced every three months to ensure safety.
– Do keep your hands clean.
Your hands touch objects and care more germs than your fingers can count. It is critical to wash your hands before you put in your contacts or before taking them out. Use a clean, lotion-free soap, and dry your hands thoroughly right after.
– Do inquire with your eye doctor if you can sleep with contacts on
Sleeping with contacts increases the risks of eye infection by up to 10x. There are, however, some contact lenses that you can still wear in your overnight sleep. Be sure to inquire with your doctor if your contacts allow overnight wear or night.
The Don'ts in contact lens care
On the other hand, remember to avoid all these don’ts in contact lens care.
– Don’t buy contacts without any prescription.
Contact lenses are not just for decoration or cosmetics, although people often use them for aesthetics. The truth is, regardless of your reason for wearing contact lenses, may it be for decorative or prescriptive purposes, you still need to be assessed by an eye doctor before use.
– Don’t shower with your lenses on
Always remove your contact lenses before showering, using a hot tub, or going swimming. Not that water has microorganisms that can cause an eye infection. Your contact lenses should not get into contact with your lenses.
– Don’t rinse your lenses with any water.
Use the solution given to you by your doctor and not just tap, distilled, or homemade saline solution. Even when you boil the water, it will still have bacteria and infection that may cause an eye infection.
Contact lenses are put directly in your eyes. Poor hygiene and bad cleaning habits of your contacts may harm your eyesight. Remember the dos and don’ts mentioned here to ensure a healthy vision.