Don’t Make These Common Contact Lens Mistakes

According to the American Optometric Association, more than 30 million Americans wear contact lenses. At least 29.9 million of them have probably been lax with contact lens care at some point — perhaps falling asleep or swimming while wearing their lenses. These mistakes are normal and common. However, a small lapse in vigilance can put you at risk of an eye infection and lead to other complications.

Here, Dr. Edward Hedaya and the InVision EyeCare team alert you to several common contact lens mistakes to avoid.

Sleeping in Contacts

It’s best to refrain from sleeping in contacts, unless your ophthalmologist has cleared you to do so. Studies show that even occasionally sleeping in contact lenses can up your risk of irritation, discomfort and eye infection.

Swimming or Showering in Contacts

Many bodies of water (including pools, hot tubs and sinks) contain acanthamoeba, a microorganism that can cause infection and, in rare cases, blindness. A paper in the Journal of Optometry noted that contact lens wearers might account for up to 95 percent of acanthamoeba eye infections. The lenses subtly scratch the corneas, making them more susceptible to bacteria and microorganisms. Acanthamoeba also feed on bacteria that live on the surface of the contact lenses.

Not Sanitizing Contacts Properly

Contacts need to be cleaned with a special solution. Tap water is not sterile and therefore not suitable for storing lenses. Not all contact lens solutions are sufficient, either. Cheaper, generic solutions may not suit the needs of your specific lenses. Ask your ophthalmologist for a cleaning solution based on your lenses.

Also, washing — and drying — your hands is essential prior to handling contact lenses. Handling your contact with wet hands could transfer harmful microorganisms onto the lens and into the eyes.

Adding New Solution to the Old Solution in Your Lens Case

It’s not enough to simply “top off” old contact lens solution with new solution. This dilutes the disinfectant’s effectiveness. Instead, change out all of your solution on a daily basis. Rinse out your contact case with fresh solution and let it dry to avoid the buildup of biofilm and the risk of eye infection.

Change your contact lens case every three months. Research shows that keeping the same case for six months or more increases your risk of eye infection more than fivefold.

If you are tired of relying on contact lenses for clear vision, consider laser vision correction with the InVision EyeCare team. We prefer PRK or LASEK, which are surface laser vision correction procedures, and we can explain why during a private consultation.

Call us at (732) 210-0140 today to make an appointment and learn more.

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