Contact Lenses Do’s and Don’ts – Tips for Caring for Your Contact Lenses
Even if your current contact lens routine seems to be working well, you should be aware of some common practices that can threaten your eye health or your vision. For example, did you know that even contact lenses made for overnight use can be harmful to keep in all night? Here are some dos and don’ts to help you take optimal care of your lenses.
- DON’T sleep in your contact lenses
In spite of what contact lens manufacturers say about their lenses being safe to sleep in, research overwhelmingly shows a connection between sleeping in contacts and contact lens-related eye infections. That’s because sleeping in your lenses decreases the flow of oxygen to your eyes and reduces natural moisture. Even with the newer, continuous-wear lenses, it’s still smart to remove yours daily.
- DO have an annual eye exam
Even if you think sight is okay with your current lenses, you should still see your local eye doctor regularly for checkups. Many people don’t realize that the shape of their eyes can change, affecting the fit of their lenses. If yours are too tight or too loose, it can cause vision problems. See your eye doctor each year to ensure that your lenses don’t require adjustments.
- DON’T use contact lenses longer than recommended
Many people try to save money or trips to the optometrist by wearing their lenses longer than recommended, not changing them until they feel they need to. The problem is that when your lenses “feel like” they need to be changed, it’s a sign that something is already wrong. The problem could be a buildup of bacteria on the inside of the lens or even an abrasion on your cornea. If your lenses are designed to be discarded after two weeks, then that’s the maximum amount of time you should wait to abandon them – not the minimum.
- DO clean your lenses and case properly
Remember that tap water is not sterile and should never be used to clean your contact lenses. You should also never put your lenses in your mouth. Instead, clean them with a commercial contact lens solution, being careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. Also, wash and dry your case every day and fill it with fresh solution – never “top it off” by adding more solution to the used solution already in the case.
- DON’T ignore the signs of infection
If you notice anything unusual with your eyes such as pain, redness, sensitivity to light, or blurry vision, you may have a problem that requires medical attention. In general, symptoms such as these that last 24 hours or more should be evaluated by an eye doctor. However, indicators that seem severe should be attended to immediately. Most contact lens-related problems are treatable if addressed promptly. Untreated, though, some of these issues can lead to long-term vision problems such as scarring, reduced vision, or complete blindness.
- DO establish a relationship with an optometrist
When you move from eye doctor to eye doctor depending on who’s offering the best deal, you’ll miss out on the continuity of care that’s so important to monitor your eye health over time. If at all possible, schedule your annual exams with the same optometrist each time, and go to the same person whenever you experience a problem – not your local urgent care center.
Knowing the facts can help you wear your contact lenses comfortably and safely year after year without straining or injuring your eyes. Ask us about our range of lens options, including soft contact lenses, scleral lenses, EyePrintPro, cosmetic lenses, RGP lenses, and more.