According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 30 million individuals here in America wear contact lenses. It is also reported that up to 90 percent of those 40 million fail to follow adequate care instructions for their contacts. Sadly, improper handling and cleaning, along with other less-than-perfect habits can lead to a number of eye health issues, including irritation and infection. A recent report that was released from the CDC showed that 99 percent of individuals who wore content lens engaged in one - at minimum - bad habit related to contact lens care. One of these included rinsing contact lenses in regular tap water, which could cause an infection. Roughly 33 percent of them have visited their eye doctor for a painful eye problem that was related to their contact lenses. With that being said, it is crucial that you know the do's and don'ts of contact lens wearing and care.
DO make sure to keep your hands clean.
Your hands are constantly covered with germs from touching and handling items throughout the day, from your coffee pot in the morning to the computer keyboard that you use at work. Therefore, you need to wash your hands thoroughly prior to placing your contacts in your eyes or taking them out.
DO take the time to clean your contact lens case.
When you fail to maintain adequate hygiene, there is a much higher risk of your contact lens case becoming contaminated. In one study, it was found that 66 percent of the lens cases of the participants were contaminated. There was a higher bacteria count for those who either did not wash their hands before handling their lens case or only used water. Wet lens cases were found to be more contaminated than dry cases. There was also a risk of contamination when the lens case and disinfecting lens solution was mismatched.
According to the American Optometric Association, to keep your case clean, pour all of the solution out and rinse it with some fresh solution. Use a tissue to wipe it dry and then place it upside down until you need to store your contacts. Your case should also be replaced at minimum every three months.
DON'T ever "top off" the solution in your case.
When you go to store your contact lenses, make sure that you replace the contact lens solution. You should never add fresh solution to old solution because this has been linked to a very rare, yet painful eye infection known as Acanthamoeba keratitis.
DON'T take a bath or shower with your contacts still in.
Since tap water has small impurities that can cause an eye infection, it is crucial that you avoid wearing your contacts when taking a shower or bathing. This is also true if you are swimming or enjoying the relaxing benefits of a hot tub. It is best to avoid tap water getting into contact with your lenses to avoid an unnecessary infection or your contacts changing shape.
For more information, contact Linden Optometry PC or a similar firm.