Contact lenses are a convenient alternative to wearing glasses. Not only do they eliminate the need to wear glasses all the time, but also they offer excellent vision correction and better side vision. Additionally, there are a wide range of lens options to meet your individual needs. However, wearing contacts comes with a lot of responsibility. If you don’t take proper care of your lenses, you run the risk of damaging your eyes.
If you are a contact wearer, it’s important to follow healthy habits when wearing your lenses. Below are four bad habits to kick today.
1. Sleeping in your contacts
When you sleep with your contacts in, you decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches your eyes. As a result, your eyes can turn dry and irritated.
Another consequence of sleeping with your contacts in is that you increase the risk for infection. Dirt, makeup and other particles can become trapped in between your eye and the lens. If you are prone to falling asleep in your lenses, take them out earlier in the evening.
2. Swimming in your contacts
If you enjoy spending long summer days at the pool or beach, you’ll want to think twice about leaving your contact lenses in. Swimming with your contacts can lead to serious problems. The reason for this is because public pools and hot tubs contain chemicals that can be hazardous to your eye health.
Natural water sources like lakes, ponds and oceans might not contain harmful chemicals, but they do have microorganisms that could lead to eye infections and other serious problems. Fortunately, you have a few options to keep your eyes safe. Wear eye protection, remove your contacts or avoid putting your head under water.
3. Letting tap water touch your lenses
Tap water might seem to be a suitable solution when you need to lubricate your contact lenses, but it’s not. First, tap water isn’t salty like tears, so the lenses hold onto the water and swell. Secondly, tap water is not sterile like contact solution is. It contains microorganisms that can get into the eye and cause infection or long-term damage.
If you need to refresh your contacts, take them out and let them sit in contact solution or use eye drops. It’s best to keep an extra case and small bottle of solution on hand at all times so that you’re not tempted to use water.
4. Not washing your lens case
Your contact lens case should be changed every one to three months. They are like little petri dishes that hold all sorts of bacteria. With the wet and sealed conditions, it’s easy for the bacteria to grow and transfer onto your lenses.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when it comes to cleaning your case. The guidelines typically include dumping out the old solution, rinsing your case with contact solution and letting it air dry each day with the caps off.
If you experience any problems with your contact lenses, contact an eye specialist in Brooklyn NY right away. You can get a proper diagnosis and an appropriate plan of action to ease your symptoms and prevent further damage. For a quick diagnosis and individualized care, contact Empire Retina Consultants today.