The Dos and Don'ts for Contact Lens Wearers

Contact lenses have become popular for correcting vision due to their convenience and look. But as helpful as these small tools for vision can be, it’s important to take good care of them and use them safely and comfortably. This article will share some key dos and don’ts for wearing contact lenses, helping you keep your eye health at its best.

The Dos of Using Contact Lenses

There are a bunch of tips and tricks for using contact lenses. Following these can help make sure you have a comfortable and safe experience.

  • Wearing Contact Lenses Correctly: It’s crucial to check that the contact lens is not inside out before wearing it. The lens should form a perfect cup on your fingertip. If the edges flare out, it’s inside out. Also, ensure your lens is clean and debris-free before inserting it into your eye.
  • Maintain Hand Hygiene: Always wash your hands thoroughly with non-perfumed soap and water, rinsing them well and drying them with a lint-free towel before touching your lenses. This step is important to prevent the transfer of harmful bacteria to the eye, which could cause infections.
  • Regular Eye Exams: Regular check-ups with an optometrist are important to ensure your eyes remain healthy and your prescription remains accurate. Your eye health can change over time, and your contact lens prescription needs to keep pace.
  • Proper Cleaning and Storage: Always clean and rinse your lenses using the recommended lens solution after each wear. Store them in a clean lens case filled with fresh solution. Never reuse old solutions; replace the case every three months to avoid bacterial build-up.
  • Disposal of Daily Lenses: If you’re a daily disposable lens wearer, remember to dispose of them right after use. Never reuse these lenses, as they are designed for single use only and can harbor bacteria if worn more than once.

By following these guidelines, you can maintain good eye health and maximize contact lenses’ benefits.

The Don’ts When Using Contact Lenses

While the benefits of contact lenses are plenty, certain habits can lead to discomfort, infections, or damage to the eyes:

  • Avoid Sleeping in Your Lenses: Unless prescribed extended-wear lenses, sleeping in your contact lenses can deprive your corneas of oxygen, leading to eye infections and corneal ulcers. Removing them before bedtime is best to allow your eyes to rest.
  • Don’t Overuse Lenses: Each pair of contact lenses has a specified lifespan, whether they’re daily, weekly, or monthly lenses. Wearing lenses beyond their recommended use can lead to protein buildup on the lenses, causing discomfort and potentially serious eye infections.
  • Don’t Ignore Discomfort: If you experience discomfort, redness, or inflammation when wearing lenses, don’t ignore it. This could be a sign of a developing infection or other eye condition. Remove your lenses and consult your optometrist at once.
  • Never Use Tap Water or Saliva on Lenses: Both tap water and saliva contain harmful bacteria that can cause severe eye infections. Always clean your lenses with the recommended cleaning solution.
  • Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes: Rubbing your eyes when wearing lenses can cause the lenses to dislodge or scratch your cornea. Removing your lenses and rinsing them with a sterile saline solution or artificial tears is best if your eyes feel irritated.

The “don’ts” of contact lens wear are as important as the “dos,” and ignoring these can lead to serious eye health issues. By keeping these points in mind, you can enjoy the convenience of contact lenses while protecting your vision.

Consequences of Ignoring the Dos and Don’ts

Disregarding the dos and don’ts of contact lens wear can lead to severe risks and complications:

  • Eye Infections: One of the most common consequences of not following recommended contact lens practices is eye infections. Bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections can cause symptoms such as redness, pain, light sensitivity, and blurry vision. Severe infections can lead to corneal damage and even vision loss if not treated promptly.
  • Corneal Ulcers: These painful open sores on the cornea can result from severe bacterial or viral infections, often exacerbated by improper lens care or overuse. Corneal ulcers can seriously impair vision and demand immediate medical attention.
  • Corneal Abrasions: Rubbing the eyes too vigorously or wearing dirty or damaged lenses can cause scratches on the cornea, known as corneal abrasions. These can be highly uncomfortable and can make your eyes vulnerable to infections.
  • Contact Lens Acute Red Eye (CLARE): This condition can occur if you sleep in your lenses, resulting in sudden redness and eye irritation.

If you experience persistent eye discomfort, photophobia (light sensitivity), blurry vision, excessive tearing, or unusual eye discharge, these are warning signs of potential problems that need immediate attention from an eye care professional.

Ignoring the basic guidelines of contact lens use can lead to these severe eye health issues. Therefore, adhering to the recommended practices is beneficial and crucial for maintaining healthy vision.

Clear Sight, Clear Mind

Wearing contact lenses has its perks, but it also has some rules. The convenience and freedom you get from lenses depend on following the dos and don’ts we’ve discussed.

Taking care of your contact lenses properly, which includes cleaning them well, using them right, and seeing your eye doctor regularly, will help keep your eyes healthy. Not following these steps can lead to severe problems, so sticking to them is important.

Remember that contact lenses are a safe way to correct your vision. Contact your eye doctor immediately if you feel discomfort or notice any issues. You can keep your eyes healthy and still enjoy the benefits of contact lenses. It’s all about having the proper care and information.