Soft Contact Lens Safety
A friend finally got tired of reading signs and identifying people for me and suggested I try contacts. Being the reasonable girl that I am I agreed right away, even though the thought of my finger getting that close to my eyeball scared me. I went to my appointment, got my contacts and haven’t looked back since.
I’ll admit I haven’t taken care of my contacts and my eyes as well as I should. After one scary road trip where I couldn’t drive because of my irritated eyes I decided I had better be more diligent about my eye care. Not only were my eyes red and sore I was blinking incessantly. I’m pretty sure every person I met that week thought I was flirting with him or her due to my constant blinking.
Thankfully there was nothing really wrong with my eyes they just needed a break. I had over-done it and should have taken my contacts out more often. I know realize I could have been doing permanent damage to my eyes.
Have Your Eyes Checked Annually
This one I ignored and went every two years. When you wear contacts this is a big no-no. Your eyes are constantly changing and your contacts can become the wrong size, fit or strength very quickly. If you aren’t going as often as you should you could be compromising your vision.
Change Your Contacts As Instructed
Follow the instructions on your contacts or per your doctor’s advice to the letter. If you wear disposable lenses, dispose of them as needed. This may be daily. If your contact manufacturer says you should throw them out once a month make sure you do so. Contacts can stretch out and warp. This not only will throw off your vision it can cause the contact to irritate or even scratch your eye.
Proper cleaning of your contacts is an important part of keeping your eyes healthy. One huge no-no with contact use is using your own saliva to wet your lenses if they fall to the ground or if you are trying to insert them in a hurry. This can lead to eye infection and eye irritation.
Wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and soap before inserting or removing your lenses. Use a soap that does not contain moisturizers or other unneeded additives. Rinse hands until there is no trace of the soap remaining.
Remove each contact and clean. Most contacts will be cleaned well with a multi-purpose cleaner. Be sure to use the solution your eye doctor recommends because some types of lenses require a different solution. Add a few drops of solution to your palm and gently rub the lenses for a few seconds to remove makeup or any other materials. Rinse the lens again with your solution and insert into your eye. Repeat this at night when you are removing your lenses at night before placing them in your contact case.
When storing your contacts overnight remember to follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter. Use the appropriate solution or cleaning method as prescribed. Never use water to store your lenses. This will very easily lead to infection.
Clean your lens case at least once a week with hot water. It is recommended you replace your case at least twice a year. To be on the safe side you should consider doing this four times a year. This also holds true for any other materials you use for cleaning your contacts. If you think you may have contaminated your solution by allowing something to touch the tip of the bottle, throw it out and open a new container. It is very important to keep these items free of any contaminants. Contacts are going into your eyes after all and it is a delicate area.
Remove your contacts nightly. If your doctor recommends you only wear your contacts for a limited amount of hours each day make sure you follow the instructions. Wearing contacts longer than you should leads to a lack of oxygen to the eye. This can cause serious complications.
During the day your tears help to carry oxygen to your eyes. Eyes breath though the surface as well. At night your eyes make less tears and if you are wearing contacts you are severely limiting the amount of oxygen your eyes are receiving. According to the FDA Website this leaves your eyes more vulnerable to infection.
The FDA also recommends you do not use lenses unless they are FDA approved. Never use contacts that are not prescribed by your eye doctor and never borrow lenses from a friend.
Those Who Shouldn’t Use Lenses
There are people with tear production problems which leads to dry and irritated eyes. If you are one of these people it is recommended you do not wear contact lenses. Lack of tear production will cause infection and eye irritation if contacts are worn.
Children can wear contacts but this should be at the discretion of the eye doctor and the parents. The decision should be made in accordance to the severity of the child’s eye problems and the maturity of the child. Many children can successfully insert and remove contacts on their own.
If you have a job that requires you to be inside very dusty or smoky environments you may want to consider not using contacts while you are working. Severe allergies may also hinder your ability to comfortably wear contacts.