Prevent Blindness has declared October to be Contact Lens Safety Month to increase awareness of the importance of taking care of contact lenses to avoid developing serious eye and vision problems.
The optometric physicians at The Eye Center in Pembroke Pines have expertise in fitting patients in the right contact lenses so that patients experience visual clarity and comfort while wearing their contacts. If you wear contact lenses, it is vital to follow your doctor’s instructions on how long you should wear them, and if applicable, how you should store them.
Basic Rules of Contact Lens Care
Unlike eyeglasses, contact lenses sit directly on your eyes. While a convenient and popular option for many, wearing contact lenses requires patients to properly care for them. People who do not follow their eye doctor’s instructions run the risk of developing serious eye infections and not being able to successfully wear contact lenses. We’ll share some basic rules on contact lens care.
Wash your hands every single time before handling your contact lenses
Practice good hygiene when handling your contact lenses. Always wash your hands before inserting or removing your contact lenses.
Store your contact lenses properly
Wash your contact lens case with a contact lens solution and not water. Allow it to dry between uses and be sure to replace it every three months. If you aren’t wearing a daily or one-time use contact lens, always clean and store your contact lenses in a fresh contact lens solution. Do not reuse old solutions.
Never store or clean your contacts in water
There are harmful microorganisms in water, and they can get onto your contact lenses and cause irritation or infection. Always use a contact lens solution to store your contact lenses.
Don’t shower or swim while wearing your contact lenses
There are tiny microorganisms in the water that can get on your contact lenses if you take a shower or swim with them in your eyes, so remove contacts before taking a shower or swimming.
Don’t overwear your contact lenses
Follow the replacement schedule for your contact lenses to avoid developing serious eye infections. Unfortunately, overwearing contact lenses is a common problem and can lead to developing painful eye conditions including red eyes, contact lenses not feeling comfortable, sensitivity to light, and even new blood vessels developing in the whites of the eyes due to the lack of oxygen. Wearing contact lenses past their expiration date is simply not worth the risk to your eye health!
Don’t sleep in your contact lenses
Unless your doctor specifies you should sleep in your contact lenses, always remove your contact lenses before going to sleep at night or even before taking a nap. Your eyes need oxygen to be healthy. When you sleep in your contact lenses, you wake up with dry eyes and feel like the contact lenses are “stuck” to your eyes at best. At worst, you can develop very painful and serious infections.
Avoid rubbing your eyes while wearing your contact lenses
Rubbing your eyes can damage or dislodge your contact lenses as well as damage the cornea (the front surface of the eye).
Remove your contact lenses if your eyes are irritated
Don’t wear your contact lenses if you have red, itchy, or irritated eyes. Everyone who primarily wears contact lenses should also have a “backup” pair of eyeglasses in case of irritation, redness, itchiness, or feeling unwell.
Need Contact Lenses? Schedule an Appointment for Contact Lens Exam
If you’ve been struggling with your contact lenses or need new contact lenses, please give us a call to schedule an appointment for a contact lens exam. The Optometric Physicians at The Eye Center in Pembroke Pines are experts in fitting the right contact lenses which offer visual clarity and comfort.