In the United States, about 45 million people wear contact lenses to correct your vision. Improper contact lens care and wear can lead to serious eye infections and cause long-lasting damage. Eye infection and damage are always preventable with proper care.
Six out of seven adolescents who wear contact lenses report one of the following habits that can increase the chance of eye infection. The habits are:
- Sleeping or dozing off with contacts still on.
- Not visiting an eye specialist often
- Taking a bath or swimming while wearing lenses.
Parents of adolescents should encourage healthy contact lens care habits in their children so that they develop and maintain healthy behaviour.
Here are some contact lens wear and care habits you should develop and follow if you want to avoid your eyes from getting infected.
Don’t sleep or doze off with contacts on:
Sleeping or taking a nap while wearing contacts increases the risk of eye infection. 18 to 20 people out of every 10,000, who sleep while wearing contacts, get an infection of microbial keratitis. Microbial keratitis causes inflammation of the cornea. In the worst cases, it can lead to a permanent loss of vision. Also, do get instructions from him on proper lens care.
Visit your eye specialist regularly:
Most of the eye doctors recommend visiting them at least once a year. Wearing contact lenses increases the risk of eye complications and many kinds of infections, therefore, it is necessary for you to get your eyes examined regularly. Your doctor will make sure if things are functioning perfectly and whether you need any eye care procedure or not.
Change the contact lens case regularly:
A lot of people who use contact lenses say they do not replace their lens case so often. Contact lens case gets contaminated over time even though you clean it by rubbing and rinsing with a disinfecting solution. The germs that contaminate the case infect the eyes when they come into contact with the eyes. Contact lens needs changing every two or three months.
Don’t shower or swim while wearing contact lenses:
Water, especially the water in the swimming pool and open water bodies, contains a lot of germs that can stick to contact lenses and cause eye complications. Wearing contacts while swimming increases the risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis. It is a severe eye infection that is caused by a free-living amoeba found in water. This infection is extremely painful and difficult to treat and can also cause blindness.
Avoid reusing the same contact lens solution:
The disinfecting capabilities of the solution are gone once you have used it. If you reuse the contact solution, you are saving money at the cost of your eyes’ health. Therefore, use a fresh solution every time to store the lenses in the case.
Use contact solution instead of the saline solution:
The saline solution does not clean or disinfect as it is simply sterile salt water. Always use the solutions that contain some disinfectant. Also, never use your saliva as a wetting agent because your mouth has hundreds of bacteria.
Pay your doctor a visit when you feel discomfort
It is more of common sense but it can easily be ignored when you have a busy lifestyle. When you are using contact lenses, never put up with even the minor irritation, as it could be a sign of some eye complication or other problem.
Take care of the basic cleanliness when handling contacts:
Always wash your hands with soap and dry them with a lint-free towel before handling your contact lenses. Gently rub it with the solution after taking it out from each eye. Then rinse them with fresh solution before storing them in the case; squeeze enough solution into each compartment so that the lens gets completely dipped in it. You can rub each lens slightly to remove germs.
You need to rinse it off with a new solution and discard the old one before putting them back in your eyes