The popularity of contact lenses is ever growing. More companies are trying to get involved in the sale and distribution of lenses, and contact lens companies are releasing new products every year. As contact lenses have become more popular, it is crucial to be discussing how to properly care for your contact lenses. Improper lens care can lead to many problems for your eyes, including inflammation, infection, excessive dryness, and others. If left untreated, these conditions can be severe.
Proper lens care starts with hand hygiene. Many of the serious problems associated with contact lens care can be decreased by washing one’s hands before insertion and removal of the lenses. If someone doesn’t wash their hands, any of the bacteria and other microbes could be introduced to the eye or the contact lens. Secondly, proper use of solution is very important. You should never “top off” the solution in your case. Topping off is the practice of not completely disposing of the contact lens solution from the night before and adding more solution to fill the bowls. The old solution in the bowl provides a breeding ground for the microbes that can cause infections in your eyes. And then you put those microbes directly on your eyes...eww! Think of this like bathing in the same bath water day after day. You would NEVER do that!
The next care tip is to follow your optometrist’s instructions for overnight wear. There is evidence to show that wearing your contact lenses overnight poses a bigger risk than not wearing your contact lenses (Richdale et. al, 2015). However, some contact lenses can be worn overnight, although it is best to discuss the risks and benefits with your optometrist before you choose to wear contact lenses overnight.
As always, make sure you’re adhering to the replacement schedule of your lenses. If they’re monthly replacement, don’t wear them longer than 30 days. If they’re daily disposables (which we love!), throw them away at the end of the day. It’s that simple, but the tips above are often brushed to the side. We see contact lens wearers every day who abuse their contact lenses and end up with infections. Don’t be that patient!
One Love,Dr. Jenna Zigler
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