About 45 million of the US population are contact lens wearers.  Sometimes contact lenses are medically necessary, but for the majority of those contact lens wearers it is a choice since they are more convenient than glasses.  This may seem like a simple choice, but contacts are considered medical devices and should be treated as such.  It is important to make sure proper precautions are used when handling and using contact lenses and to follow the directions your optometrist has given you.  We will outline what should be considered when using contact lenses.

USE CLEAN HANDS TO HANDLE CONTACTS:

It is extremely important to wash your hands before touching your eyes and contacts.  This can prevent different types of infections from certain pathogens being transferred from your fingers to your eyes.  It can also prevent any allergic reactions to any particles on your fingers.

CLEAN YOUR CONTACTS PROPERLY:

If you are using anything other than daily disposable contact lenses, they need to be cleaned and disinfected after each use.  Daily disposable contact lenses can be disposed of daily, which makes them the safest contacts.  Only contact lens solution that is specified for this use should be utilized.  Even distilled water can carry minerals and bacteria that are not safe for our eyes.

CHANGE YOUR CONTACT LENS CASE AND SOLUTION FREQUENTLY:

Contact lens solution that is stored in the case should be replaced daily.  This should never be topped off or reused as this reduces the disinfecting power of the solution.  Just as the solution in the case should be changed daily, the case should be changed every month.  This is another reason daily disposable contacts are recommended since the risk of infection is reduced.  Feel free to stop by NOVA Optique + Eyecare in Ballston and we would be happy to provide you with a new case and extra solution.

DO NOT SLEEP, SHOWER, OR SWIM IN YOUR CONTACTS:

One of the main reasons contact lens patients suffer from eye infections are due to them sleeping in their contact lenses.  This is a bad habit that can lead to serious complication.  Swimming and showering in contacts can also lead to different types of infections, which can lead to sight-threatening ocular problems.

Contact  lenses are convenient for those who lead active lifestyles.  However, they should not be treated as just another accessory, since the consequences of not taking care of them properly can be devastating.  If you are having any complications from your contact lenses, make sure to seek the help of an eye doctor immediately.