If you are one of the many contact lens wearers in America, chances are you already know what protocol to follow in order to protect your eyes while using these medical devices: First thoroughly wash and dry your hands, then gently removing your contact lenses and wash them with some solution before storing them in an airtight case filled with fresh solution.
Unfortunately, many don't usually adhere to these simple steps, let alone avoid many other things that their optometrist warns them against. This article provides 3 important reminders of things you should avoid if you are a contact lens wearer and why.
Letting water come into contact with your lenses
It is vital that no water- whether from the shower or the swimming pool- come into contact with your contact lenses. This is because the water isn't salty like tears are, and will thus be absorbed into the lenses, causing them to swell.
Swollen lenses will not fit properly in your eyes and might cause irritation and discomfort, while the swelling might also create microscopic spaces between the lenses and the cornea that germs can inhabit, leading to serious infections.
Taking your contact lenses off while swimming or showering will not only avoid these potential problems, but it will also eliminate the likelihood of them coming off and getting lost. Only solution should be used for cleaning or storing of contact lenses.
Wearing your contact lenses even when feeling discomfort
Any discomfort or blurry vision while wearing contact lenses should never be ignored, as it could indicate an underlying problem such as an infection or a prescription that needs renewing.
Should you notice any reddening of the eyes, blurred vision, a tingling sensation or any discomfort, you should immediately take the contact lenses off. You could try applying lubricating drops if you're simply experiencing discomfort, but any other problem should be discussed with an optometrist.
Wearing your contact lenses for longer than recommended
If you are wearing your dailies or monthlies for more than the stipulated time, you are running the risk of a serious eye infection. Though made of plastic, contact lenses contain pores that help keep them moist and attached to your cornea. These pores trap debris over time, which could cause infections, dry eyes, or discomfort if the lenses are used for longer than recommended.
Wearing your contact lenses overnight or over extended periods could also cause problems, as it deprives your eyes of oxygen, nourishment and lubrication. If you must wear contact lenses for extended periods, ask your optometrist to recommend a type suited for such prolonged use.