Contact Lens Hygiene

Neglecting or forgetting to properly clean your contact lenses can result in serious damage to your eyes over time. Currently, contact lenses are made up of better materials than in the past and many problems in regards to hygiene has been reduced. This is great news for people who wear contact lenses frequently but it should not replace regular cleaning of your contact lenses entirely. In this article, we will go over some ways to properly clean your contact lenses to reduce the risk of infection and what is at risk if you do not.

At Risk

In 2014 a study was done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of people who wear contacts frequently. This study revealed that almost all of the people who were surveyed fell under at least one category of improper hygiene for their contact lenses. Some of these categories included sleeping, showering, and napping with their contact lenses in. These kinds of behaviors have potential for serious infections in and around your eyes. Sleeping or napping in your contact lenses runs the risk of infection in your cornea. While sleeping with your contacts in your corneas are cut off from oxygen. If some contact lenses are approved for overnight use it is still important to take them while you sleep so your corneas have time to take in the appropriate amount of oxygen.

Showering in your contact lenses or using tap water in replacement of the recommended solution poses similar risks to your vision. An acanthamoeba is an amoeba found in water that can infect your eye and cause blindness if not treated properly. An acanthamoeba does not normally have an effect on humans in normal consumption when drinking water but your eyes are much more sensitive to such threats.

Recommendations

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent these diseases and keep your eyes healthy. Always follow your doctor’s instructions when cleaning your contact lenses. Make sure you wash your hands before taking out or putting in your contact lenses. Remove your contact lenses before entering any body of water or taking a shower. Put contact lenses in before applying any kind of makeup and replace your contact lens container every three months.

The final tip is to see your eye doctor frequently to ensure that you are taking care of your contact lenses appropriately.  

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