When contact lens wearers see pictures of people with terrible eye infections, far too many have an "it couldn't happen to me" reaction. But the truth is, it could happen to you. Improper contact lens use leads to almost a million eye infections per year, according to the CDC. Sadly, most contact wearers are making one or more mistakes that qualify as improper contact lens use. Here's a look at the mistakes you must avoid in order to truly reduce your risk of eye infections.
Mistake #1: Wearing your lenses in the pool.
Many lens wearers know that they're not supposed to wear their lenses in the pool, but they do so anyways, figuring that the worst thing that can happen is losing their lenses in the water. However, there's another more important reason why your eye doctor advises you not to wear your contacts in the pool: it can cause an infection.
Pool water is sometimes laden with bacteria and other pathogenic organisms that can cause eye infections, including the amoebic species that can cause acanthamoeba keratitis, an eye infection that can result in permanent blindness. Swim without contacts, and your eye's natural lubricant will likely sweep any pathogens off your eye before they have time to cause an infection. Swim with contacts, and the contacts will trap the pathogens against your eye, giving them plenty of time to replicate and cause infection. The moral of the story is: take your contacts out before swimming. It's far better to have blurry vision while you're in the pool than to go blind for life.
Mistake #2: Not washing and changing your contact case.
Simply dumping and replacing the solution in your case every night is not enough. Bacteria can build up in your contact case over time, eventually leading to an eye infection. That's why you need to clean your contact case with boiling water at least once per week. Just place it in a pot of boiling water. The heat will kill any bacteria. Alternatively, you can put your case through the dishwasher. Since cases can develop microcracks that can harbor bacteria and fungi, you should also replace your case with a new one every three months. Consider stocking up on cases and setting a reminder on your phone so you don't forget to change yours.
Mistake #3: Continuing to wear your lenses when your eyes feel dry and irritated.
When your eyes are dry, the simple act of blinking can cause your contacts to abrade your cornea. This increases your risk of infection. If your eyes start feeling dry when you're wearing contacts, put in some contact-safe eye drops. If this does not help, take the lenses out and switch to your glasses. You should always carry eye drops, contact solution, your contact case, and glasses with you so that this is an option. If your eyes are frequently feeling dry when you wear your contacts, talk to your eye doctor. You may need a different type of lens to keep your eye more moist.
Mistake #4: Leaving the cap off of your contact solution bottle.
Just think how terrible it would be if your contact solution were to become contaminated with bacteria or fungi. Every time you put your contacts in your eyes, you'd be introducing pathogens to your eyes! Sadly, if you leave the lid off your contact solution bottle, this is exactly what you're doing, and it will only be a matter of time before you develop an infection. When you leave the lid off the bottle, any pathogens in the air can collect on the tip of the bottle and eventually work their way into the solution. Get in the habit of putting the lid back on as soon as you're finished with the solution. And never touch the tip of your solution bottle with your fingers, case, or another item!
If you do develop signs of an eye infection, such a redness, discharge, and irritation, contact your eye doctor. He or she can work with you to determine what caused the infection so it does not happen again.Share
24 March 2016
After I realized that I was going to be traveling a lot for work, I realized that I didn't want to wear my contact lenses 24/7. Instead of suffering with dry, itchy, irritated eyes, I decided that it might be best to work with an eye doctor who could help me to find a pair of frames that would look great on my face. I wanted to find glasses that were just as attractive as I was, so I started looking around. I visited a great optometry office, and the doctor helped to guide me towards glasses that were perfect for my face shape. This blog is all about finding a better pair of glasses.