You’ve decided that contact lenses are the best option for your lifestyle, and you want to enjoy your ability to see the world more clearly. To accomplish this, it’s important that you steer clear of some common mistakes that both contact lens newcomers and veterans often make.
At Vision and Ortho-K Center, Dr. Curtis Frank and our team focus on specialty contacts, as well as regular contacts, which means we have extensive expertise in the area of contact lens use.
So that you can get the most out of your contacts, we’re going to tackle some common mistakes we see people make when it comes to wearing and caring for these delicate lenses.
1. Wearing contact lenses to bed
Unless your contact lenses are specifically designed for extended wear, one of the worst mistakes you can make is sleeping in your contact lenses. When you sleep with your contact lenses in, your risk for eye infections increases by six to eight times. The reason behind this is that your eyes need oxygen and hydration to fight off harmful microbes and bacteria.
Even a quick nap in the afternoon is a no-no, as any time your eyes are shut, they create an environment in which pathogens can thrive.
2. Showering or swimming with contact lenses in
Here again, unless otherwise specified by your contact lens manufacturer, we urge you to take your contact lenses out before you hit any type of water, whether it’s in a shower or a pool. Water harbors germs and your contact lenses can act as bridges between these germs and your eyes.
3. Forgetting to clean the case
Even if you dutifully clean and disinfect your contact lenses, if you’re not doing the same with your contact lens cases, you’re potentially undoing all of your efforts. Not only should you remember to clean your storage cases, you should swap them out regularly, such as each time you receive new lenses.
4. Not replacing lenses often enough
Contact lenses are designed to serve you well for a certain period, after which you need to replace them. All too often, we see people not replacing their contact lenses as we’ve prescribed, which can not only affect your vision, but leave you more prone to eye problems, as older lenses often carry more debris and harmful pathogens.
5. Handling lenses without washing your hands
Every time you take your contact lenses out or put them in, it’s imperative that you do so with clean hands. Hands, in general, carry millions of bacteria and can transfer viruses, which means dirty hands can transfer these potentially harmful organisms to your contact lenses.
If the threat of disease isn’t enough, handling your contact lenses with dirty hands can also transfer dirt and debris, which can not only scratch your lenses, but irritate your eyes.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all had a crash course in the importance of washing our hands, and we urge you to carry this practice over to your contact lens care.
If you have more questions about the correct way to care for your contact lenses, contact us at our office in Boston, Massachusetts.