Contact Lens Health

Image: www.cdc.gov

 

Proper care of your contact lenses can help you see better and keep your eyes healthy. Your habits, supplies, and eyecare provider are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy. By following your eye care provider’s instructions on how to properly wear, clean, and store your contact lenses.

Don’t sleep with your contact lenses in your eyes. It will create problems like:
-redness and irritation
-When your eyes and contacts dry out too far you can damage the cornea
-It greatly increases the risk of infection

Wash your hands-Hand washing is the most important step you can do to keep your eyes and contact lenses and yourself healthy. If you think about all the things you touch during the day (doorknobs, keyboards, and countertops, etc…). All those microbes are transferred from your fingers to your contacts and into your eyes. This can cause a nasty infection that may damage your sight.

Keep contact lenses away from all water-As we know water is essential to life, but there are still many microorganisms even in the best water treatment facilities of North America and Europe. In most cases, these organisms in water can be fought off by the human gut when ingested and not make us sick, but your eyes don’t have the same ability to fight. A particularly dangerous germ is an ameba called Acanthamoeba, which can cause a very serious type of eye infection, Acanthamoeba Keratitis. An infection that is painful and difficult to treat. Treatment for Acanthamoeba Keratitis sometimes takes a year or more to recover. Though it is rare may require a corneal transplant or result in blindness. Water in swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, and rivers can be sources of even more dangers of infection.

Properly clean your contact lenses
1. Wash your hands first
2. Fill each chamber of your contact lens case with fresh solution
3. Make it a habit of beginning with the same eye so as not to mix the lenses up.
4. Place one lens in the palm of your clean hand, apply a few drops of disinfecting solution. With one clean finger gently rub the lens back and forth in your palm to clean the lens surface.
5. Rinse your lens thoroughly with more of your solution and put it into your clean contact lens case.
6. Repeat this routine for your other lens, close the case and leave your lenses to soak overnight.

Properly clean your contact lens case-The same bacteria from your fingers can wind up in your contact lens case, it can be a breeding ground for germs, transferring to the lenses. The following steps will help keep lenses clean and eyes healthy:
1. After putting lenses in your eyes, empty the old solution from the case (never reuse disinfecting solution).
2. Rinse the case with a little clean contact solution and rub the cups of the case with clean fingers. Rinse the case with clean solution again.
3. Allow the case to air dry, upside-down without the caps, clean the caps also, and allow to air dry, until ready to use.
4. Periodically you can put the case in the dishwasher to disinfect replace the case in boiling water for five minutes to prevent bacteria from building up.
5. Discard the case and replace it with a new one every three months.

Talk with your eye care provider. Proactive vision care can prevent more serious conditions later.

Be prepared-carry your glasses with your current prescription in case you need to remove your contacts, also a bottle of extra cleaning solution, and a contact lens case.

Sources:

www.cdc.gov

www.clevelandclinic.org

www.health.usnews.com

 

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