Contact lenses give you the freedom to enjoy life unencumbered by glasses that may break, fog up or get in the way. These corrective lenses come in various options, from soft or rigid gas permeable lenses to extended wear and daily disposable contacts. No matter the type you prefer, it’s crucial to your vision and eye health to wear them as directed and keep the contact lenses and your hands clean to avoid infection. Dr. Ernest Kornmehl has seen what poor contact lens care can do to patients during eye exams at our Boston office. Avoid these bad habits to maintain healthy eyes and good vision with corrective eyewear.
Sleeping with Contact Lenses Inserted
The worst thing a contact lens wearer can do for their vision is sleep with their contacts still placed on the eyes. Sleeping in contacts can cause corneal abrasions, eye inflammation and infection. The cornea needs oxygen and the overnight break to avoid oxidative stress that puts the eye at risk of bacteria, especially with soft contact lenses where pathogens multiply quickly.
Using Anything but the Proper Solution to Store and Clean Contacts
A hydrogen peroxide-based solution is the most effective way to reduce bacteria on contact lenses, and there are aisles full of options at your local stores. Make sure you use fresh contact solution each night, and never use water or other liquids to store contact lenses. Water can taint the lenses with bacteria, such as staphylococcus aureus and pseudomonas aeruginosa; these challenging-to-treat and fast-growing bacterial infections may permanently damage vision. Showering and swimming are discouraged for the same reasons, particularly in freshwater.
Wearing Contact Lenses Beyond Their Prime
How long you wear your contact lenses depends on the lens type and material. Some are made to be worn just for a day, while others are used for four weeks. Eye infection risk increases every day that contact lenses are worn past their recommended window and can lead to corneal ulcers, chronic inflammation and hypoxia (lack of oxygen that causes irregular blood vessel growth). Disposable daily wear contact lenses are the best choice for most patients.
If you notice eye irritation and other worrisome symptoms while wearing contact lenses, schedule a comprehensive eye exam to identify and treat the issue as soon as possible. Timely eye care and treatment can save vision in some cases.
Schedule an eye exam at Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates in Boston, Massachusetts, today by calling (877) 870-2010 or filling out our online contact form.