Over 40 million people in the United States wear contact lenses and Center for Disease Control found that 99% of contact lens wearers reported at least one bad eye care habit. If you wear lenses, you are at a much greater risk for developing eye irritation and infections because the amount of oxygen that reaches the corneas is reduced.
Eye infections can be caused by bacterial, fungal or viral components and can result in redness, irritation and loss of vision. Left untreated, these various infections can result in permanent damage.
Follow these contact lens care tips to keep your eyes healthy and your vision intact.
1. Do not sleep in your contact lenses. | Fifty percent of contact users report sleeping in their contact lenses. When you sleep in your lenses, they act as a double barrier, trapping bacteria directly on the eye.
2. Replace your contact lenses on time. | Over 82% of contact wearers retain their contact lenses longer than recommended. Due to normal wear, lens become more susceptible to germs the longer they are in use, therefore it is important to replace them on time.
3. Store and disinfect your lenses properly. | It is important to clean your case on a regular basis and discard used solution daily. Replace your case every month or put in the dishwasher to sterilize. Using the same case for over an extended period of time can add to a pathogen buildup.
4. Avoid water when wearing contact lenses. | Tap water is not sterile enough to rinse your contact lens or case. Water may contain pathogens and pollutants that can cause infections. Avoid showering and swimming while wearing your contact lenses.
5. Never touch contacts with unwashed hands. | Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water and dry them before handling your lenses.
6. Have your eyes examined annually. | It is important for contact wearers to have their eyes checked annually. Don’t miss your yearly eye exam.
Signs of an eye infection include itching, redness, watery discharge, sensitivity to light or blurred vision. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your preferred eye care professional immediately.
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