Most of the time, contact lens care is straightforward. When you are prescribed your new lenses your optical care team will talk through with you the reasons why it is so important to take care of them. However, as with all new things, after a while we can become a little less careful. When wearing contact lenses, carelessness can be dangerous, and can lead to irritation of the eyes or even, more drastically, vision loss.
Here are a few reminders of the most critical ‘don'ts’ that come with the care of your contact lenses:
Your lenses need to be cleaned safely and tap water is harmful. Just make sure that you are always stocked up with a supply of the correct solution for you lenses.
Routine is everything, and lenses need to be cleaned everyday so that there is no opportunity for bacteria to grow on their surface. Just get into the habit.
Solution needs to be clean and if it has been used before, it will be storing bacteria that has had chance to grow. Always ensure your solution is fresh out of the bottle.
Your hands are touching the lenses as they go in and as they come out of your eyes and they have a very real possibility of passing on debris or bacteria. It goes without saying that hands should therefore always be clean when handling lenses, but one thing also worth mentioning is that rinsing thoroughly is equally important. Residue from soap can also affect the lenses and irritate your eyes.
Not only is there a strong likelihood of losing your lenses when swimming in a pool of water, but of course the levels of chlorine are also harmful for the lenses and ultimately your eyes. This applies to hot tubs in exactly the same way.
Your eyes need quiet, resting time - everyday. Your sleep time is the best time to rest them - after all you don’t need your lenses when your eyes are shut.
Eyeballs need access to oxygen, without this there is a possibility of corneal abrasion which can lead to infection. Use as directed by your optical health professional, and certainly don't over use.
It's hard to believe that people will do this but some really do! Clearly, the most obvious issue is that your sight is very unlikely to be exactly the same as the other person, so that in itself will cause harm to your vision. Secondly and equally important, by sharing lenses you are increasing your risk of bacteria growth. Don't do it.
For those of us who like to wear eye make up it is always important to ensure that the products do not touch the lenses in any way. Smudges of eyeliner are to be avoided as they will cause irritation.
In the absence of solution, maybe when you are out and about, it can beg lenses but one thing also worth mentioning is that rinsing thoroughly is equally important. Residue from soap can also affect the lenses and irritate your eyes.