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Proper Wear and Care of Contact Lenses
By Lucero Penaloza Arteaga, OD
Millions of people wear contact lenses each day without much thought of proper wear and care. By practicing good hygiene and breaking bad habits, you can ensure you maintain healthy eyes and keep eye infections away.
Keep Them Clean
Avoiding eye infections begins with good hygiene. Sometimes people take short cuts with their contact lens hygiene. They might top off or reuse their contact lens solution as a way to save money. This can lead to contact lens-related infections with potentially serious consequences, such as an infection in the cornea that can lead to scarring and impaired vision.
Studies prove how rubbing the lens in your palm (on cleanly washed hands) is the best way to avoid eye infections. Experts recommend using fresh solution each day in the lens case. Even a contact lens case can carry pathogens, so replace it every three months.
Remove Before Sleeping
Sleeping in contact lenses is another way to encourage problems. This prevents oxygen from getting to the eye and can lead to redness, inflammation, abrasions, or infection. Take the few extra moments to remove and properly clean your lenses before hitting the pillow.
Contacts and water don’t mix. Remove contacts before swimming or taking a shower. Water may contain pollutants that cause bacteria, especially from a pool, hot tub, or lake.
Wear Proper Lenses
Contact lenses that are old or fit poorly can scratch your eye. Wear your contacts for the recommended time frame by the provider and don’t try to extend the life. One-month lenses, for example, should be worn only 30 days.
All of these tips will help ensure your eyes remain infection free. Visit your Kelsey-Seybold physician if you experience red or painful eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision, or watering from contact wear.
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