TIPS TO AVOID MISUSE OF CONTACT LENSES
Contact lenses – you either love them or can’t wear them. If you are a contact lens wearer you have more than likely noticed how far we have come in the development of contact lenses since you started using them. Perhaps you have also been guilty of ignoring the wearing and care instructions from your optometrist. In a recent study 99% of people admitted they practiced at least one bad habit with their contact lenses and that puts them at a higher risk for eye infections.
Contacts are a convenient alternative to wearing eyeglasses. If you are like many Americans you have become quite accustomed to your contacts and may sometime forget you have them in. This usually leads to pushing the envelope on wearing them or leaving contacts in at times when you should not. Contaminated solutions can lead to infection. Are you changing the solution in your cases daily?
While contacts are more convenient and provide a greater range of clarity than glasses, improper handling can lead to eye infections. People who wear contact lenses have a higher risk for keratitis, an infection of the cornea, the clear outer covering of your eye. They’re also called corneal ulcers. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and a rare but serious eye parasite can also cause keratitis.
Depending on the type of contact lenses you have, some of the most common misuses for contacts are:
- Wearing contact lenses overnight while sleeping.
- Napping while wearing lenses.
- Nonuse of a sterile wetting solution
- Topping off your disinfecting solution in lens storage case rather than emptying it and using new solution.
- Using your contact lenses longer than recommended.
- Not replacing the lens storage case at least once every 3 months.
Not surprising that of those surveyed nearly one-third of respondents reported having red and or painful eye pain that resulted in a visit to the doctor.
Mild pinkeye can be caused by solutions used for cleaning contacts. It is important to clean your contacts thoroughly to remove any virus or bacteria from the contacts after having pinkeye. If the contacts are not thoroughly cleaned, they can re-infect your eye. Do not wear contact lenses until the pinkeye is gone. Sterilize your contacts, and clean your storage case. If you wear disposable contacts, use a new pair when your eye has cleared and it is safe to wear contacts again. Wait at least 2 days after the symptoms are gone before you wear contacts again.
Following these steps along with the recommended use from the contact lens manufacturer will help to prevent eye irritation or infection. If you do find that your eye becomes irritated take the contact lenses out immediately and use your prescription glasses. If the irritation and pain become worse or does not improve, seek medical attention immediately as these are signs of an infection in the eye.
Enjoy clearer vision with contact lenses, but follow the recommendations for care and cleaning to prevent infection.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.