Contact Lens Care 101: Do You Need a Refresher?
Approximately one person in ten wears contact lenses to correct vision. In the United States, it has been estimated that as many as 40 million people wear contacts. When contact lenses are first prescribed, patients are provided with detailed information regarding the proper care of their corrective lenses. If you have worn contacts for any length of time, your strict adherence to the guidelines provided to you may have diminished. No judgment here, just a friendly reminder and refresher of lens care 101.
Why Contact Lens Care Matters
No number of care tips are useful if you don’t know why you need to follow them. The matter of contact lens hygiene relates to the risk you have of contracting an eye infection. Cases of eye infection needing professional treatment often originate with contact lenses and the accumulation of bacteria on their surface. To decrease the chances that your contacts may spread an infection to your eyes, make a habit of:
- Always using appropriate cleaning solution. Your eye doctor may provide or recommend a good cleaning solution for your contacts. Solutions may also be purchased from your local drug store. With the easy availability of sterile cleansers, there is no reason ever to use water, even bottled water, to clean contacts.
- Cleaning your contacts case. Where you keep your contact lenses matters. A case that is cleaned periodically (every week or so) is a container that will not harbor bacteria. A quick swipe with a finger and swish of contact lens solution disrupts the formation of an invisible biofilm in the reservoir where you place your contact lenses.
- Replacing your case periodically. If you have been using the same contact lens case for several months, now is a great time to toss it and get a new one. Contact lens cases are so affordable that they can easily be replaced every few months.
- Giving your eyes a break. The ocular surface needs air. Though most contact lenses are made to be “breathable,” air flow to the eyes is still diminished from the norm when there is a cover over the surface. Making a habit of wearing eyeglasses at night or on the weekends ensures that oxygenation is occurring as it should across the surface of your eyes.
Is it time for an eye exam to update your contact lens prescription? Call our Pasadena ophthalmology office at 713-473-5715.