The convenience of contact lenses has revolutionized the way we correct our vision, providing a comfortable alternative to eyeglasses. The popularity of investing in contact lenses is clearly down to the following persuasive considerations: they give you more natural vision than spectacles, they move with your eye, nothing obstructs your view and they are game changers for playing sports. The downside? The care and cleaning regimen is rigid to protect your eye health, but the responsibility of sustaining good routines often makes way for bad habits to creep in.
When you decide to wear contact lenses, you need to go in with your eyes wide open. From which contact lens solution to use, to setting up ongoing daily care, the reality is, they do need a lot more attention than glasses.
As you get used to your contact lenses, you might be tempted to break the rules and slip into a few bad habits - from compromising on the content lens solutions you buy to not cleaning or storing them in the recommended way. The results can be serious with eye infections top of the list.
Prevention is always better than the cure, so here are the most common bad habits that contact lens wearers are likely to slip into.
#1 And so to bed…
Sleeping with your contact lenses is one of the most common and harmful habits contact lens wearers succumb to. Fall asleep with your glasses on and you may wake to a slightly skewed frame.
According to the FDA, “Any lenses worn overnight increase your risk of infection. Wearing contact lenses overnight can stress the cornea by reducing the amount of oxygen to the eye. They can also cause microscopic damage to the surface of the cornea, making it more susceptible to infection.”
Just like you should never go to sleep with your makeup on, the same rule applies to contact lenses (unless you have been prescribed extended-wear lenses). So make sure your contact lens solution is at hand - preferably next to your toothbrush as we are pretty certain you are unlikely to go to bed without brushing your teeth!
#2 Best before…
An easy bad habit to fall into is overextending the use of your contact lenses. Most contacts have a recommended wear schedule: daily disposables, bi-weekly, or monthly. Ignoring these professional guidelines can lead to eye discomfort, dryness and an increased risk of infections. Always follow the prescribed wearing schedule to prevent unnecessary complications. (Also check the expiry date of your contact lens solution).
#3 Who says?
There is a rebel in all of us and so the default to ignoring what it says on the label is human nature. However, the correct cleaning and storage of your contact lenses are crucial.
Failing to clean your lenses properly or using an inappropriate contact lens solution can lead to the accumulation of debris and bacteria, potentially causing eye infections. Following your eye care professional's instructions for cleaning and storing your lenses and replacing your lens case regularly are non-negotiables.
#4 Always wash your hands
Your mother’s advice to always wash your hands will stand you in good stead when it comes to wearing and caring for your contact lenses. Good hygiene is essential when handling contact lenses and failing to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your lenses can introduce harmful bacteria into your eyes. Additionally, avoid touching your lenses with long or sharp nails, as they can tear or damage the lenses.
#5 Set a reminder
If you wear glasses, you may get away with only seeing your optometrist for a routine eye exam every two years, but this is unlikely to be the case if you are a contact lens wearer. Routine eye exams are crucial to monitor your eye health and the condition of your lenses. Don’t fall into the bad habit of putting off your next appointment.
Your eye care professional can detect early signs of eye problems and ensure your prescription remains up to date. Make sure to schedule annual eye exams even if you think your vision is stable and use a prescribed contact lens solution for daily care.
#6 Be water wise
Swimming or showering while wearing contact lenses can expose your eyes to a variety of risks, such as waterborne parasites and bacteria. These microorganisms can adhere to your lenses and lead to eye infections or irritation. Remove your lenses before swimming or showering, and consider using prescription swim goggles if you need vision correction while in the water.
Make Oculus Curae a good online habit
Finding a reputable supplier of contact lens solutions is the first step to building a good habit of taking care of your eyes and your contact lenses. Our
Aqua Naina Multi-Purpose Solution for contact lenses not only rinses, cleanses, disinfects, and stores lenses but also keeps your eyes comfortable by removing daily protein deposits.
(Please follow the directions on the label and do not wear your lenses unless you have allowed them to soak for at least six hours in Aqua Naina multi-purpose contact lens solution).