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  • Prairie Eye Care

Avoid These 7 Common Contact Lens Mistakes For Better Eye Health

Contact lenses have revolutionized the way we see and interact with the world by providing affordable comfort for your eyes. But inserting a tiny piece of plastic into your eye for 12-14 hours per day does come with some risks.

While generally safe and effective, mistakes with contacts are very common and can lead to problems ranging from slight discomfort and dry eyes to serious eye diseases.

While mistakes can be made, following a few simple tips and tricks can significantly reduce the chances of eye issues. Always consult with your local optometrist for regular eye check-ups and assessments.

Here are some of the most common mistakes contact wearers make.

Don’t Sleep In Your Contacts

According to a clinical eye study, sleeping with your contacts can increase the chance of infection by 6-8 times.

Unless otherwise directed, sleeping in your contacts is one of the biggest contact no-no’s. Your cornea needs oxygen to recuperate and properly fight off germs during the night. Wearing contacts at night not only is an infection risk, but can cause irritated, sore, red, and dry eyes.

Don’t Touch Your Contacts With Dirty Hands

No surprise here, but your hands are full of germs and bacteria. You should always clean your hands with soap and water before handling or putting in your contact lenses. Dirt and bacteria can easily get trapped behind your contact lenses causing irritation and risking infection.

In addition to dirt and bacteria, the natural oils in your hands break down the protective layer of your contact lenses, reducing their lifespan and clarity. Dirty hands also make it easier for dust, pollen, and other allergens to transfer to your eyes.

Make Sure To Rub Your Contacts With Solution

It’s important to rub away the dirt and grime that builds up on your contact lenses throughout the day. Even solutions that claim to be no-rub do a better job of cleaning your contacts when rubbed in. Put your contact lens in the palm of your clean hand and rub it in solution with one finger.

Don’t Re-Use Old Contact Solution

Using old contact solution dilutes its sanitary effectiveness as it’s already done its work. The old solution is not designed to be re-used and no longer strong enough to get rid of the bacteria and microorganisms that cause eye harm. Always make sure to rinse out your case from the night before, let it air dry then fill it up with fresh contact solution when you are ready to store your lenses.

Don’t Swim With Your Contacts

Pools and other bodies of water contain contaminants that can be harmful to your eyes. Germs, bacteria, and other particles can get trapped behind your contact lenses and in rare cases can cause eye disease and even blindness. There’s pretty gross stuff in pools, hot tubs, and open bodies of water, so make sure you’re not trapping it against your eyes.

Don’t Leave Your Contact Lenses In Too Long

It’s important to give your eyes a break now and then. Your eyes like to breathe and rest as much as possible. If you’re at home or otherwise able to take them out, wear your glasses instead. Most contact lenses recommend use for no more than 12-14 hours per day. Wearing your contact too long increases the risk of dry, sore, red, and irritated eyes.

Don’t Wear Your Contact Lenses Past Their Expiry Date

The timeframe that comes with your contact lenses is there for a reason. Whether you’re wearing daily contact lenses or monthly contact lenses, they’re designed to be worn for that length of time and not longer.

Wearing your contact lenses past the expiry date can increase the chances of dangerous and painful eye diseases like conjunctivitis. Old contact lenses are less efficient at removing dirt and bacteria build-up.

Wearing contact lenses doesn’t have to be risky business if you avoid these common mistakes. Always contact your eye doctor if you’re experiencing eye issues or have gone over a year without an eye examination. You want to make sure your contact lenses match your current eye conditions with a contact lens examination.

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