Are You Really Being Safe?
More than 80% of people who wear contact lenses think they are caring for them properly. However, a new study published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science shows that just 2% of lens wearers are actually complying with the recommended contact lens care regimen. Following these five simple steps can help reduce the risk of a potentially devastating eye infection. Check out our printer-friendly contact lens care infographic.
- Follow the proper contact lens wearing schedule
Contact lenses are a safe form of vision correction only when prescribed by an eye care professional. A thorough exam and lifestyle assessment by an eye care professional can help determine the type of contact lenses that will work best for you. While some contact lenses can be worn for up to a month of continuous wear, other contact lenses are designed to be worn for one day and discarded.
To properly care for your eyes and protect them from potentially serious complications, you should follow the wearing schedule recommended by your eye care professional. If you are unsure about the recommended wearing schedule for your contact lenses, ask your eye care professional.
- Properly inserting and removing your contact lenses
Prior to handling your contact lenses, it is critically important to wash your hands with a fragrance–free soap, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly. Do not insert the contact lens into your eye if your eye is red, irritated or in pain. In these instances, contact your eye care professional immediately before continuing the use of your contact lenses.
Clean, rinse and disinfect your contact lenses after each removal with fresh disinfecting solution. Do not use saliva, tap water or anything other than the recommended lens case solutions for lubricating, rewetting and/or cleaning your contact lenses or lens case.
- Caring for your contact lenses
Lenses: There are many different options for cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses, all of which depend on the type of lenses you are wearing. Contact lenses such as daily disposable contact lenses generally require less care than other varieties; simply insert the lenses and dispose of the lenses after each use.
If your contact lenses are NOT disposable daily wear lenses, they should be cleaned, disinfected, and properly stored after each use – though not all solutions do each of these things. Contact lens solutions are formulated to specialize in providing different benefits. Be sure to consult with your eye care professional to understand which types of contact lens solutions and cleaning methods are best for taking care of your type of contact lenses.
Lens Cases: You should clean your contact lens case after each usage. Fresh contact lens solution should be used each time you clean and store your contact lenses. Old contact lens solution should not be re–used or “topped off” in your lens case.
Proper care of your contact lenses and lens case will help your lenses stay clean and comfortable for you to wear.
- Follow a proper lens replacement schedule
Different types of contact lenses are designed with different materials. Because the of different materials varies, lens replacement schedules will also vary. The majority of contact lenses worn today are intended to be replaced on a frequent basis. Typical replacement frequencies include: daily, two week intervals and monthly. Your eye care professional can recommend a replacement schedule based on your contact lens type and your individual needs.
- Get regular eye exams
Proper follow–up with your eye care professional is essential to ensure you have the appropriate prescription and lenses for optimal use. Additionally, over time your vision and eye health will change – sometimes without symptoms or warning signs. You may become at risk for developing serious complications, including vision loss. An annual comprehensive eye exam can provide you with information concerning your eye health and determine any pre–existing or potential eye conditions or diseases. Since those with vision problems are more likely to have other health issues, an eye exam could possibly provide insight into your overall health (e.g. diabetes, heart problems or high blood pressure).
Do not use saliva, tap water or anything other than the recommended lens care solutions for lubricating, rewetting and/or cleaning your contact lenses or lens case.
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