Contacts continue to be a highly popular choice for vision wear. The CDC estimates that as many as 45 million people wear contacts regularly. Used properly, contacts are a safe, comfortable, and unobtrusive way to help you see better. However, improper use of contacts can lead to some very serious eye problems, such as keratitis, which is an inflammation of the eye. A Los Angeles, CA optometrist lists some common mistakes in this article.
Cleaning your contacts with water may sound like a simple and convenient option, but it’s actually quite dangerous. Any unsterilized liquid–even ones that are safe to drink–may contain bacteria. Your digestive system is prepared to handle and neutralize many types of harmful bacteria. Your eyes? Not so much. These germs could grow on your contacts, causing severe infections.
Contact lenses have a very specific shelf life. Some are made to last a day: others may last a week or even a month. No matter how long your lenses are meant to last, toss them as soon as they’ve gone past their intended time frame for usage. Old lenses will start to harden and/or break down, and can be contaminated by bacteria, fungus, or even amoebae. These things can lead to some very serious problems … up to and including blindness.
Being diligent about using only sterile solutions for your contacts is great. However, if you’re not being as careful with your lens case, you could still end up with contaminated lenses. Use a sterile saline solution to clean the case. Tap water, as mentioned above, isn’t sterile, and therefore, isn’t safe.
Contact lenses won’t stay sterile once they’re in. Proteins and germs will soon start to collect on them. Clean them at least once a day.
Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contacts, even if you think your hands are clean. Don’t take chances!
Many people don’t realize how easily sterile solutions can get contaminated. Never pour old solution into a new bottle; combine solutions; or use expired or opened solutions. If you’re traveling, purchase a solution that comes in a travel-sized bottle, rather than pouring solution into a different bottle. Or, just get one-day wear disposables.
Are you ready for new contacts? Contact us, your Los Angeles, CA optometry clinic, today!