Contact lenses have been an advantageous addition to optometry. Currently, contact lenses provide one in ten people the opportunity to conveniently correct mild to moderate refractive errors. There are several appealing aspects to contact lenses, such as being able to read without having to constantly push your eyeglasses up on your nose. As user-friendly as contacts can be, there are also a few risks to this form of a corrective lens. One of the primary risks is an eye infection.
Statistics indicate that bacteria from contact lenses causes a large number of eye infection cases each year. Judging by the large number of cases we see, we see a good reason to point out that eye infection can be prevented even if you wear contacts. It all comes down to hygiene.
When a new prescription for contact lenses is provided, it usually comes with detailed care instructions. If you’ve worn contacts for years, these guidelines may have gone out the window long ago. For instance, you may rinse your contacts with water or even wet them by placing them in your mouth for just a second or two. This is a very common cleaning method used today – and probably one that is responsible for a lot of eye infections! Our suggestion: clean your contact lenses only with an approved contact solution. Even bottled water presents a risk of unhealthy microorganisms adhering to your contacts.
Care also needs to be taken with how contacts are stored. Contact lens cases provide a safe place for contacts to lie when necessary, such as when you are sleeping (please do not sleep with your contacts in!). The case in which you keep your contacts may prevent breakage or loss, but it doesn’t provide the sterile environment that is needed to prevent infection. Our suggestion: Once or twice a week, use your finger to wipe the reservoir of your contact lens case, the area where your contacts sit. Then, rinse the entire case with contact lens cleaning solution. Also, change your case from time to time. Just like your toothbrush, your contact lens case can form an invisible biofilm that harbors bacteria.
Aloha Eye Clinic is a friendly office where you can obtain a full eye exam and a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Call us is Kihei or Wailuku to schedule your visit.