Contact Lens Health Week
In an effort to raise awareness and to promote healthy contact lens habits, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated next week, Aug 22-26, to be Contact Lens Health Week. Many of us utilize contact lenses on a daily basis to help us see the world. Contacts offer convenience and flexibility to many people with vision disorders, including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. In addition to convenience and flexibility, contact lenses offer improved peripheral vision and clarity especially for patients with very high prescriptions. And, if you are like me you just don’t feel yourself without them.
Unfortunately, many people still do not wear or care for their contact lenses properly. Here are a few important reminders for proper wear and care:
- Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling your contacts. Be sure to dry them thoroughly using a clean towel.
- Only use the multipurpose solution or saline prescribed by your doctor to rinse, clean, and store your contacts.
- For reusable contacts lenses, rinse and rub the contact lens with multipurpose solution every night. Always replace the solution in the contact lens case… never, “top off” the solution. A contact lens case should be cleaned on a daily basis and replaced every three months.
- Never use tap water to rinse contacts as that greatly increases the risk for infection. Avoid showering or swimming in contact lenses, especially in hot tubs or lakes.
- Never sleep in your contact lenses. Even sleeping in contact lenses that are FDA approved for overnight wear will increase the risk for infection.
- Always replace your contact lenses as prescribed. It is never okay to reuse a daily disposable contact lens for more than one day.
- Stop wearing contact lenses right away and contact your eye doctor if redness or irritation occurs.
Remember, contact lenses are medical devices. In order to reduce the risk of problems that could potentially lead to blindness, wear and care for your contact lenses properly and visit your eye doctor annually.
Meghan Schiffer, OD