Follow these simple rules to keep your eyes healthy
If you wear glasses, it can seem like a right of passage when you finally try your first pair of contact lenses. Wearing contacts can definitely make playing sports and other activities easier and more convenient, but it’s best to be mindful that you’re still putting a foreign object in your eyes. Contact Lens Health Week is coming up (August 21–25), and it’s a great time for those of us who wear contacts to double-check how we’re taking care of our lenses—and our eyes!
Did You Know?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Approximately 30 million people in the United States wear contact lenses and two-thirds of them are female.
- Hard lenses were first produced in the United States somewhere between 1938 and 1940, and soft contacts were introduced in 1971.
- Eighty percent of people who wear contacts use soft ones.
Here are some tips to remember that can help keep your eyes safe while wearing contact lenses:
It starts with good hygiene
- Before putting in your contacts or taking them out, always wash your hands with soap and warm water, and dry them completely with a clean towel. This avoids spreading germs and decreases the risk of infection.
- Clean your contacts only with contact lens disinfecting solution. Never use saliva or water. Also, be sure to use fresh solution every time you clean your contacts and always change the solution in the case; don't reuse or “top off” what’s already in the case.
- Eye doctors recommend that you start with a fresh lens case every three months.
Follow your doctor’s directions
Schedule yearly appointments with your eye-care professional, and follow the doctor’s orders, especially about the type of lenses you should wear, how many hours a day you should wear them, and how long you can wear one pair of disposable lenses before tossing them. Also, if your doctor directs you to do so, never sleep with your contact lenses in.
Stay out of the water
Always remove your contacts before swimming or getting in a hot tub. (Showers can be okay if you can keep your face mostly out of the water.) A good rule of thumb is: If water is involved, your contacts should be in their case, not in your eyes. Like good hygiene, this practice will decrease the risk of developing a serious eye infection that could put the health of your eyes (and sight) at risk.
Use common sense
If your eyes are itchy, red, irritated, or dry, take your contacts out for a while, or skip them altogether and wear glasses. Give your eyes a break. If the problems persist, call your eye doctor and schedule an appointment to be seen to rule out any serious infections or problems.
If you follow these suggestions, the benefits of wearing contact lenses will far outweigh any possible negative consequences and will keep your eyes healthy and seeing clearly.
This post is part of the Seacoast Career Schools weekly blog. We’re committed to supporting our students in taking steps towards a new career of their choice. If you’re interested in a professional training program, contact us today to find out more, or to schedule a tour.