When worn and cared for properly, contact lenses are an effective vision correction solution. But poor contact lens hygiene is quite common among the 45 million Americans who wear lenses. The team at Schwartz Laser Eye Center knows that over time, it is easy to become lax or careless about caring for contact lenses and their supplies.
Don’t Put Your Ocular Health or Comfort at Risk
Unfortunately, the improper care of contact lenses is linked to health problems that can cause pain and even vision loss.
Keratitis, or an infection of the cornea, is a common complication of poor contact lens care. Symptoms of keratitis include blurry vision, eye redness, eye pain, excessive tearing, eye discharge, sensitivity to light or a “foreign body” sensation. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your eye doctor promptly to schedule an evaluation. Left untreated, keratitis can cause long-term damage like corneal scarring.
Other risks of improper contact lens care include pink eye, corneal scratches (or “abrasions”) and persistent eye irritation.
The most common culprit of contact lens-related infections is usually a lack of hand-washing. If you don’t wash and dry your hands before handling your lenses, you could transmit germs or bacteria directly to your eyes. Another common cause of contacts-related problems is exposing your contacts to water, which can harbor bacteria and microbes. Also, over-wearing contacts or sleeping in them if they are not designed to be slept in can reduce the amount of oxygen your eyes receive, making infection, inflammation and abrasions more likely.
Lower the Risk of Contacts-Related Eye Problems
Infections and other contacts-related problems are often preventable by following simple precautions:
- Wash and dry your hands before inserting or removing your lenses.
- Use fresh contact lens solution every day (avoid “topping off” the solution already in the lens case).
- Replace your contacts case at least every three months.
- Do not sleep in lenses that are not designed to be slept in or wear your contacts longer than their recommended replacement schedule.
- Avoid storing or exposing your contacts to water (e.g., water from a shower, poor, lake or the ocean).
Reduce Dependence on Contacts with Laser Vision Correction
If you are interested in ditching your contact lenses altogether, inquire about your laser vision correction options with Dr. Jay Schwartz and the team at Schwartz Laser Eye Center.
LASIK has a very low rate of complications and is a simple, fast and effective procedure. Thanks to modern technology, it is one of the safest elective surgeries you can undergo.
To request more information about contacts or LASIK from our doctors, call or email us today.