Contacts are an amazing invention. They are a terrific alternative to glasses, and for those who are not ready to undergo LASIK eye surgery, it is a great way to show off your eyes free from spectacles. But using these inconspicuous lenses requires additional responsibility. They may be a great way to show off your eyes, but that does not mean they do not need proper attention.
During one of your annual eye exams, your doctor may advise you to start wearing glasses in order to correct refractive errors. Some are unhappy with the idea of regularly wearing glasses either for aesthetic or lifestyle reasons. With proper care and usage, contact lenses are a safe form of correcting refractive errors, but they also carry risk for infection. It makes sense. You are regularly touching your eyes and putting a foreign object in them to boot.
Factors That Contribute To The Risk of Eye Infection
Eye exams do more than just keep you updated on your eye health. During eye exams, your doctor can also tell you how to take proper care of your eyes in your day-to-day life. If you decide to start wearing contacts, these nuggets of information during eye exams are even more important. Some of the common causes of eye issues when using contact lenses are:
- Wearing lenses for extended periods of time: This can reduce the amount of oxygen that your eyes receive and a decent oxygen supply is vital for keeping your eyes healthy.
- Poor tear exchange behind the lens: Good tear exchange prevents microbial keratitis, an infection of the cornea. For this reason, people with dry eye syndrome are discouraged from using contact lenses.
- Bad hygiene: Failing to carry through with the proper cleaning process for your contact lenses, changing your case, or not washing your hands before inserting or removing your lenses are all behaviors that can contribute to a potential eye infection.
How To Prevent Eye Infections While Wearing Contacts
Practicing proper contact lens care is vital for preventing eye infections and keeping your eyes healthy. While you can always go in for eye exams to check that everything is fine, what you do in between eye exams can go a long way towards making your life more healthy and more comfortable. Proper contact lens care includes:
- Clean hands. Washing your hands with soap and water EVERY TIME you insert or remove your contact lenses. Make sure to use a lint-free towel when drying your hands.
- Keeping water contact to a minimum. Pools, hot tubs, and of course, the ocean, have a lot of potential contaminants. Before going for a swim or relaxing at a spa, slip off your contact lenses to prevent any nasty infections.
- Stick to your doctor’s schedule. Never jeopardize your eye health out of laziness or in an effort to save money. If you should only be wearing a certain set of contacts for two weeks, do not wear them any longer. Moreover, if your doctor tells you to only wear your contacts for a certain number of hours a day, listen to their professional advice.
- Replace your contact case regularly. This will vary based on your doctor’s advice or the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the advice of either party and err on the side of caution. Contact lens cases can also be a source of contamination. Even if you wash them thoroughly, they will get steadily unsanitary the longer they are in use. Replace them regularly.