The development of contact lenses has revolutionized the way vision is corrected for those suffering from imperfect eyesight, so much so that there are about 41 million contact lens users in the United States. Although using contact lenses requires minimal effort, precautions should be taken because they do pose health risks to the eye when misused.
One major example of improper use of contact lenses is sleeping, or taking naps, in contact lenses. Of all corneal infections reported, 7% of them were led from overnight use of contact lenses, and it was reported that risk of infection increased by six-fold. Showering and swimming in contact lenses are also a big no-no. Prolonged use of lenses can also irritate the eye and foster bacteria.
Using tap water, instead of disinfectant solution, or re-using disinfectant solution also increases risk for infection by damaging the contact lenses effectiveness and harboring germs. Just as the contact lenses need to be stored in the proper solution, they must also be stored in proper contact lens cases that are washed and air-dried daily and replaced on a routinely basis (every three months).
Image Source: Vstock LLC
The contact lens, themselves, require replacement as well; the frequency of their disposal depends on the type of contact lenses. If they are not the single day use contact lenses, make sure to properly wash them before storing in lens cases by gently rubbing and rinsing with disinfectant solution. There are separate lens solutions, such as the ones from Clear Care, that serve to specifically clean the contact lenses. These solutions usually require the contact lenses to be stored in a separate storage container for a minimum of six hours for the solution to work its magic.
With just a little daily effort and care, the risk of corneal infection from misusing contact lenses can be reduced. As long as contact lenses and their cases are washed and disposed of appropriately, and users only wear them while awake, users can use their contact lenses comfortably.
Feature Image Source: Contact Lens 2 by $i