6th June 2016
The do’s and dont’s of looking after those precious lenses
Advancing technology now enables most people with difficult vision able to go about their daily lives without having to wear spectacles. That may be a fashion choice, for sport or any number of reasons. With the first of the modern contact lens designs being produced way back in 1948, it appears over time to us from experience that the care and hygiene of our lenses has somewhat been left by the wayside, forgotten, maybe just taken for granted!
Without using the correct and proper contact lens hygiene methods it is possible to develop eye pain, sensitivity to light, discharge from the eye and even blindness. There are basic ways in which you can avoid these problems when putting contact lenses in and out…equally there are things to avoid!
Firstly, which may seem obvious but when rushing to get ready for work in the morning it can be easily missed, always wash your hands before putting the lens in or taking it back out. Bacteria and germs can easily be spread and passed on from your hands and cause problems with your eyes throughout the day and long term. Bacteria are really smart and they move all around. Always wash your hands before putting your contacts on and again before removing them.”
Cleaning solution isn’t cheap, but it is definitely worth throwing away and drying your container. As a disinfectant, contact lens solution is pretty effective…this is unless you keep using the same old liquid swishing around for days on end and dipping your fingers in and out of it! It is then that bacteria can take over the disinfectant and risk contracting a Pseudomonas Aeruginosa infection that I will leave you to Google to see! To dry your contact lens case can also be crucial as bacteria loves moisture. At least half of the cases that we have seen have been due to people now drying out their contact lens cases. So if you don’t want to end up in your local hospital with a corneal ulcer, you know what to do.
Generally clean your contact lens pot! As simple as it may sound, you need to give it a gentle wash with soap and water and let it air dry to avoid bacterial transfers.
Try your best to avoid overuse your lenses – this can be in terms of hourly usage in a day and also consecutive days used. Your eyes need to have a break from this suffocation of oxygen and be allowed to breath. This can also affect your eyes ability to produce moisture and leave you with dry eyes which can then affect the fit of the lens.
It goes without saying to at all costs avoid sleeping with your contact lenses in. It is possible for a lens to roam around your eye and rest in an unnatural area – making it incredibly difficult to remove it when you wake up. This can even result in having to seek professional help in order to get rid of it.
For any makeup users out there, it may be the case that you have had your contacts in whilst doing your eyeliner and you have smudged it on to your lens. Do not think that this will be okay. Wash your hands. Take out the lens, clean and disinfect it before putting it back in.
If your eyes are red and irritated, this will inevitably be your eye trying to tell you that it is unhappy. Don’t just fight the pain and keep wearing you lenses in the name of fashion. You could have an infection or the lens could just have a tear in – whichever situation, your eye is rejecting the contact so take it out.
Whether it is in the shower at home or on holiday in the swimming pool, always avoid having your contact lenses in whilst around water. Bacterial infections are incredibly easy to contract when wearing lenses in a hot tub for example and can lead to Acanthamoeba Keratitis resulting in loss of sight and even complete blindness.
Everybody knows how contact lenses can be slightly uncomfortable and it can be incredibly tempting to rub your eyes and try to ease the pain. Persistent eye rubbers can leave themselves with a condition called Keratoconus which is when the cornea changes its spherical shape to a more cone-like structure and leading to blurriness.
Sticking to these quick and handy tips are the key to great contact lens care and give you the best chance of successful and comfortable use.