If you wear contact lenses, you may recall when you first started wearing them, you were made aware of a few associated health hazards. After all, contacts ARE foreign objects in your eye. Unfortunately, not all contact wearers heed their doctor’s instructions about the dangers of wearing contacts too long or not cleaning them frequently enough (or at all! GROSS).
After a long day and late night, it’s tempting to just fall into bed and go to sleep with your contacts still in. Bad idea! Popping your contacts in and out with unwashed hands? Also a bad idea. Swimming in your contacts. Even worse. Here’s why:
A study conducted by NYU Langone Medical Center found that people who wear contacts have different types and larger amounts of bacteria in their eyes than do non-users. In fact, contact wearers had higher numbers of four different creepy species – and one in particular (Pseudomonas) – has been linked to corneal ulcers.
Because the bacteria identified commonly emanate from the skin, it is especially important for contact lens wearers to pay extra attention to hand hygiene.
1. First Clean Your Hands, Then Clean the Lenses
You should always wash your hands with soap before you handle your contacts. Okay, now you can place the contact in the squeaky clean palm of your freshly-washed hand, followed by some cleaning solution. Gently rub the solution into the lens.
2. People Need Rest. So Do Contact Lenses
Experts recommend limiting your contact lenses to 12-14 hours a day at the most. You might consider wearing your contacts for your work day and then switching to glasses at home and on weekends.
3. Never Swim with Contacts In!
No, really. Never. Pool water can be brimming with infectious bacteria just looking for something to infect. GROSS.
4. Consider Disposable Contacts
If you know you’re a bit of a rebel (or just lazy) where rules are concerned, you might consider a daily disposable soft lens contact. There’s only so much bacteria that can get into the eye when you are using brand new contacts every day.
If you’re thinking… “ah, what a pain!” You’re not alone. We’re all super busy and want things to be simpler. Well…maybe it’s time you considered LASIK from Mann Eye Institute?