For most contact lens wearers, contacts are a dream come true—perfect vision without the annoyance of glasses. As convenient as contacts are, they can cause serious eye infections if not cared for properly. Island Eyecare and the American Optometric Association recommend the following.
Contact lens safety tips:
—Once you have been ﬁtted with contact lenses by a licensed optometrist, be sure to schedule follow-up appointments for a complete eye exam at least every 12 months, or more often if recommended by your eyecare practitioner.
—Before handling your lenses, wash your hands with non-perfumed soap and rinse thoroughly. Never use saliva, home-made saline solution, distilled water, or tap water for any part of your lens cleaning process. Only use solutions recommended by your eyecare provider. The tip of the solution bottle should never touch your contact lenses or any other surface to avoid contamination.
—Use only the lenses prescribed by your doctor, and never share lenses with another person. Sharing lenses will not only mean you are wearing the wrong prescription, but also putting yourself at high risk of acquiring a communicable eye infection.
—Never wear your lenses for a longer period of time than has been prescribed by your eyecare practitioner. They should not be worn while sleeping unless you are directed otherwise.
—If your eyes begin to show signs of irritation or infection, such as redness or tearing, immediately remove the lenses and consult with your doctor. Do not return them to your eyes until you are told it is safe to do so.
—Contacts should be replaced regularly, so don’t be tempted to save money by wearing them for longer than recommended. Throw old ones away after they’ve reached the end of their lifespan.
—Soft contact lenses should always be put on prior to applying makeup. This lessens the likelihood of getting makeup particles underneath your lenses. Lenses should also be taken out prior to removing any makeup.