6 Contact Lens Tips to Maintain Healthy Eyes
Contact lenses are worn by more than 30 million people in the United States, yet many people still do not take seriously proper wear and care practices. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now observing its second annual Contact Lens Health Week to raise awareness about the importance of healthy contact lens habits. In support of this program, CooperVision, Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of soft contact lenses, is joining the effort to educate contact lens wearers of all ages about how to keep their eyes as healthy as possible.
To complement and reinforce the tips provided by the CDC, one of CooperVision’s top optometrists, Dr. Gary Orsborn, Vice President of Global Professional and Clinical Affairs, recommends the following practices:
- There is no substitute for annual, in-office eye exams. We all have busy lives and it is natural to want to save time whenever possible. But beware that so-called “online vision tests” are no substitute for seeing your eye doctor for a comprehensive contact lens check and eye exam. It is extremely important to make sure to visit your eye doctor yearly or as often as he or she recommends.
- Wash your hands. Every time. Your hands may look and feel clean, but ALWAYS wash your hands with soap and water and dry them well with a clean cloth before you even think about touching your contact lenses.
- When in doubt, take them out. Although contact lenses are very comfortable for your eyes, there may be a time when your eyes look red, hurt a bit, and you just don’t see as clearly as you did before. If this ever happens, don’t take any chances. Remove your lenses from your eyes and make a call to your eye doctor so your eyes can be checked to ensure all is well.
- Don’t fall for too-good-to-be-true deals. Who doesn’t love a good bargain? But you only have one pair of eyes, so don’t take any chances with buying your contact lenses from disreputable overseas suppliers, or trying those extreme color lenses from flea market stands. You don’t know where they came from. Are they past their expiration date? Are they counterfeit? Are they contaminated? Remember the old advice from Mom—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This rule especially applies to your contact lenses and the health of your eyes.
- Don’t sleep in your contact lenses. It’s late and you’re tired. It would be so easy to roll over and just go to sleep in your contact lenses. But even on those nights when you just don’t want to be bothered with your contact lenses, don’t sleep in them unless prescribed to do so by your eye doctor. Why? Because sleeping in lenses is the #1 risk factor for developing a contact lens-related eye infection.
- Don’t forget to replace contact lens cases, too. How long have you been using that lens case? If you can’t remember the last time you got a new one, or you’re using an old one you found in your bathroom cabinet—throw it away and buy a new one. There’s a chance that old lens case is contaminated with fungi that can cause eye infection. If you’re wearing reusable lenses, make sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how you should clean your case and how often you should replace it.
“Eye care professionals prescribe contact lenses according to patients’ needs and preferences. After that, it is critical for wearers to maintain healthy contact lens wear and care habits and follow instructions for the use, care, and replacement of their contact lenses.”
For more information about proper contact lens hygiene, care, and healthy wearing habits, visit http://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/contact-lens-health-week.html.
To learn more about CooperVision’s contact lenses, visit www.coopervision.com.