An estimated 125,000,000 people across the globe wear contact lenses as
an alternative to eyeglasses. While they are a comfortable and convenient
way to correct vision, they still require safe handling practices to reduce
the risk of eye infections and other complications. Many people are not
aware of these risks or of how to prevent them.
According to a recent report, nearly 99 percent of contact lens wearers
have been guilty of at least one of the following four risky contact lens
hygiene behaviors. Below, we have identified four of the most common contact
lens handling mistakes and what you can do to avoid making them.
Swimming and showering with your lenses. Most water sources, including swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, and even
your bathroom tap contain a microorganism called
acanthamoeba. If the organism gets into your eye, it could lead to a painful infection
that may result in blindness. Contact lenses should ideally be removed
before your eyes come into contact with water, but if you have left them
in, remove and cleanse them in lens solution as soon as you can.
Sleeping with your lenses. Your eyes need a steady supply of oxygen to keep them healthy. Since
contact lenses cover the cornea and restrict oxygen flow, it is advised
that contact lenses be removed at night to give the eyes a rest.
Sleeping in contact lenses overnight can cause irritation, discomfort,
and possibly an infection, especially if your lenses became dirty during
the day. Avoid sleeping in contact lenses at all costs, but if it does
happen, immediately remove and clean your lenses when you wake. If you
experience eye irritation or soreness, schedule an appointment with your
eye doctor to make sure you have not developed an infection.
Wearing cosmetic lenses. Colored contact lenses are a popular trend, but many people do not know
how to properly care for them, especially those who wear them solely for
cosmetic purposes. Because cosmetic lenses contain a thick layer of color,
they do not have the same permeability as regular contact lenses and thus
do not allow your eye to receive as much oxygen, making them more susceptible
If you are considering cosmetic lenses, purchase them only from a registered
eye doctor, even if they are not prescription. Also, make sure you keep
them clean with an appropriate lens cleaning solution and never share
them with anyone else.
Wearing lengthening mascaras. Lengthening mascaras do wonders for eyelashes, but they can spell bad
news for your eyes. Lengthening mascaras contain tiny fibers that stick
to lashes, making them appear longer. The trouble is that these fibers
can easily find their way into the eye and, if they make it underneath
your lens, cause pain and irritation.
If you choose to wear mascara, be sure to select one without the words
“lengthening” in the title. Additionally, because many bacteria
live on eyelashes, be wary of makeup products that come in very close
contact with your eye. Be sure to replace your makeup frequently to prevent
a buildup of bacteria that could jeopardize your vision.
Tired of wearing contact lenses? Key-Whitman Eye Center is also proud to
offer the state-of-the-art
LASIK vision correction procedure to restore your sight without the use of glasses or contacts.
Whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, or suffer from astigmatism, LASIK
is a great option that has benefitted approximately 600,000 people per
year according to the FDA. If you are over 18 years of age, have healthy
corneas, and have not experienced any significant change to your vision
prescription over the past year, call Key-Whitman Eye Center today to
meet with a doctor and determine whether LASIK is right for you.
Do you have further questions or concerns about your vision?
Contact Key-Whitman Eye Center today to
schedule your appointment with one of our Dallas/Fort Worth eye doctors: (855) 600-7296.