Ever put a fallen-out contact back in with water? Or maybe stored your lenses in a hotel glass when you forgot your lens case? What about wearing your 1-day lens multiple days? Although contact lens compliance is relatively simple, many are breaking the rules despite the risk to their eyes and vision.
According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2010 American Eye-Q survey, a majority of respondents wore their disposable lenses longer than recommended. Additionally, 23 percent of respondents cleaned their lenses with water, and 12 percent stored them in something other than a storage case. All these mistakes increase the chance of bacteria adhering to the lens and causing damage to the cornea.
Cleaning and proper care of your lenses doesn’t have to be complicated and is essential to protecting your sight. Here are some recommendations for contact lens hygiene:
- Always wash your hands before handling lenses
- Place the lens in the palm of your hand with solution, rub with your index finger, and rinse thoroughly before soaking overnight in a clean contact lens case.
- Replace your case every three months or sooner. Clean it between uses, and leave it open to dry during the day.
- Do not use saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect lenses as they are not designed for this purpose
- Never re-use old solution or transfer solution from one container to another as this effects its sterility.
- Always follow the recommended contact lens replacement schedule prescribed by your eye doctor.
- Remove lenses before swimming
- Never attain lenses without a prescription.
- See your eye doctor for your regularly scheduled contact lens and eye exam.
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to have to think about contact lens compliance, consider daily disposables like CooperVision’s Proclear 1-Day lenses, for example. There’s no need of storage containers or solution. All you have to remember is to put in a fresh pair each day.
Although most everyone may be tempted to ignore the recommendations of their eye doctor every now and again for the sake of convenience, remember nothing is worth potentially damaging your eyes.