Summary: Contact lenses require proper maintenance and cleaning before each use.
If you are one of the 45 million people in the United States who wear contact lenses for vision correction, there are important steps you need to take in order to avoid eye infections and long-lasting damage. Not only are mismanaged contact lens issues serious, but they can be preventable. Here are some tips that will help you avoid damaging your eyes and ensuring they stay as healthy as possible.
Replace Your Contact Lens Case on a Regular Basis
While many people tend to focus on replacing their contact lenses, they forget about the case that they store these sensitive devices in. Even when cleaned properly, contact lens cases can be contaminated with germs and bacteria over time. This can lead to an infection when it comes into contact with your eyes.
Avoid Sleeping with Your Contacts In
Many people who wear contact lenses tend to sleep or nap with their contact lenses on. This increases the risk of eye infection by up to 8 times. Out of every 10,000 people who nap with their contacts still in their eyes, 18 to 20 will get struck by microbial keratitis annually. This disease can cause inflammation of the cornea, and in worse cases, can lead to permanent eye damage.
Never Swim in Your Contact Lenses
The large number of germs and bacteria found in pool water can easily cause serious infections to the eye. You are also at an increased risk for Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is a severe type of eye infection caused by ameba living in water. This common infection can be extremely difficult to treat and painful as well.