How to Care for your Contacts
There are lots of reasons people decide to wear contact lenses. Those who play sports know that glasses can get foggy or in the way. Others just want to change up their look by swapping their eye colour for a new one. There are even people who rely on contact lenses as a way to correct their vision when glasses can’t. And some of us just get tired of wearing glasses on our faces day in and day out.
But contact lenses are actually a medical device that can be harmful to your eyes if they’re not cared for properly. And misuse can result in serious eye diseases and even blindness.
Don’t get us wrong; contact lenses can be very beneficial to a lot of people. And not just for cosmetic purposes, either. Scleral lenses, for example, help give an irregular cornea a tear flow layer that it can’t create on its own. They can be used as a Band-Aid after surgeries like cataracts (especially in infants), they can help with chemical burns, and they can also protect the eyes from things like keratoconus and corneal graphs. Google has even released a lens that measures glucose levels and sends them to your wireless device, so diabetics no longer have to prick for blood.
But for the average contact lens wearer, safety is key. Here’s a quick refresher on how to care for your lenses, and more importantly, the eyes beneath them.
DON’T FORGET TO CLEAN YOUR CONTACT LENSES.
When it comes to contacts, there are a lot of bad habits that can have long-term effects. Showering in them, swimming in them, cleaning them with just water, and wearing torn lenses are just a few of the culprits. But the best way to reduce the risk of eye irritations or diseases from the above scenarios is to practice proper hygiene. Clean hands keep the majority of germs away, so always wash your hands with soap and water before you touch your contact lenses, put them in or take them out.
DON’T SLEEP IN YOUR CONTACT LENSES.
We can’t stress this enough. When you’re awake, your tears help keep your contact lenses moist. This helps to flush out any dirt and grime in the air. But when you’re sleeping, none of this process occurs, so the lenses just sit in your closed eyes, cultivating bacteria and protein build-up. Even for contact lenses that are considered safe to sleep in, taking them out and cleaning them when you wake up is crucial for protecting your eyes.
DON’T OVERWEAR YOUR CONTACT LENSES.
Overwear is means wearing your contacts for too many hours in the day. Regardless of the lens, eight hours is the longest you should keep them in your eyes. If you must extend this eight-hour limit, simply wash your hands with soap and water, remove the lenses, and rinse them with your contact lens solution before putting them back in. This should leave your eyes refreshed and give them a break, even for just a moment. Overwear also refers to wearing your contacts for more than the allotted wear time. Daily lenses, for example, are meant to be worn for one day and no more. And bi-weekly lenses are meant to be worn for two weeks—that’s 14 days, not 14 times. These practices will reduce serious bacteria and protein build-up.
WEAR YOUR GLASSES.
Choose just one day a week to wear glasses instead of contact lenses. This will allow more tear flow exchange while letting oxygen flow into your eyes, which makes them stronger and gives them a chance to rejuvenate themselves from the constant wear and tear of contact lenses.
We at 312 Optical Studio are never here to scold you. Eye diseases due to improper care of contact lenses are more and more common these days than ever before, and the Canadian government has recently banned over-the-counter cosmetic contacts sold by non-optical professionals. We take pride in providing you with the information you need to make the best decisions for your eyes because two are better than none.