5 Contact Lens Habits You Should Quit

5 Contact Lens Habits You Should Quit

1. Topping Off Solution

If you’re using any contact lens other than a daily disposable, then you are most likely storing your contacts in a case with some multi-purpose solution.  The solution is more than just saline.  This solution is bactericidal, which will kill bacteria found on your contact lens.  However, the solution should be replaced daily as it can lose its capability to kill bacteria.  By topping off the solution and using some solution from the day before can cause a culture of bacteria to grow in the case and can cause an infection.

2. Not Replacing Your Contact Lens Case

Just as you can have bacterial growth in the solution, bacteria can also grow on your contact lens case.  The case should be replaced monthly or whenever you get a new case with a new bottle of solution.  It’s best to dispose of the case instead of other practices such as running it through the dishwasher.

3. Wearing Contacts Longer Than Intended Weartime

Each brand of contact lens has a designated time frame when it should be disposed of.  Contact lenses can act like soft sponges and soak up what is in the environment as your eyes are exposed to it, your tear film, as well as the solution they are stored in.  Over time these byproducts and environmental factors such as pollen can build up on the contact lenses and can cause allergic reactions, as well as infections.  It is important to dispose of contact lenses as recommended by the manufacturer.

4. Sleeping in Your Contacts

Sleeping in your contact lenses is the single most risky behavior to initiate an ocular infection. Since the front surface of your eyes, your cornea, does not have any blood vessels, it receives oxygen through the environment.  The contact lens can act as a barrier to the cornea receiving enough oxygen.  Even though newer contact lenses are made of material that has higher oxygen permeability, the cornea can still not receive enough oxygen for proper function if someone is constantly in their contact lenses. In addition, this can create an anaerobic environment where certain bacteria thrive in and can cause infections and even corneal ulcers.  The majority of these infections can be treated with topical antibiotics.  However, sometimes if the corneal ulcer is central, it can cause permanent vision loss by scarring.

5. Swimming in Contacts

Earlier we talked about how contact lenses can act as soft sponges and soak up whatever is in the environment.  This can be very detrimental to eye health, especially when swimming in freshwater with your contact lenses.  There are many organisms, such as acanthamoeba, that can get on the contact lens and cause serious vision loss.  It is important to make sure to take out your contact lenses before you go swimming in a pool or fresh water, or in a hot tub to prevent any eye infections.



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