Contact Lens Users: Hygiene for your Eyes
Why is it Important to Maintain Hygiene for Contact Lens Users?
Contact lenses are the new-age vision-aid technologies for the contact lens users. A great alternative to glasses, contact lenses are a boon if used with proper care and hygiene. However, as contact lens users are subjected to an increased risk of infection, it is mandatory for them to maintain 100% hygiene to keep the lenses free from contamination.
Poor compliance with contact lens care regimens is the key factor of causing microbial keratitis which can be as fatal as causing permanent damage to one’s eyesight. If you wear your lenses on a daily basis, you should be more cautious about the care of your lenses. Many people have a wrong idea that contact lenses produce infections and irritations and are detrimental for eye-health. Actually, the problem lies not with the lenses, but with the lack of hygiene and care of the contact lens.
Tips to Maintain Hygiene for Contact Lens Users
Here a few points to remember when you are really serious about your contact lenses hygiene:
- Do not wash your contact lenses with tap water. Tap water contains bacteria and several other microorganisms that can breed on the moist surface under your lenses and cause fatal eye infections.
- Do not use your saliva to wet your lenses.
- Always clean your hands before handling your lenses in any way. Before putting in, removing, or cleaning your lenses, wash your hands and dry them. Wash your hands with a mild anti-septic soap and then dry them with a lint-free towel. You stand a high chance of infecting your eyes with a variety of bacteria and develop an eye-infection if you do not clean your lenses properly before handling your lenses.
- Always use recommended and compatible products for your lenses. Remember, though there are umpteen numbers of products in the market, not all brands or products are compatible with every type of contact lens. Use only the products recommended by your eye-care practitioner unless he or she prescribes you some alternatives.
- After you remove your contact lenses, cleanse, disinfect and store them in a solution to prevent the breeding of harmful microorganisms on the lenses. Many contact lenses wearers do purchase saline solutions online and use them as multi-purpose cleaning solution because they are much cheaper. But there is a word of caution here. By doing so, you are compromising with your eye-health as saline solutions and multi-purpose solutions are not at all the same. While multi-purpose solutions are designed to clean or disinfect lenses, saline solutions can only be used to rinse or store lenses.
- This is often a forgotten step in contact lens care. Along with cleansing regime for your lenses, you need to clean your contact lens cases also with warm water at regular intervals. Most of the eye infections are also caused as a result of dirty cases. Replace them every four to six months to ensure that your contact lenses are always clean and hygienic.
- Never ever share your contact lenses or your contact lens cases with anybody.
- Do not wear your contact lenses beyond the maximum time recommended by your optometrist. Also, it is always better not to sleep in your lenses unless advised by him/her.
- If you have to wear your contact lenses for swimming, do not miss your swimming goggles to prevent the infected water to getting into your eyes and lenses.
- When you are about to apply any makeup, always insert your lenses beforehand. Also, remove the lenses before taking off the makeup.
- Do not use any hair spray whilst wearing your lenses.
- Use an up-to-date pair of glasses at home or when you do not need to wear your contact lenses. This is to ensure that a sufficient supply of oxygen reaches your cornea.
- Visit your optometrist regularly. It is advisable to check your contact lenses at least once a year to ensure that the lenses that you are using are still suitable for your eyes
Maintaining the cleanliness of your lenses is the most crucial step to a sound eye health. Along with these few important tips, you should also religiously follow the instructions that are provided to you by your optometrist.
Care for your eyes for your own sake, and for the sake of the beautiful world where there is so much to be seen and appreciated!