October 10, 2014 1:20 am
"Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction when used properly," says Thomas Quinn, O.D., AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section chair. "A medical eye and vision examination from your optometrist can determine if you are a good candidate for wearing contact lenses, regardless of whether they provide vision correction or not. During the exam, your eye doctor will make sure your lenses fit properly and teach you how to safely care for your lenses."
AOA eye doctors point to six common mistakes made by patients when it comes to handling contact lenses, including:
1. Not washing and drying hands. Washing your hands may seem like common sense, but an AOA American Eye-Q® survey found that 35 percent of contact lens wearers skipped this important step. Drying is also an important part of the process since tap water can contain harmful microorganisms that can be transferred onto the lens and onto the eye.
2. Wearing lenses longer than recommended. Many contact lens wearers will try to make their lenses last longer by waiting to change them until the lenses become bothersome. Not following an eye doctor's recommended changing schedule can cause preventable eye irritation or even lead to permanent eye damage from bacterial infections.
3. Not replacing contact lens cases regularly. Eye doctors advise that lens cases be replaced at least every three months, and cases should be cleaned and disinfected periodically in between.
4. Sleeping in contacts overnight. Sleeping in contacts puts consumers at risk for an eye infection. Only do so when wearing lenses specifically designed for day and night wear and when closely monitored by your doctor.
5. Reusing old contact lens solution. Only fresh solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. Stick to products recommended by your eye doctor to clean and disinfect lenses, and remember, saline solution and rewetting drops are not designed to disinfect lenses.
6. Wearing contact lenses while swimming or in a hot tub. According to the FDA and the AOA, contact lenses should not be exposed to any kind of water, including tap water and water in swimming pools, oceans, lakes, hot tubs and showers.
Published with permission from RISMedia.