There can be various reasons for people to wear contact lenses. Most often than not, they are considered convenient and aesthetically valuable; particularly among people with severe nearsightedness who have to wear extremely thick glasses otherwise.
However, if we will weigh convenience with dangers of contact lenses, the latter is much heavier. Your contacts require a lot of care in terms of handling, wearing and taking them off. Even a minor mistake may give you an excruciating infection and even permanent blindness.
While many of us treat them like a cosmetic item, remember that your contacts are a medical device and should be used responsibly and safely. Here are five common mistakes contact lens wearers make.
Humans have this tendency to overuse things beyond expiration. Studies have found that almost half of people using disposable lenses wear them longer that their recommended schedule. They consider their contacts to be “good to use” until the lenses become bothersome. That’s like wearing your underpants until they become troublesome. You don’t have to do this; just cast them off when they have been mentioned to expire.
You negate all the value of your cleanest, daily disposable lenses by not washing hands before handling them. Thomas Quinn, O.D., AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section (CLCS) chair found that one of his teen patients with daily disposable lenses was persistently complaining of corneal infiltrative events (CIEs), which recurred despite the best treatment provided. He learned that the teen never washed his hands before handling his lenses.
Now, all of you wise people who do wash their hands, do you also dry them before touching your contacts? No? Well, you’re in trouble too. Water can contain harmful microorganisms that may get transferred to your eyes through lenses if you do not properly pat dry your hands with a clean cloth.
Contact lens care systems vary with their type and quality. They may differ in terms of disinfection, chemical sensitivities and compatibilities with lens material. While it is easy to pick up a lens solution that’s cheaper or is on sale, it may not be best for your contacts and eyes. The generic solution your doctor has advised is specifically designed for the kind of lenses recommended; do not deviate from the brand.
Even your lens storage cases are a part of your proper lens care. As recommended by the AOA, replace your lens cases every three months. In between, keep cleaning and disinfecting them. Dr Quinn believes that optometrists are partly to blame for this loss of information. People don’t care for their cases because they don’t know how to do it.
If you sleep with your contacts on, you’ll stand a five percent higher risk of developing CIEs. The warmth and moisture in your eyes trigger the action of microorganisms that may have been lurking on the lenses or may have entered your eyes through the air. You must remember that sleeping with your lenses on is one of the top causes of corneal ulcer—an extremely painful and costly eye infection.
If you wear contact lenses, be wary of these careless mistakes that can cost you your vision. In case you notice any kind of irritation or redness in your eyes, see your optometrist right away.
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