Men’s Health published an article about ways you wear your contact lenses wrong and the potential risks associated with same.
Here’s an eye-opener: 99 percent of people who wear contact lenses are guilty of at least one risky behavior that can set the stage for serious eye infections, finds a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you wear contacts, you probably already know which sins can damage your eyes. “But the reason these behaviors are so prevalent is because people can get away with them many times before something bad happens,” says Keith Walter, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
From sleeping in your contacts to wearing them too long, these habits can cause serious problems, especially when done for an extended period of time.
These are the four most common mistakes mentioned in the article:
Sleeping in your contact lenses – The problem: Lenses are barriers that can starve your cornea of oxygen, causing the cells on its surface to break down. When you close your eyes to nod off, “you create a warm, dark, moist environment with very little oxygen, which bacteria and fungus love,” says Dr. Walter. Yes, it can be a pain to remove and rinse your contacts before you fall asleep every night—especially if you take an unexpected nap. But that’s simply what you have to do to avoid infection. File it under advice you may not like, but that you follow for your own—same as “don’t yell at anyone at work.”
Topping Off Your Solution – When you squirt new liquid into your contacts case without dumping out the stuff that’s already there, you dilute the disinfecting solution. As a result, you don’t get as much cleaning power overnight. Plus, the longer you leave old solution in the lens case while you’re wearing your contacts, the more time you give gross organisms the opportunity to grow inside.
Rinsing Your Contacts in Tap Water – Ever rub your eyes because they’re itchy, and one of your contacts accidentally falls out? If you don’t have your solution handy, you probably rinse the lens off in the nearest water you can find. We’ve certainly done this in a pinch. But it’s a bad idea. Tap water can contain an amoeba that has been known to cause Acanthamoeba keratitis, a hard-to-treat eye infection, says Dr. Walter.
This condition inflames your cornea and can lead to scarring and impaired vision. Even filtered water from your sink can be an issue, because bacteria may grow on the faucet, enter into the water, and get on your lenses. Ultimately, there’s only one liquid you should put on your lenses: disinfecting solution, says Dr. Walter. So if your lens pops out and drops to the ground, you’ll need to toss it in the trash.
There’s an obvious and easy way to avoid all of the cleaning issues associated with contacts: Move to a daily wear product. And then do just that—wear them for one day only, and toss them before bed. It’s ideal because you get a fresh pair of lenses every morning.
Wearing the Same Lenses Too Long – Whether your contacts call for daily, weekly, or monthly replacements, you need to swap them as often as the package indicates, Dr. Walter says. Sounds obvious, but half of all lens wearers don’t adhere to their schedule, according to the CDC report.
We get it: Squeezing a couple extra days out of your pair could save you a few bucks, or maybe you simply forget to make the change.
But if you keep your contacts in for too long, you might experience irritation, infections, and corneal ulcers—extremely painful open sores on your eye that can cause long-term vision damage, says Dr. Walter. And last we checked, your eyes are irreplaceable. So why would you ever put them at risk?
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Link to full article on Men’s Health below.
Here’s an eye-opener: 99 percent of people who wear contact lenses are guilty of at least one risky behavior that can set the stage for serious eye infections, finds a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you wear contacts, you probably already know which sins can damage your eyes.
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