7 things you might be doing wrong with your contacts
Contacts are a great alternative to glasses for many people.
However, “without the proper care, contact lenses can lead to infection,” says Jennifer Hoenig, a family medicine nurse practitioner at Aurora Health Center in Reedsville, Wis.
When handling contacts, many mistakes are made during momentary lapses of judgement or to simply save time. Other mistakes are made when there is a lack of understanding in personal eye care.
Here are some common mistakes made by contact lens users:
Rinsing your case
“Only rinse your case with contact solution,” Hoenig says. “Never wash your case with water, even if it is sterile.” While the water may be purified, contact solution is specifically designed to disinfect your case and lenses, which prevents infections in your eye.
Reordering the prescription
All eyes are different, and reordering expired prescriptions may worsen eyesight at varying rates. While your vision may worsen, your cornea may also change shape. Visit your optometrist at least once a year to ensure you receive the proper contact size and prescription.
Not replacing your case
“Ideally, your contact lens case should be replaced every 3 months, not every year after your annual eye exam,” Hoenig says. If your case becomes damaged or cracked, be sure to replace it to prevent bacteria from entering.
Using eye drops
If you have itchy or watery eyes, do not use eye drops while wearing contacts. Your contacts may be a cause of your eye irritation, so remove them and seek advice from your optometrist.
Wearing them near water
Blurry vision can be frustrating, especially when swimming or showering. Water can not only dry out your contacts, but it also contains bacteria that may cause infection. Try to avoid wearing contacts when water can enter your eyes and instead opt for glasses when visiting the beach or pool.
After a long, exhausting day, “it’s easy to skip disinfecting your contacts and re-use the solution left in your case from the day prior,” Hoenig says. Try dumping the remaining solution every time you insert your contacts into your eyes, so you use sterile solution when removing them later.
One of the most prominent mistakes among contact users is wearing lenses for too long. Whether you accidentally fall asleep with day lenses, wear them too many hours a day or wear 2-week lenses for a month, you are guilty of this error. Lenses can warp or tear over time, so be sure to toss and replace them as prescribed.
About the Author
Cali Nygren, health enews contributor, is a marketing intern for Aurora BayCare with a BA in business administration from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. In her spare time, you may find Cali cracking jokes, watching Marvel movies, and spending time with her friends and family.