Contact lenses are a convenient and popular way to correct vision, but they require proper care to maintain good eye health. Poor contact lens hygiene can lead to a number of eye problems, including infections, inflammation, and corneal abrasion.
Here are some tips for good contact lens hygiene:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your contact lenses. This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria and other germs.
- Use fresh contact lens solution to clean and disinfect your lenses each time you remove them. Never reuse old solution or rinse your lenses with water.
- Rub your lenses with your fingers for at least 20 seconds to clean them. This will help to remove any dirt, debris, or protein buildup.
- Rinse your lenses thoroughly with fresh solution before soaking them overnight.
- Empty and rinse your contact lens case with fresh solution each day. Allow the case to air dry completely before using it again.
- Replace your contact lens case every three months.
Additional tips for contact lens wearers:
- Remove your contact lenses before swimming, showering, or using a hot tub. Water can contain bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause eye infections.
- Do not sleep in your contact lenses. This can increase your risk of developing eye problems.
- If your eyes become red, irritated, or uncomfortable, remove your contact lenses immediately and see your eye doctor.
Why is good contact lens hygiene so important?
Contact lenses sit directly on your corneas, the clear front part of your eyes. This makes them susceptible to infection and other problems. If you don’t properly care for your contact lenses, you can introduce bacteria, viruses, and other germs into your eyes. This can lead to a number of eye problems, including:
- Keratitis: Inflammation of the cornea.
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye): Inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin tissue that lines the eyelids and whites of the eyes.
- Acanthamoeba keratitis: A rare but serious eye infection caused by a microorganism called acanthamoeba.
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC): A condition characterized by large bumps on the upper eyelids.
By following the tips above, you can help to keep your eyes healthy and safe while wearing contact lenses.