If You Wear Contact Lenses, Protect Your Eyes - Here is How
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recently revealed it is more important than ever contact lens wearers protect their eyes from infection. As more and more people begin to use contact lenses, more information needs to become available about the risks and benefits of contact lens use.
The Centers for Disease Control or CDC recently alerted consumers to the risk of a serious outbreak of an infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis. While rare, this eye infection can cause serious and permanent injury to the eye. It can also affect the health in many other undesirable ways.
How To Care For Your Peepers
How do you care for your peepers? You take care of your lenses. If you wear contact lenses, whether for fun or because you need them, you have to make sure you use them wisely. Sometimes consumers foolishly believe they will not get an infection if they use disposable lenses.
As with any lens however, proper care and handling is essential for avoiding infection. Introducing any bacteria in the eye can lead to bacterial infection, and once there, bacterial infection is not always simple to treat.
Here are simple tips everyone should follow to make sure they limit their risk of bacterial infection:
- Never buy contacts without first consulting with a qualified medical professional, preferably and eye doctor or specialist.
- When you receive your first pair of contacts, whether regular or disposable, permanent or semi-permanent, read the directions. Read the brochures that come with them. Read any literature your doctor gives you that helps you learn more about preventing infection and protecting your eyes. You need all the information you can get.
- Ask your doctor any questions you have about proper care for your lenses. If you forget to ask something, do not hesitate to call. They will call you back with the answer.
- If you do not know how to insert contact lenses, learn from your doctor. Most doctors will require you to stay at the clinic until you learn how to properly remove and insert your new contact lenses. If they do not show you this, ask them how to do it, or go somewhere else. This is critical to your health. Improper placement can lead to problems other than just infection; it can lead to scarring or tearing of the corneal tissue, so use your contacts with caution.
- Make sure you rinse your contact lenses with proper sterilized solution. Unlike your eye glasses, which you do not place inside of your eye, you cannot simply clean your contacts with water. In fact, if you do, you are more at risk for introducing a foreign object or infection.
- Always, ALWAYS wash your hands with soap & water before you put your contacts in, and before you take them out. Your hands should be clean anytime you handle your lenses.
- Make sure your contacts always rest in a sterile location. Do not lay them on a dirty surface or countertop.
- If you lose a contact, find it and sterilize it. Make sure there is no damage to it.
- Do not sleep in your contacts unless you buy contacts that you can sleep in. There are certain brands of contacts you can wear overnight, but most require you take them out daily.
- If you are not sure about the best way to clean your contacts, ask your eye care professional for more help or information.
- If you experience uncomfortable symptoms while wearing or after wearing your contacts, including swelling, puss, redness or irritation, call your eye doctor and schedule an appointment. You may need to stop wearing your contacts for a while because of an infection.
- Do not use anything except for the storage cases provided to you when storing your contact lenses.
- Disposable lenses are disposable. Do not wear them longer than you should.
- If you plan to swim or plan to be at the beach, where sand or other particles may enter your lenses or your eyes, then consider removing your lenses.
- Give your contacts time to dry naturally before you store them.
- Clean your lens case thoroughly and regularly, once every few weeks to keep your contacts fresh and bacteria free.
All bacteria are preventable, when proper care is taken to avoid infection. Remember while contact lenses are durable they are also delicate. Make sure you take action to prevent disease, before it happens, and you will avoid scary diseases like "Acanthamoeba keratitis."
P.S. - If you are interested in learning more about Acanthamoeba Keratitis, you can. Just visit The American Academy of Ophthalmology:
You can also visit The Centers for Disease Control
Here you will find information on any bacterial under the sun, and ways to prevent infections from limiting or interfering with your eyesight.
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