Do you wear contact lenses? Then you know the basics on how to care for them and avoid losing them. But there are other important do's and don’ts that revolve around caring for your eyes, as well as your lenses. Unfortunately, these are the ones we tend to see ignored the most.
At Benjamin Optical, our doctors offer patients many tips when it comes to taking good care of their contacts and their eyes. It’s not just about keeping your lenses in good condition, it’s also about protecting your eyes from possible infections.
Can dirty contacts really cause eye infections?
If you’ve been wearing contacts for a couple of years, you’re probably used to them falling out every so often. When that happens, do you put them back in without cleaning? Dirty contact lenses can be uncomfortable, and could potentially cause an eye infection. It's important you properly clean your lenses before re-inserting.
There are many other bad contact lens habits that can also result in eye infections. Here are a few you might be guilty of:
Cleaning contacts with water
If your contact lens has something on it, and you don’t have your solution, you might think nothing of cleaning it in a bathroom sink and putting it back in. This is a big mistake. Not only does it not clean your lens properly, but the water itself could potentially have a number of pathogens in it that could cause an eye infection.
Showering or swimming in contacts
If you decide to go swimming or take a shower, take out your contacts. If you come into contact with bacteria or fungus that can cause infections, your contacts are more likely to keep them trapped in your eye. You should always avoid wearing your lenses when you swim and shower.
Wearing contacts to bed
Wearing contact lenses to bed is a huge no-no and increases your risk of an eye infection by six to eight times. If bacteria is trapped behind your lenses it might continue to grow while you sleep. The lens itself acts as a petri dish if it’s not properly cleaned every day.
Your eyes also need time to breathe. Although that might sound weird, it’s true. You need to make sure oxygen is getting to your eyes. If you’re wearing your lenses while you’re sleeping, that's difficult to do. Oxidative stress can raise the eye’s vulnerability to the pathogens and bacteria that cause infection. That's why it's so important to take your contacts out.
Wearing your contacts too long
Your contact lenses have an expiration date for a reason. If you wear them past this point, you’re inviting bacteria. Contacts become less effective and more likely to trap bacteria, which puts your eyes at risk.
Avoiding these habits is necessary when it comes to protecting your eyes from a bacterial or fungal infection.
Take care of your lenses and your eyes
If you avoid these bad habits, you’ll be able to take care of your eyes and avoid infection.
Do you want more advice on how to protect your eyes? Visit us online to book an appointment at one of our four New York locations today.