• January 15, 2021

STONE: Contact lens wearers take note - Odessa American: Levi Stone

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STONE: Contact lens wearers take note

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Posted: Sunday, October 4, 2020 4:30 am

If you’re one of the over 37 million people in the United States who wear contact lenses, you likely appreciate the convenience and unobstructed vision these lenses can provide.

First produced in the late 1930’s, contact lenses have advanced significantly over the years. Available in several varieties, consumers can fit the right type of lens to their individual preferences and needs.

There are many benefits to contact lenses which can include boosting personal confidence, enhancing performance in several activities, and most importantly improving overall vision.

However, even with popular disposable options such as daily, extended, or monthly wear, contact lens users must do their part by adhering to a regimen to ensure optimum eye and vision health.

Healthy hygiene habits are a quintessential component of protecting our vision, especially for contact lens wearers. It all starts with proper hand washing before and after you handle contact lenses.

This is includes washing hands with soap and water, and drying them well with a clean cloth anytime you touch your lenses. Since water can harbor microbial agents such as bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants, it’s also very important to keep your contacts away from all sources of water (no matter how clean you think it may be). This means removing contact lenses before any exposure to water, such as when taking showers, baths, or swimming.

Proper cleaning and storage of contact lenses should also be an essential part of routine care because it helps remove contaminants and other agents that could potentially infect your eyes.

Cleaning your lenses begins with using the proper lens solution consistent with the type of contact lens you wear. Rub and rinse your lenses with the contact lens disinfecting solution (never with water or saliva) to clean them each and every time you remove them.

Never store your lenses in water and replace your contact lenses according to manufacturer’s and eye doctor recommendations. Your contact lens case is another item care for as diligently as the lenses themselves.

Rub and rinse your lens case with contact solution again, never water, and then empty and dry with a clean tissue, storing the case upside on a clean cloth. Contact lens cases should also be replaced every month. Above all, never sleep in your contact lenses unless specifically cleared by your eye doctor to do so. Your eyes need a break from wearing the lenses to heal, regenerate, and recovery routinely.

Lastly, eye care professional oversight is an absolute must to insure eye health and vision stays in tip top shape. Routine visits and follow up with your eye doctor, at least yearly, will help identify any trouble areas that can be treated and addressed before they can become major problems.

Not only will they get you on the right plan and prescribe you the most appropriate lenses to fit your needs, it establishes a relationship to help you should problems arise. Contact your eye doctor right away if you experience any discomfort, eye pain, redness, or blurred vision.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one million people develop eye infections that require a trip to either a doctor or the hospital each year. Many of these infections are related to the use of contact lens and commonly begin as mild eye irritation, but left untreated can lead to more advanced complications such corneal ulcers and in worst cases even blindness. Being proactive, by following the guidelines set forth by your eye care professional, can greatly reduce or even eliminate these avoidable instances.

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