All contact lenses, regardless of their purpose, are medical devices and present their own set of eye health problems when not worn or cared for properly. Your eye doctor will give you instructions toward preventing these problems, and here are some contact lens safety tips to consider when wearing contacts.
Is it okay to wear my contact lenses past their scheduled time?
Some contact lenses are approved only for daily use, while others can be worn continuously for up to 30 days. In any case, replacing lenses that have been worn past their scheduled time reduces your chance of developing an eye infection. Replacing lenses only at the sign of pain or discomfort can lead to further complications.
Am I cleaning my contact lenses correctly?
Hand washing before removing or replacing contact lenses is obvious piece of advice, but important enough to mention. Otherwise to keep lenses as clean as possible, make sure to wash your lenses thoroughly in solution before you replace them. Some doctors might say that the process of rinsing does more to kill harmful bacteria than the chemicals in many solutions. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to be as safe as possible. Finally, eye doctors recommend regularly replacing your contact lens storage case. Fungal infections and certain types of bacteria develop over longer periods of time, and it helps to try and prevent these issues in as many ways as possible.
Do I need a prescription for fashion, colored, or special effect contact lenses?
Many contact lenses do not provide any kind of vision correction. These lenses still require a prescription from an eye doctor, and that is because certain conditions make wearing contact lenses unsafe, and many patients require customized lenses that fit the shape and surface of their eyes. An eye doctor can use a number of tests to measure the eye’s surface for patterns and irregularities, and use that information to create lenses that will prevent the discomfort or worse associated with wearing contact lenses that do not fit.
I have a prescription for eyeglasses. Do I need another exam to get my contacts?
If you already have an eyeglass prescription and want to switch to contacts, your eye doctor will require a new exam for two reasons. First, prescribing contact lenses requires a more thorough examination of the eye’s surface, which the lenses are constantly in contact with. Second, your vision-related needs might be slightly different when wearing contact lenses, and this is due to the fact that eyeglass lenses are positioned further away from the eye.
Is it safe to wear contact lenses while swimming?
In the summer time hopping in the pool can be an incredible relief from a hot day. But if you wear contact lenses, you may not know what to expect when jumping in the pool or heading to the beach. If you’re wondering if it safe to wear contact lenses while swimming, then we can shed some light on the situation. Generally, eye doctors recommend that you do not wear contact lenses in water. Avoiding this helps prevent bacterial infection and the contamination of your eye. As stated by the FDA, “Do not expose your contact lenses to any water: tap, bottle, distilled, lake, or ocean water”. The safest way to avoid any kind of infection or eye irritation when it comes to water is always to take them out. Whether you are swimming in a pool, jacuzzi, lake, ocean, or even taking a shower. However, if you really want to wear them, many wearers recommend wearing swimming goggles to protect your eyes from water and to lean on the safer side of things.
Wearing contact lenses can be extremely safe. However, lenses can pose certain health risks when not worn properly. Make sure to replace each set of lenses as scheduled, clean and care for your lenses properly, and visit an eye doctor for an exam if you haven’t already. Between your doctor’s instructions and these helpful tips, you have just what you need to care for the health of your eyes while wearing contact lenses.