Contact lenses help you see more clearly. They also serve as a more convenient alternative to eyeglasses and allow people to change the way they look through daily colored contact lenses available in Dubai.
Still, they can harm your eyes if you don’t use them correctly. In fact, many people make mistakes even before the contact lenses touch their eyes.
So many blunders are born from misconceptions and a lack of knowledge about contacts. If you are to maximize their benefits and keep your eyes safe at the same time, you must make sure that you avoid these seven contact lens unintentional mistakes you’re making right now:
1. Forgetting to clean your hands before handling your lenses or contact lens case
One of the most critical things you need to remember when using contact lenses is to keep them clean. And for that, you need to handle the lenses and anything that comes into contact with them only after washing your hands.
Germs, debris, and all other particles invisible to the naked eye can transfer onto the lenses upon contact. This means you must never forget to use soap and water to clean your hands before removing or putting them on.
You must also keep your hands clean when handling the contact lens case. If you fail to do this, you’re putting yourself at risk of eye irritation or infections.
One common problem people encounter is conjunctivitis or “pink eye.” This condition occurs when allergens, viruses, or bacteria infect the membrane covering the white of your eyes and your eyelid (called “conjunctiva”).
With pink eye, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms like:
- A weird gritty feeling in your eyes.
2. Failing to clean your contact lens case after use
Washing your hands thoroughly before handling or touching your contacts and lens case is well and good, but the effort might be moot if the lens case itself is dirty.
Do you see any solid gunk-looking build-up in your contact lens case? Or perhaps you see a bit of seemingly harmless lint?
If you answered “yes” to either of the questions, you need to clean the case right away.
You see, a lens case is much like a mini petri dish. It is the perfect environment for bacterial growth. And without regular cleaning, you’re probably introducing germs to your lenses and, inadvertently, your eyes.
To correct this, make sure you clean your contact lens case regularly based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, per the American Optometric Association (AOA). Most of them recommend cleaning out the case after each use, and this entails replacing the old solution and performing the following steps:
- Rinse the case using a fresh solution.
- Wipe it down using a clean tissue.
- Keep the caps off and leave the case to air dry.
3. Not following the contact lens replacement schedule
Based on studies, about half of the people who use replaceable and disposable contact lenses tend to wear these eye products longer than the recommended period. Although this may seem like a cost-effective thing to do, it’s far from healthy.
If you wait until you start feeling uncomfortable while wearing your contacts, you’re risking an eye infection. So, here’s a piece of advice: Don’t.
Always follow your eye doctor’s lens replacement schedule. If the contact lenses you use are disposable, make sure to replace them every day.
4. Wearing the wrong type of lenses
Many people wear contact lenses just because they want to ditch their glasses, skipping a trip to the eye doctor’s clinic and potentially wearing the wrong prescription in the process.
But while wearing the wrong prescription may not cause immediate damage to the eyes – either temporary or permanent, it does cause symptoms called asthenopia. This includes:
- Blurry vision.
- Eye pain.
- Brow ache.
These should go away right after you get the correct lens prescription.
Some types of lenses are also used for specific eye concerns.
There are monthly multifocal contacts for presbyopia that help people cope with gradual close-up vision impairment. This condition typically affects people aged 40 years old or older.
People with dry eye syndrome also can’t wear regular contact lenses because it causes their eyes to dry quickly. This is why soft lenses were developed to contain a small amount of water to help people with this condition.
5. Sleeping with contact lenses
During sleep, your body rejuvenates and recovers itself from day-to-day activities. Every part is given the rest it needs, and that includes your eyes.
Your optic organs need oxygen to get back to their prime and fight off germs at the same time. But while your eyes are closed during sleep, they get less oxygen. If you wear your contacts during this time, you reduce the oxygen supply even further, increasing your risk of eye infection.
6. Cleaning your contact lenses with water
Never ever wash your contact lenses using tap water; there’s a liquid solution made explicitly for that purpose.
Tap water may contain bacteria, germs, and other small particles that could latch onto your contacts and cause severe damage to your eyes.
Stick to contact lens solutions recommended by your optometrist as these ensure that your contact lenses and eyes stay safe and germ-free.
Similarly, you must also never attempt to swim in a pool or shower with your contact lenses on because these practices also expose the contacts to water.
7. Improper contact lens cleaning habits
Cleaning is considered most crucial in contact lens care. Besides using the suitable fluid to wash debris, particles, and microorganisms off of it, you also need to know the correct cleaning method.
Dipping the lenses in the contact solution isn’t enough. You need to follow the specific cleaning protocols offered by your optometrist to eliminate germs and particles effectively. These procedures may include the following:
- Wash and dry your hands first before removing and handling your contacts and lens case to avoid bacteria transfer.
- Take your lens solution and squirt a small amount onto your slightly cupped palm.
- Using your free hand, put the lenses on the solution and gently rub it between your pointer finger and thumb to remove dirt and particles attached to them.
- Don’t use your fingernails to avoid scratching your contacts.
- Repeat washing your hands after cleaning your contacts.
Take note that every contact lens type will have specific care instructions you must follow accurately and strictly.
Keep Your Lenses Pristine and Your Eyes Healthy
How you care for and use your contact lenses directly affects your eye health. Make sure you follow your eye doctor’s advice, only use contact lenses appropriate for your needs, and learn how to properly clean and maintain them.