Protecting Your Eyes During Contact Lens Safety Month
An estimated 40 million Americans wear contact lenses, according to The American Academy of Ophthalmology. Did you know that contact lens wearers risk infection if they fail to wear, clean, disinfect, and store their contact lenses as directed. In fact, data from a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that of contact lens-related corneal infections reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), close to 20 percent of patients had “a central corneal scar, a decrease in visual acuity, or required a corneal transplant following the event.”
In addition, more than 25 percent of the infections were accompanied by “modifiable factors, including sleeping in contact lenses or poor contact lens hygiene.” Even non-sight threatening infections or inflammation can be painful and disrupt day-to-day life. Good hygiene, proper contact lens care, and regular follow-up care with your eye care professional are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy.
In alignment with contact lens safety awareness month, it is important to understand how to properly use contact lenses. MyEyeDr. recommends the following tips for contact lens care:
- In order to avoid eye injuries and infections, follow instructions as outlined by your eye care professional, including washing hands before handling, replacing per the schedule prescribed and never sleeping in contacts (unless prescribed by an eye doctor).
- Proper care for the contact lens case is equally important, taking appropriate measures to clean the case with fresh solution—not water, replacing every three months and leaving the empty case open to air dry, in order to decrease risk of contamination.
- Do not use cracked or damaged lens cases. Lens cases can be a source of contamination and infection.
- And remember, never sleep in contact lenses unless prescribed by an eye doctor!
Contact lens wear can start when a patient is first diagnosed with vision issues, or years later as lifestyles and personal needs change. MyEyeDr. provides contact lens evaluations at any age, with options available to accommodate personalized needs, whether you prefer to replace daily or monthly.
First time contact lens wearers always have a lot of questions. Ellie at @thelittlestylefile received professional instructions on contacts lens care and safety for her very first pair! Watch her journey at MyEyeDr. and talk to your optometrist for more tips during Contact Lens Safety Month!
Interested in trying out contact lenses or wanting to see more clearly with the ones you have? Contact your local MyEyeDr. practice today or easily make an appointment online (using our Patient Portal if you’re already a patient). We would be happy to schedule a contact lens exam or contact fitting for you!