For something we put in our eyes, a lot of us are unaware of contact lens and its potential risks
Glasses are wonderful inventions that allow the long and short sighted to see the world around them and now, with the advent of contact lenses, seeing clearly has become more stylish. Contact lenses have changed the game especially for athletes or those who work in environments that may be a little challenging to wear glasses in.
In addition to correcting your eyesight, contact lens can also be trendy and enhance your looks especially with coloured contact lenses or circle lenses. Coloured contact lenses change the colour of your iris while circle lenses enlarge your iris to create the illusion of bigger eyes. These lenses can be prescriptive for wearers who are myopic or have astigmatism.
No matter what the reason you have for wearing contact lenses, whether cosmetic or convenience, safety is of the utmost importance. Improper use of contact lens could result in dry eyes, contact lens-induced acute red eye, corneal abrasion where a scratch or scrape happens on the cornea or worse.
Here are 4 common and dangerous mistakes people make when it comes to contact lenses.
It is inevitable that a contact lens wearer will do this at least once. To be fair, there are contact lenses approved for overnight use called extended wear contact lens. These contact lens can typically be worn continuously or up to six nights and seven days and now that there are silicone hydrogel lenses, some can be worn for up to 30 days straight.
One thing to note is that this is only advisable with the advice of your optometrist and even your doctor if you’d like. For non-extended wear contact lenses, do stick to the instructions given by the manufacturer to prevent infections which could lead to inflammation, irritation or even blindness.
For those who have accidentally slept in normal contact lenses, you might feel discomfort due to your contacts becoming dehydrated. To help you remove the contacts without tearing them, lie back and drop some saline into your eye for a few minutes to rehydrate them. After doing this, give your eyes a break and not put them in especially if you feel any irritation.
Always wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap before you handle your contacts and touch your eyes. It is also very important to clean your lens properly with contact lens solution. Some solutions claim to be ‘no-rub’ solutions but it is still a good practice to rub your contact lens to properly clean them.
The storage solution that your contact lens solution sits in every night need to changed daily to prevent any bacteria from growing in it. Always use only contact lens solution to clean and store your contact lens. Tap and distilled water may seem safe but these have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis which is a kind of corneal infection that is very difficult to treat.
If your contact lens are for 30 days of use, always throw them out at the 30-day mark or even earlier if they start to blur or irritate your eyes. Some people may reason with ‘Oh, I don’t wear them every single day so they should still be alright to wear after 30 days’ but no matter how many times you wear them, once you open the package, the lenses must be disposed of after 30 days.
This is because after using the contact lens, there could be bio-film formation which is when microbes grow over the surface of the lens which could be the culprit to eye infections. Protein that’s deposited on your contact lens from your tears could cause allergies after long periods of exposure as well.
If you don’t wear contact lens very often, it’s best to get dailies which can be worn for just a day and then thrown away. This keeps your contact lens fresh and your eyes healthy!
It is very important for contact lens wearers to visit their eye doctor or optometrist every 12 months for a check up. This is to ensure that your prescription is the right and most importantly, your eyes are healthy and unaffected by the use of contact lens.
Please do take great care when it comes to contact lens use to prevent anything untoward happening to your eyes. Don’t take your eyesight for granted because it could take just one infection to take it away.