Contact lenses are great! They are generally a low fuss alternative to wearing spectacles and prove to be very convenient if you’re working out or just want to go about your day without having your glasses on. They do not smudge or scratch so you do not have to worry about leaving fingerprint stains on them like you do when you’re adjusting your spectacles.
The unfortunate thing though, is that most wearers of contact lenses either are not properly informed on how to take care of them or do not give due regard when it comes to lens care. This makes them more susceptible to eye infections which are very costly to cure and sometimes could lead to permanent eye damage.
The rule of thumb when it comes to contact lenses is hygiene. Your hands need to be extremely clean by washing with antibacterial soap and wiping with a clean and lint-free cloth before you take them out or put them in. This followed by cleaning them with the saline solution provided by the optician and not tap water and storing them in their case. Unless your contact lenses are daily disposable and for single use only, the cleaning regimen needs to be done every day up until the day of your monthly replacement.
Water and contact lenses are like oil and water and this is the reason you are advised strongly to not shower or swim with your contact lenses on. This is because when water comes into contact with soft contact lenses, it causes them to change shape and stick to the surface on the cornea leading to scratches. The microscopic scratches provide the perfect environment for the entry of a bacteria called Acanthamoeba that lives in tap water. The bacteria causes keratitis which is a serious eye infection that is troublesome to treat and in some cases requires a corneal transplant or cause blindness.
Even though soft permeable contact lenses allow oxygen to the cornea, the oxygen supply is still not the same as when you are not wearing one. This is largely the reason behind wearing your lenses for a short period with a maximum timeline of twelve hours before taking them out. Your eyes are unable to breathe naturally so giving them a breather often will do them a world of good.
Low oxygen supply to your cornea is also the reason why sleeping with your contacts is a bad idea as this leads to micro-tears on your cornea and cause infection.
Because contact lenses do not have the additional protection such as anti-glare which block out harmful light spectrums released by phone and computer screens or filter harmful sun rays, one needs to take extra precaution when you’re out on a very sunny day. Investing in a good quality pair of non-prescription sunglasses will go a long way in protecting your precious eyes.
Last but not least, make sure you never skip an appointment with your optician for your regular eye check-up and renew your lens prescription as advised by a registered and professional eye expert.
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