Contact lenses are a wonderful innovation, allowing you to see the world clearly without bulky glasses. However, many contract lens wearers are guilty of bad habits that increase their risk of infections and other side effects related to lens wear. To make sure your contact lens wear does not negatively impact your life or health, be sure to avoid these three common habits.
Not changing the storage solution each night.
Do you put your contacts into the same storage solution night after night? Maybe you only dump the solution every couple of days, or top it off as it gets too low. This is a bad idea, since bacteria can build up in the solution over time, eventually leading to an infection when you put your lenses into your eyes. As some solution evaporates, the concentration of salt increases in the solution left behind, and you may feel a stinging or burning in your eyes when you put your contacts in. Dump your storage solution out every night, rinse out your case, and fill it with new solution.
Ignoring eye dryness.
If your eyes get dry towards the end of the day when you wear contacts, you should not just ignore the issue and fight through it. Wearing dry lenses can cause mild corneal abrasions, which can not only be painful, but put you at risk for infections. If your eyes start feeling dry, put some lubricating eye drops (the type that is safe for use with contacts) in your eyes. If dryness becomes a frequent issue, talk to your eye doctor. He or she may be able to recommend customized lenses that breathe better, so your eyes stay more moist throughout the day.
Using saliva to moisten your lenses.
It sounds gross, but a lot of lens wearers are guilty of doing this from time to time. You have to take your lens out, and in order to get it back in comfortably, you moisten it with a little saliva. This might be convenient, but it's dangerous since your mouth may contain bacteria that can infect your eyes. Carry a small bottle of contact solution with you so that you can use it if you ever need to reinsert your contacts.
If you're not sure whether the way you handle and wear your contacts is safe, talk to your eye doctor. It's a lot easier to keep your eyes healthy than to deal with infections and other lens-related problems down the road. Read more about proper contact lens care by searching for websites about eye care.