It can be extremely exciting to finally get your first pair of contact lenses, especially if you've been wearing eyeglasses for some time now. However, it is truly important that you follow the care instructions that your optometrist provides to you to ensure that you avoid infections and serious vision problems. Here are a few of the most important dos and don'ts that you will want to ensure you follow to protect your eye health:
Do Wash Your Hands before Handling Your Contact Lenses.
Whether it is the coffee pot in the kitchen at home or the keyboard on your desk at work, you touch a lot of things throughout the day. Your hands are covered in germs. For that reason, you need to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before every handling your contact lenses or your lens case. This means it may be easiest to put your contacts in your eyes in the morning and take them out of your eyes at night in your own bathroom.
Don't Ever Add More Contact Solution to Your Lens Case.
You may think that you are doing a good thing adding more contact lens solution to your lens case when it looks like it is getting low, but you are actually putting yourself at serious risk of developing a potential eye infection. This exact practice has actually been linked to a particular infection known as Acanthamoeba keratitis, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is a rare but very serious eye infection that can possibly result in blindness.
Do Thoroughly and Properly Clean Your Contact Lens Case.
When it comes to your contact lenses and lens case, bad hygiene practices are the last thing that you want to take part in. Otherwise, you run the risk of contaminating your lens case with microorganisms. One study explored several independent methods of reducing the risk of contamination, which included rinsing, rubbing and rinsing, and air drying your contact lens case. The most effective was rubbing and rinsing. However, if you were to use all of them together, you would be able to reduce the risk of contamination even more. So, to clean your contact lens case thoroughly and properly, you should pour all of the solution out, rub the inside with a clean finger, rinse it with new lens solution, wipe it dry with a clean tissue and then store it upside down on another clean tissue until needed.
Don't Keep Your Contacts in While You Bathe, Shower, or Come into Contact with Water.
You may think that it is harmless to take a bath or a shower with your contacts in, but it is important that you remove them first. This is particularly true if you are going to go swimming, get in the hot tub, or come into contact with any form of water. Water contains tiny organisms that may cause an eye infection under the right circumstances. The CDC says that individuals who come into contact with water with their contacts in are at an increased risk of developing the Acanthamoeba keratitis infection mentioned previously.
For further information about contact lens care, speak with an optometrist like Robert A. Marini, OD.