A report by the CDC released today details some sobering statistics about the risks of contact lens wear. The report estimates that nearly one million cases of keratitis (eye inflammation or infection) are caused by contact lenses every year. The biggest culprit? Improper wear and cleaning of soft contact lenses.
It’s no secret that some Americans love their contacts. An estimated 38 million people wear them for vision correction. At LaFollette Eye Clinic we love them too, and work hard to ensure a successful and enjoyable contact lens experience for our patients who wish to wear them. To that end, here are some tips from the CDC on proper lens wear and care.
1. Wash your hands with soap and water before touching your contact lenses.
2. Remove your contact lenses before sleeping, showering, or swimming.
3. Rub and rinse your contact lenses in a disinfecting solution after removing them.
4. Rinse your contact lens case and let it air dry every time you wear your contacts.
5. Replace your contact lens case at least every three months.
There are some additional tips we like to teach our patients who wear contact lenses. Have current eyewear with you at all times. Whether you prefer glasses or not, it pays to have an alternative way to correct your vision if you can’t wear your contacts. Also, make sure to have your eyes examined every year. These visits are crucial to verify that your eyes are healthy, and it is an opportunity to refresh your memory about proper lens wear and care. And never forget to call your optometrist at the first sign of redness or discomfort. Any keratitis is easier to treat in the earlier stages.
Contact lenses can be an integral part of your visual lifestyle. Although there are risks to contact lens wear, millions of Americans and people all over the world enjoy them every day. If you are one of them, make sure you spend the additional effort learning and understanding how to wear and care for them properly, and you should be able to enjoy them for many years to come.
Now how about you? What is your favorite thing about contact lenses? Do remember the first time you tried them? Leave a comment! We would love to hear from you.