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Eight mistakes you are making with your contact lenses

Accessories By Esther Muchene

If you are not blessed with 20/20 vision, a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet, corrective lenses could be your best bet.

While eyeglasses are easy to throw on and go about your day, they can be quite an inconvenience in getting about certain activities especially where a rigorous sweaty activity is involved. Hence the preference for contact lenses which are less restrictive.

It is important to note that contact lenses are a medical device and you can’t just put them on and forget about them. Unfortunately, there are quite a number of myths revolving around the proper use of these lenses.

To ensure you are not making the same mistakes, here are contact lenses habits that you need to correct:

  • Not cleaning you lenses daily

If your lenses have the need to be cleaned daily, then do not skip a day. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly before cleaning them. Once you put them on, clean their case by rubbing it with a clean finger and solution and then leave the case to air dry all day. Wash your hands at night before taking the contacts off and soak them in fresh solution. Not cleaning your contacts properly can lead to keratitis.

  • Sleeping in your contacts occasionally

Wearing your contacts for 24 hours straight is unhealthy even if you don’t do it frequently. The contacts are made using plastic which will act as a barrier and prevent flow of oxygen to you cornea. This also enables germs to come into contact with your cornea and could lead to issues such as infections, itchiness in your eyes and even blindness. Taking naps with your contacts on has health risks and should be avoided.

  • Using tap water as contact solution

Putting tap water as your solution is quite dangerous because the water is not sterile. Water also contains a parasite known as acanthamoeba which once it gets in your eye can lead to a cornea infection called acanthamoeba keratitis. It is hard to treat and can lead to blindness.

  • Wearing them past the recommended time limit

It is quite common for people to over wear their contacts in an attempt to save money. This has its health risks as over time the lenses do get worn out and accumulate germs. If your contacts should be replaced in two weeks, you put yourself at risk of infections if you wear them for a month.

  • Showering or swimming in them

As mentioned above, water contains the acanthamoeba parasite that can lead to infections. It is therefore important not to shower or swim in your contacts. If you do swim in them, wash your hands before taking them out, clean them and disinfect overnight before wearing again. Generally, it is best to keep your contacts away from water.

  • Wearing colored cosmetic lenses

If you fancy wearing colored cosmetic lenses, it is crucial that you always get an official assessment and fitting from a doctor. The size and shape of your cornea should always be factored in when getting contact lenses. Poor-fitting lenses can rub and lead to micro abrasions which in turn allow entry to germs, leading to infections.

  • Using decongestant eye drops

Using eye drops that remove redness can get you hooked such that your eyes will frequently need the eye drops or they rebound. This also prevents you from getting to the root cause of the redness or itchiness. You can always get drops made specifically for contact lenses that are known as rewetting drops or artificial tears.  Always make sure that they are preservative-free so as to not irritate the eyes.

  • Skipping your annual visit to the doctor

Your prescription is usually good for a stipulated period so always go for your annual checkup. If you also happen to be experiencing problems such as pain, redness or light sensitivity, take out your lenses and see a doctor to get to the root cause of the problem. The sooner you see the doctor the more you can avoid a serious problem.



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