October marks a pivotal month in the eye care community — Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month.
This annual observance reminds contact lens wearers to prioritize their eye health and adhere to best practices. Whether you're a seasoned wearer or new to the world of contacts, understanding essential safety tips, proper insertion techniques, and diligent care methods is crucial.
Our eye doctor at i2iOptometry in Laguna Beach can also offer guidance on caring for your eye health during a contact lens exam and fitting.
Understanding the Importance of Contact Lens Safety
Contact lens wearers often underestimate the significance of following hygiene protocols, assuming that having clear vision is the only thing they should worry about when wearing contact lenses. However, if you don't handle or clean contacts properly, this can lead to many eye problems, ranging from mild irritation to severe infections that could cause lasting damage to eyesight.
Common Mistakes and Risks
Recognizing the common mistakes made by contact lens wearers is crucial to avoid actions that can risk your eye health and vision. Examples of pitfalls to be mindful of include:
- Prolonged Wear: Wearing contacts beyond their recommended duration or sleeping with contacts.
- Cleaning Errors: Not cleaning lenses daily or washing your hands before handling your contacts, using tap water instead of disinfecting solutions.
- Replacement Neglect: Failing to replace lenses according to the prescribed schedule and reusing your contact lens case beyond three months.
Safety Tips: How to Insert, Remove and Take Care of Contacts
Inserting and removing contacts might seem daunting at first, but with a bit of guidance during your contact lens fitting and lots of practice at home, it’ll become second nature. Firstly, wash your hands thoroughly before touching your lenses; this prevents transferring dirt and bacteria to your eyes. Use a lint-free towel to dry your hands — any residual lint can irritate your eyes.
How to Insert Contact Lenses
- Place the lens on your fingertip: Use the index finger of your dominant hand to hold the lens.
- Pull down your lower eyelid: Use the other hand to hold down your lower eyelid, preventing blinking.
- Look up: Look upward to expose the white part of your eye.
- Gently place the lens: Place the lens on the lower white part of your eye, then slowly release your eyelid and blink.
How to Remove Contact Lenses
- Look upward: Look upward and use your index finger to pull down your lower eyelid.
- Pinch the lens: Use your thumb and index finger to gently pinch the lens.
- Remove the lens: Slide the lens down to the white part of your eye and gently remove it.
Contact Lens Care and Maintenance
- Clean your lenses daily: Use recommended contact lens solutions to clean your lenses thoroughly. Avoid water, as it can introduce harmful microorganisms.
- Replace your lens case regularly: Bacteria can accumulate in the case, so replacing it every three months is essential.
- Follow the wearing schedule: Whether you have daily, weekly, or monthly lenses, adhere strictly to the wearing schedule to prevent eye strain and infections.
- Avoid sleeping with lenses: Unless your eye doctor approves your lenses for extended wear, remove them before sleeping to allow your eyes to breathe.
- Be careful when wearing makeup: Particles can enter your eyes and cause irritation or infections.
- Wear sunglasses: UV protection is essential when outdoors.
Incorporating these safety tips into your daily routine ensures clear vision and the well-being of your eyes. Remember, caution goes a long way in maintaining healthy and comfortable contact lens wear.
Contact Lens Exams and Fittings in Laguna Beach
For tailored advice on contact lens wear and maintenance, schedule an appointment with our eye doctor at i2iOptometry in Laguna Beach.