It’s no secret that being visually impaired comes with its challenges. Yet for many people, the discrete and effective tools called contact lenses make living with these challenges significantly easier.
In fact, data published by Statista shows that more than 8% of people in the UK wear contact lenses.
However, safely using contact lenses means overcoming a new obstacle – maintaining rigorous standards of hygiene. And if you try to use contact lenses without adhering to this, you can end up putting your vision in danger.
With that in mind, we’re sharing our four most critical contact lens hygiene tips below.
Take Them Out At Night
It isn’t safe to sleep while you’re contact lenses are in. Even if you only sleep with them every so often or by accident, you are putting yourself at risk of developing serious eye infections.
For instance, research has found that people who sleep with their contacts are five times more likely to get microbial keratitis – an infection that causes inflammation in your corneas – as well as similar infections such as acanthamoeba keratitis and fungal keratitis.
Keep Them Away from Water
When you wear your contact lenses in the shower, you run the risk of developing serious eye infections such as Acanthamoeba Keratitis. These infections can sometimes result in permanent visual impairment and even blindness.
However, this isn’t just the case for showering. In fact, almost all water can introduce harmful germs to your contact lenses. So, take extreme care in situations where water might be introduced to your contact lenses. Always remove them before swimming in pools, lakes or the ocean – and never use tap water to clean them!
Take Care of Your Case
As well as the lenses themselves, you need to keep your contact lens case sterile. To accomplish this, rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution and then dry it with a clean tissue. You also need to replace your contact lens case periodically, according to the instructions given to you by your provider.
Clean Them Properly
Even though you can’t let them come into contact with water, you still need to make sure your contact lenses are clean each time you remove them. You do this using a contact lens disinfecting solution specified by your provider.
Rub the solution into each contact lens thoroughly to remove any debris, deposits or microorganisms present on the surface. Then, use the solution to rinse the lenses. You should check the instructions that come with the solution to find out exactly how long you need to rub and rinse your lenses in order to properly clean them.
Finally, place the lenses into your clean, dry contact lens case and completely fill the cases with your contact lens solution.