Taking proper care of your contact lenses lowers your chance of eye infections and allows you to enjoy the benefits of wearing contact lenses. Your habits are essential to healthy eyes.
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Mary Osborne, McFarland Clinic Certified Contact Lens Technician, shares proper care instructions for healthy contact lenses and eyes.
Never use water to rinse your contact lenses. Water contains bacteria, chlorine, minerals and metal particles which can damage both the lenses and the eyes. Do not wear your contact lens while swimming.
Contact lens storage cases can be a source of contamination and infection so it is very important to keep your contact lens case clean. After inserting your contact lenses, rinse case and let air dry. Replace your contact lens case every one to three months.
The only time that is ok to sleep in your lenses is if your eye care provider has approved your brand for sleeping in. If you have the kind that is approved by the FDA to sleep in, we still recommend that you take them out at least once a week overnight to let your eyes get a break and let oxygen get to your corneas.
Following your eye doctor’s recommendations on contact lens replacement is very important in preventing eye infections. Daily wear results in protein build up on your contact lenses making the lens dirty. The longer lenses are used, the greater the risk of protein buildup and infections to the cornea, which can permanently damage eye tissue.
Signs of eye infections include redness, irritation and eye discharge (matter) . If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, remove contact lens immediately and call your eye care provider. Discontinue wearing your contact lenses until you see an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Treatment for eye infections is based on the severity of the infection.