Happy Solar Eclipse Week Idaho! What an amazing week for Idaho, we get to experience a solar eclipse, which means one more excuse to get outside during a work day and enjoy the great outdoors. Not to over shadow the eclipse (hehehe) but this week is also Contact Lens Health Week!
Contact lenses are a major vision component here in Idaho because people are always out being active and find glasses to be a hindrance to their sport or activity. It is important to remember that while contacts are a great option for vision they can cause damage to the eyes if not worn properly. This week let's review proper contact lens safety.
There are a large variety of contact lenses that have been designed to correct vision and ocular health each style of lens has a very specific set of care instructions. If an eye-care provider gives you specific instructions in regards to the contacts, follow them! Here are a few guidelines that hold true for the majority of contact lens wear:
Wash your hands: before handling a contact lens (removing from the eye or applying to the eye) make sure your hands are clean. Anything that is on your hands can easily transfer to your eye or contact lens. This could include lotion/soaps, lint, bacteria, viruses,etc. In case you were curious getting the majority of things that aren't designed to go in your eyes feel terrible and can cause a variety of problems from corneal abrasions to chemical burns. In summary, wash your hands before you handle your contacts!
Never re-use contact lens solution: Whether you are utilizing a multi-purpose cleaner, hard contact lens cleaner, or a hydrogen peroxide solution only use it one time! Once the solution has been used it has either been neutralized or it is contaminated with everything that was on the contact lens. By saving the solution it can actually harbor bacteria so every time you put your contacts in the solution it is like soaking them in a dirty hotel hot tub. That is not something you want to put on your eye! If you wouldn't do it with your bathwater don't do it with your eyes!
Utilize the prescribed contact lens solution: In this consumer driven world generic solution is appealing because it is more cost effective and it is perceived to be the same. Actually, generic solutions can change their recipes through the years so the same generic solution you use could have a variety of formulations. Why is this important? Certain contact lenses respond differently to different solutions. If the relationship between contact lenses and solution isn't compatible it can lead to decreased contact lens comfort, ocular irritation, or contact lens intolerance.
Replace contact lens cases regularly: Contact lens cases are prone to developing grime and bacteria stores because they are associated with moisture. Cases should be changed every three months unless otherwise directed by your eye-care provider.
If your eyes are irritated or you are sick, remove your contacts: When your eyes are irritated (dryness, itching, watering, redness, etc.) they may already be infected or they have a higher risk of infection. Putting a contact lens on an infection can worsen the infection. Certain corneal infections can be very painful and sight-threatening. There is a bacteria, associated with improper contact lens wear that can actually perforate the cornea.
Follow the appropriate lens replacement schedule: Contact lens companies have determined appropriate wear schedules for their lenses to maintain eye health. Each company has a unique formulation of the plastic the lenses are made out of. They have done research to determine contact lens stability in the eye, as a lens is being used the plastic can start to degrade. Over-wearing the lenses can cause a variety of corneal irritations.
Don't wear contact lenses that have not been prescribed to you: As obvious as this sounds don't wear other peoples contact lenses or non-prescribed cosmetic contacts. This is a huge hazard that can cause serious sight-threatening infections. Certain lenses are prescribed to keep your eyes healthy while providing the best vision. Not all lenses are created equally or with the same hygienic standards.
This August practice healthy contact lens wear and consult with your eye-care provider if you have any specific contact lens questions. If you would like to schedule an appointment our providers are knowledgeable about a variety of lenses and can help you find the most appropriate lens for your eye.
Artisan Optics - Uptown
M-F: 9-5:30 | Sat: 10-2
7960 W Rifleman St #150
Boise, ID 83704
Eyewear is Fashion
Pediatric Eye Exams
Specialty Contact Lenses
Dry Eye Treatment
Athlete Vision Assessment
Binocular Vision Assessment
Ocular Disease Management