Swimming in a pool with your contacts on or topping off your solution may seem harmless, but both of these could compromise your contact lenses and risk causing serious eye infection.
Below are daily habits to adopt for optimal contact lens care:
Wash Your Hands Regularly
Whether you use daily or monthly contact lenses, make sure to first wash your hands. Avoid using scented or oily soaps, as their residue will likely stick to the lens surface, and be transferred to your eye. Similarly, avoid creams and lotions prior to inserting contacts into your eyes.
This one simple habit could make a massive difference in your eye health by preventing eye irritation and infections.
Clean Re-usable Contacts Daily
Most reusable lenses must be cleaned and disinfected daily. There are several cleansing systems and solutions available — the choice depends on the type of lens you use, and any sensitivities you may have to solution preservatives or ingredients. Speak with Dr. Jeffrey Phillips to determine an effective cleaning and disinfecting solution for your lenses and eyes.
Avoid Contact with Water
It might seem harmless, but we advise against using tap water, as it contains impurities and microorganisms that can cause infections. Furthermore, unsalinated tap water will cause soft contacts to swell and change their shape, and no longer provide the proper optical correction. If you choose to swim with your contact lenses on, make sure to wear protective goggles and dispose of the contaminated lenses when you come out of the pool.
Never Ever Use Saliva
Your mouth is filled with germs, which may not cause infections for gums or teeth but could potentially infect your eyes. Avoid using saliva to “clean” or moisten your contact lenses.
Do Not Top off Solution
Just as you shouldn’t mix spoiled food with fresh foods, you should not top off yesterday’s solution in your contact lens case with fresh solution. The concoction might not contain enough disinfectant to kill off micro-organisms, and could carry those germs back to your eyes.
Routinely Change the Contact Lens Case
Many people don’t know about this one, but it’s recommended to change your contact lens case every 90 days. Microscopic biofilm contaminates invisible micro-fractures on the inside surface of your storage case, allowing some germs to survive in the case even after disinfection processes, leading to contamination and eye infections. Don't keep any older, used cases either. Keep a few unused cases ahead so you are ready with a fresh one when needed.
Don’t Sleep with Your Lenses On
It’s important to give your cornea a chance to breathe; sleeping with your contacts may cause redness, soreness, infections and abrasions. So be sure to remove your contact lenses before you get some shut-eye, unless they’re specially prescribed to be worn overnight.
Get That Annual Eye Exam
Don’t forget to book your yearly eye exam at Lifetime Vision Care in St. Petersburg. You annual exam is the perfect opportunity to ask Dr. Jeffrey Phillips any questions you may have, and resolve any issues you may be experiencing. You will need an updated prescription to purchase your new contact lens supply, so book your exam ahead of time -when your supply is still good for several more weeks. You never want to "stretch " wearing your lenses beyond their recommended disposal time, and risk having to resolve the medical issues of over-wear damage in addition to your regular exam needs.