The Dangers Of Poor Contact Care

Wearing contacts requires that you follow certain hygiene rules to keep your eyes safe. Unfortunately, contact wearers are notoriously bad at following the rules. If you wear contacts, you need to wear them according to directions or correct your vision another way.  

Sleeping in Contacts

A recent study by the CDC showed that contact wearers are doing many things wrong, and in the process, they are endangering their eye health. At least half of contact wearers sleep or nap while wearing their lenses. Sleeping in contacts, even when the box says you can, is not a good idea. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that wearing contacts overnight makes it more likely you will develop a corneal infection. Bacteria such as Pseudomonas can multiply beneath your contacts, causing a corneal ulcer and even blindness. 

Cleaning Contacts

To keep your contacts as sterile as possible, you need to wash your hands before handling them and then clean and store them using a disinfecting solution. The solution needs to be changed daily, and the case needs to be rinsed. Tap water and saliva are not safe for cleaning contact lenses. Most contact wearers have been told this information, but 55% say they sometimes just "top off" their solution rather than changing it, and 61% admit to swimming while wearing their contacts. One-third of wearers say they have rinsed their lenses in tap water while 16.8% confess that they have stored their contacts in water from the faucet. These poor hygiene practices can lead to conditions such as Acanthamoeba  keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea that can range from mild irritation to a more serious condition such as a corneal ulcer. 

Lasik Eye Surgery

If you are careless with your contacts, you should consider having Lasik eye surgery.  Approximately 600,000 patients undergo this surgery each year in the United States. This procedure is done using lasers which reshape your cornea. After the surgery, you should have nearly perfect vision, although some patients do require reading glasses after the procedure.

If you are going to continue wearing contacts, you need to follow the instructions for proper care. As the CDC has recently announced, most people are careless with their contact lenses. To avoid contact problems, you should consider Lasik surgery. The procedure is safe and will free you from the care routine that contacts demand. Check with your eye professional to see if laser eye surgery is a good choice for you.