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11 Bad Contact Lens Habits That Can Ruin Your Vision

11 Bad Contact Lens Habits
1
-    Sleeping in your contacts- Number one risk factor for corneal ulcers which can lead to severe vision loss and need for a corneal transplant. Your cornea needs oxygen from the atmosphere because it has no blood vessels.  The cornea is already deprived of oxygen somewhat when you have your eyes closed all night, add a contact on top of that and you stress the cornea out from lack of oxygen.  You don’t need to see when you are sleeping.  Take them out!!!!  I promise your dreams will still look the same.


2-    Swimming in your contacts- Salt, fresh or pool water all have their individual issues with either bacteria or chemicals that can leach into your contacts.  If you absolutely need them in to be safe in the water, then get them out as soon as you are done and clean and disinfect them.  For more see our Swimming with Contacts Blog.

3-    Using tap water to clean contacts-  Tap water is not sterile, see above.

4-    Using your contacts past their replacement schedule-  The three main schedules now are daily, two weeks and monthly.  Dailies are just that one time use and throw away, not designed to be removed and re-used.  Two weeks are designed to be thrown away after two weeks because they get protein buildup on them that doesn’t come off with regular cleaning.  Monthly replacement needs to have both daily cleaning and weekly enzymatic cleaning to take the protein build up off.  Using your lenses outside of these schedules and maintenance increases risk of infection and irritation.

5-    Getting contacts from an unlicensed source- Costume shops and novelty stores sometimes illegally sell lenses.  If you didn’t get the fit of the lenses checked by an eye doctor, they could cause serious damage if they don’t fit correctly.

6-    Wearing contacts past their expiration date- Cannot be sure of the sterility of the contact past its expiration date.  As cheap as contacts are now just don’t take the risk with an expired one.

7-    Topping off your contact lens case solution instead of changing it- Really bad idea.  Old disinfecting solution no longer kills the bacteria and can lead to resistant bacteria growing in your case and on your lenses that even fresh disinfecting solution may not kill.  Throw out the solution in the case EVERY DAY!

8-    Not properly washing your hands before inserting or removing contacts- Should be self-evident why this is a problem.

9-    Not rubbing your contact lens when cleaning even with a “no rub” solution-  Rubbing the lens helps get the bacteria off.  Is the three seconds it takes to rub the lens really that hard?  “no rub” should have never made it to market.

10-   Sticking your contact in your mouth to wet them-  Yes people actually do this.  Do you know the number of bacteria that reside in the human mouth?  Don’t do it.

11-   Not having a backup pair of glasses.  One of my biggest pet peeves with contact lens wearers.  In my 25 years of being an eye doctor the people who consistently get in the biggest trouble with their contacts are the ones who sleep in them and don’t have a backup pair of glasses.  Now when their eye is red and irritated they keep sticking that contact lens in because it is the only way they can see.  BAD IDEA.  Eye red and irritated don’t stick the contact back in, worst thing you can do! 

See the latest CDC report on contact lens related corneal infections








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