Spring break is upon us and contact lenses can be convenient to wear when you are visiting a tropical place and plan on wearing non-prescription sunglasses for the majority of the day. Contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction unless they are not cared for properly. Improper contact lens hygiene can lead to eye infections like keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), which is more likely to occur when contact lenses are worn for an extended period of time. This type of eye infection can become serious and lead to long term effects like blindness and corneal transplants.
Other complications linked to contact lens wear include allergies, conjunctivitis, corneal abrasion, red, irritated eyes, dry eyes and neovascularization (new blood vessels growing onto the cornea that can cause redness in the eye). Spring break might involve being around the water. Water and contact lenses do not mix well. Water can cause soft contact lenses to change their shape, swell and stick to the eye. This can make it easier for infection to enter and for the cornea to become scratched. Keep these tips in mind when you are on vacation and at home for healthy contact lens wear.
Top 10 Tips for Healthy Contact Lens Wear
- Remove contact lenses before showering, swimming or using a hot tub.
- Throw away or disinfect contact lenses that touch water.
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them with a clean cloth before touching your contact lenses. Do these two steps every time!
- Don’t sleep in your contact lenses unless prescribed by your optometrist.
- Rub and rinse your contact lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution to clean them each time you remove them.
- Replace your contact lenses as often as recommended by your optometrist.
- Replace your contact lens case at least once every three months.
- Rub and rinse your contact lens case with contact lens solution, empty and dry with a clean tissue. Store upside down with the caps off after each use.
- Don’t top off solution! Use fresh disinfecting solution each time.
- Use only the contact lens solution recommended by your optometrist.
We also recommend that you keep a pair of back up glasses with you. Download these tips and keep them in your suitcase!
Interested in contact lenses? Schedule an appointment today and follow our #takecareofyoureyes tips on social media.