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The Eye-Opening Truth About Contact Lens Hygiene:
Are You at Risk

Whether you’re a long-time contact lens wearer or someone considering making the switch, understanding the importance of proper lens care is crucial for healthy vision. Proper lens care involves a series of crucial steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting your lenses daily, Cleaning and disinfecting your contact lens holder every month, adhering to a lens replacement schedule, and maintaining good hand hygiene whenever handling your contacts. These simple practices are the first line of defence against potential eye issues.

The Risks of Poor Contact Lens Hygiene

Now, you might be wondering, “What happens if I slack on my lens care routine?” Well, unfortunately, poor contact lens hygiene can lead to some serious problems.

Increased Risk of Eye Infections

Unfortunately we regularly see patients with eye infections due to neglecting their lens cleaning routine. They underestimate the importance of hygiene, and a seemingly harmless oversight can lead to an uncomfortable and potentially sight-threatening situation. Dirty lenses can harbour bacteria and cause various eye infections like conjunctivitis and keratitis. 

Allergic Reactions and Irritation

Have you ever felt itchy or had red, irritated eyes after wearing your contacts? It could be due to an allergic reaction caused by unclean lenses. Allergens can build up on your contacts, triggering uncomfortable symptoms. If left unchecked this can lead to your eyes becoming allergic to wearing contact lenses. Regularly cleaning your lenses can help alleviate these issues and keep your eyes comfortable throughout the day.

Corneal Abrasions and Ulcers

The cornea, the outermost layer of our eyes, is sensitive and easily damaged. When debris or microorganisms accumulate on your lenses, they can scratch the cornea, leading to painful corneal abrasions or even ulcers. A corneal ulcer is extremely painful and can lead to scarring on your cornea, which, can result in loss of vision. Taking care of your lenses means safeguarding your cornea and preserving your vision.

Factors Affecting Contact Lens Hygiene

Environmental factors like dust, pollutants, and smoke can quickly find their way onto your lenses. It’s crucial to protect our lenses from these irritants to prevent potential eye discomfort and infections. Storing your lenses in a clean, well-sealed case can make a world of difference.

We all have bad habits, but some can significantly impact our eye health. Rubbing your eyes while wearing contacts or using tap water to clean your lenses are practices you should steer clear of. Instead, opt for lens care solutions recommended by your eye care professional and resist the urge to touch your eyes unnecessarily.

Tips for Maintaining Good Contact Lens Hygiene

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and your eye care professional’s recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting your lenses. Avoid using saliva or water as a quick fix – it’s not safe and could lead to serious complications.

Never forget to wash your hands before handling your lenses. This simple step can prevent harmful bacteria from making their way into your eyes.

Proper Lens Storage and Care

Storing your lenses correctly is equally important. Always use fresh lens solution and avoid topping off the old solution. Trust me; it’s tempting when you’re in a rush, but it can expose your lenses to bacteria. Also replace your contact lens case regularly, there is no point putting clean lenses in a dirty case. Most lens cleaning solutions give a free case. Throw the old one away when you replace your solution.

Lens Replacement Schedule

Adhere strictly to your lens replacement schedule. Daily disposables should be discarded after each use, while extended wear lenses require regular replacement to ensure optimal hygiene.

Importance of Regular Eye Exams

Maintaining excellent contact lens hygiene is essential, but it’s equally crucial to schedule regular eye exams. Your eye care professional can monitor your eye health, identify any issues related to lens use, and recommend the best lenses for your needs. We recommend an annual eye exam for all contact lens wearers

Your eyes are precious, and proper contact lens hygiene is a non-negotiable part of keeping them healthy. By adopting good lens care practices and understanding the risks of neglect, you can protect your eyes and enjoy the clear vision you deserve. So, be kind to your eyes, and they’ll be kind to you!

Remember, if you ever have concerns about your lenses or experience any eye discomfort, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for professional guidance.