Proper Contact Lens Care: Six Tips You Should Know
For millions of people who do not wish to wear traditional corrective eyewear, no matter how hip or stylish, or undergo potentially risky laser vision correction, contact lenses represent a potentially ideal solution. For decades, contact lenses have allowed people to overcome their nearsightedness or farsightedness, with or without astigmatism, without broadcasting to the world they were visually impaired. And when those contact lenses are provided by a highly trained and experienced eye care professional, such as esteemed optometrist Jeffrey E. Schultz of Lifetime Eye Care, the benefits of contact lenses are virtually innumerable.
However, as with any medical treatment or device, there are risks associated with contact lenses. Many of these risks involve the proper care, or lack thereof, of the contact lenses by their wearers after they have been prescribed. Unfortunately, many people become complacent after months or years of wearing contact lenses and start to cut corners when it comes to caring for their lenses. On the other end of the spectrum, many new contact lens wearers fail to exercise proper care in handling their lenses for any number of reasons. Whatever the cause, the effect of improper lens care can be severe, including potentially vision-threatening eye infections.
With proper lens care, however, contact lenses are remarkably safe and effective. Dr. Schultz is meticulous in explaining proper contact lens care at his Cleveland practice, making sure that his patients leave his office with a comprehensive understanding of how to get the most out of their lenses while preserving the health of their eyes.
Tips for Caring for Your Contact Lenses
Although Dr. Schultz will provide you with a complete set of instructions for caring for your prescription contact lenses during your appointment at Lifetime Eye Care, here are a few general tips until then:
- Never handle your contact lenses without first washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. The key word here is “thoroughly”; hum the tune to “Happy Birthday” in your head as you scrub your hands before you rinse with warm water. Then dry your hands thoroughly - again, “thoroughly,” as you want to minimize your lenses’ exposure to water - with a lint-free towel.
- Saline solution and rewetting drops are not disinfectants. Even in a pinch, these will not in any way help to disinfect your lenses.
- Many people use the same contact lens case for months or even years without replacing it. Think of your lens case like a toothbrush; it should be replaced every three months or so. During that three months, clean it regularly - not with water, but with fresh solution.
- If you are a smoker who is intending to get contact lenses, make a plan to stop smoking first. If you are unwilling to give up smoking, contact lenses may not be right for you. Smokers who wear contact lenses are at much higher risk for eye infections than non-smokers.
- When you travel, just bring your bottle of contact lens solution with you. Don’t pour it into a smaller bottle for convenience. The only way to ensure the purity of the solution is to use it straight from its original source.
- If you are a patient of Dr. Schultz’s, follow his instructions to the letter. If you don’t understand his instructions, ask questions; he will happily and patiently answer them. If you live outside the Cleveland area and have another optometrist, follow his or her instructions diligently. Whatever you do, don’t get lazy when it comes to caring for your contact lenses. Your eyes are too important to risk.
Learn More about Proper Contact Lens Care
To learn more about proper contact lens care, please contact Lifetime Eye Care today.