Contact lenses are a convenient option for the times you don’t want to wear spectacles. They are more purposeful in comparison with glasses. You don’t have to worry about losing them, breaking them, or cleaning them just like you do with glasses.
But of course! Proper care and maintenance are required for contacts too along with avoiding certain common mistakes that can occur, especially if you’re wearing contact lenses for the first time. Here’s what to avoid as a first-time contacts wearer.
Top Mistakes To Avoid When Wearing Contact Lenses For The First Time
Sleeping Without Removing Your Contacts
It can be quite a problem since wearing lenses can make you forget you’re wearing lenses.
During the day, our eyes are open and blinking, this allows the eyes to get enough hydration and nourishment even as we wear contacts.
However, if you left them on whilst sleeping, the cornea (the outer layer of the eye where contacts are placed) can get deprived of oxygen.
Many types of research have shown that wearing contacts to sleep can cause corneal infections, microbial keratitis, and even potentially blinding ocular problems.
Not Following Proper Lens Cleaning and Hygiene
Just like glasses come with their wipe cloth and cleaning solution, contacts have their own too.
When it comes to cleaning your lenses, you have to be careful of two things – the proper method of doing so and the right tools to use.
How to clean contact lenses properly?
Your normal or colored contact lenses can acquire microorganisms and debris which aren’t visible to the naked eye if you don’t practice proper cleaning measures.
Before you touch your colored contact lenses, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water.
A step-by-step guide to thoroughly clean your contacts.
- Remove one lens at a time. Take one and position it onto your cupped palm to scour it while keeping it secure. This will assist you to avoid accidental loss of lenses during the cleaning procedure.
- Once in place, spread the cleansing solution to the lens. Using one finger, gently stroke it to pull out any attached particles.
- Then wash out your lens with a sterile saline solution.
- Finally, place the lens into the case and fill it with a disinfectant solution. Repeat the process with the other lens.
Contact lenses should be allowed to soak in the case overnight before you reuse them. Before wearing them again, don’t forget to rinse off the disinfectant solution with a sterile saline fluid before placing it back into your eyes.
Choose the Right Solution
Tap water isn’t the ideal solution for cleaning lenses. No matter how clean it looks to you, tap water does contain an untold number of bacteria that may harm your eyes. Since it contains a lot of microorganisms, washing your lenses with tap water puts you at risk of developing acanthamoeba infection. This potentially blinding condition is difficult to treat and diagnose.
Instead of water, switch to a contact lens solution that has been approved and recommended by your eye doctor.
Over time, particles and deposits collect on your lenses, some of which can lead to irritation and even allergic responses (e.g., bumps developing under the eyelid).
The only way to dodge this is to clean your contact lenses regularly and appropriately with the right solution. Also, make sure to dispose of any old lens solution and invariably heed the instructions given to you when you receive your lenses.
Putting Lenses in Place Using Wet Fingers
Another common mistake that happens with contact lenses is handling them with wet hands. Moisture can make it easier for particles to bind to your fingers and potentially make their way into the lenses.
To avoid this, you need to ensure that your hands are dry before handling your lenses. It is also advised that you use a moisturizer-free soap when rinsing your hands.
Wearing Lenses For Too Long
Wearing lenses for extended periods when they are not developed for this purpose is also a big no-no in proper lens usage.
Unless your contacts are created for extended wear, always take them out as prescribed by your eye doctor. If you don’t, you could be harming your eyes, especially the cornea.
Sporting your contacts for too long can lead to deoxygenation, dryness, and swelling of the corneas. When left unchecked, these could also lead to scarring, eye irritation, blurring of one’s vision, and even cause blindness.
Not Replacing The Lenses or Lens Case As Instructed
There’s a variety of contact lenses available to suit your needs and each has a specific life span and length of use that is to be followed.
Some are adequate for a single day, others for several months. Again, this is all about heeding the instructions on the lenses’ package or from your eye doctor.
Besides the lenses, you also ought to change the lens case regularly. While it may look sterile and clean, the microorganisms and impurities that have built up in it aren’t visible to the naked eye.
To avoid any problems caused by a dirty lens case, wash it with hot tap water or a multipurpose cleaning solution after every use.
Make sure to air-dry and wipe it using a clean and sanitary towel before setting your lenses back into the case. You can also put it upside-down without the caps, with clean tissue underneath to shorten the drying time.
Change your contact lens case every three months or earlier. If you notice any cracks on it, replace it immediately.
Buying Contact Lenses From Unlicensed Retailers
Many traders sell contact lenses online and over the counter, but not all of them are authorized to do so. There are certifications and seals of approval that will help in ensuring the quality and safety of products.
Purchasing only from licensed optometrists and respectable companies could help you dodge issues like corneal hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) due to badly fitting lenses. The long-term usage of unregulated lenses may also lead to long-term difficulties with your eyesight and even vision loss.
To be sure, only purchase from people that are handled and approved by your local health monitoring agency.
Contact lenses are one of the most delicate parts of your body. So ensure that you properly maintain and clean them to keep the eyes safe and for good vision.