Are you worried about your first contact lenses? We understand your hesitation, considering that there are many horror stories about contact lenses. However, with the proper know how, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
In fact, using contact lenses is perfectly safe, provided that you use them properly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 30 million Americans who wear contact lenses; of this figure, a staggering 20 million wearers are female. Many started wearing contact lenses when they were young; in fact, ten percent of the figure above are under the age of 18, while even more mature Americans above the age of 45 comprise 25% of the contact lens wearers in the country. It goes to show that contact lens usage is popular among both the young and old.
Above all, contact lenses are considered as medical devices and are under the rigorous regulation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is because improper usage of contact lenses can cause debilitating conditions such as blindness, which can stem from serious eye infections. Add this to the fact that a staggering 40% to 90% of contact lens users do not actually follow the care instructions, and you have the recipe for mayhem if contact lenses are unregulated.
Now how can you avoid severe eye infection? Here are some ways to go about it.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before handling your contact lenses. After washing your hands, dry them. This is especially important after you’ve eaten spicy food, such as burritos with jalapenos. Touching your eyes after eating spicy food would be ridiculously painful.
- As much as possible, your contact lenses should never come into contact with water. Remove them before you jump into the shower. Likewise, do not try to substitute your cleaning solution with water. Water wouldn’t disinfect your contact lenses nor lubricate them enough so that they would be comfortable to use.
- Throw out any unused solution after 90 days. Also, ensure that you never touch the nozzle; it should never come into contact with anything. This includes transferring your solution to a smaller bottle, as doing so can compromise the sterilized state of your solution and make you susceptible to eye infections.
- Never extend your contact lens more than their prescribed period. If you are wearing dailies, make sure that you replace your contact lens per day, even though you feel like the contact lenses are still comfortable enough to be used. Using contact lenses over their designed usage would put you at risk of eye infections.
- Use the popular rub and rinse method when it comes to cleaning and storing your lenses. Before you put them on the following morning, put the contact lens on your palm, and rub them with a drop or two of the solution. Afterwards, thoroughly rinse them with the solution.
- Follow the specific cleaning and storage guidelines from your doctor, particularly the instructions from your solution manufacturer.
Never sleep with your contact lenses in.
With these tips, you’ll hopefully be more comfortable when you put on your first pair of contact lenses. Next time we’ll be talking about the benefits of wearing them. Till next time!